Ollie Jackson feels AmDTuning deserve to be ‘taken seriously’ after claiming a maiden Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship podium finish at Brands Hatch.
Jackson was one of nine drivers who opted for slick tyres in the second race of the day and part of a frenetic five-car battle for victory in the final laps.
Vauxhall’s Senna Proctor would be victorious, but Jackson came across the line third behind Jake Hill to secure his first BTCC podium finish.
Jackson ran second in the early stages of the third race until incidents shuffled him down to 14th by the flag, but the Audi S3 driver said AmD Tuning deserve respect after ending the weekend eighth in the Drivers’ Championship.
“It’s been an emotional weekend”, he said. “We’ve worked so hard as a team to improve the Audi and have been getting quicker and quicker, and today we’ve been able to fight for strong results across all three races.
“Race one was perhaps the race of the day to be honest and to come [23rd] on the grid to finish 12th was really good and helped to set up the result in race two.
“We knew it was a gamble to go with slicks but also knew that the circuit was only going to get drier and it proved to be the right call. The car was absolutely fantastic and to bring home a podium was beyond our expectations coming into the weekend.
“Even with the success ballast onboard for race three, we could well have had a top five finish had we not been hit off track a few times, which also cost us the Jack Sears Trophy this weekend.
“However, I can’t go away from a weekend where I’ve taken my first podium feeling disappointed and I think we have shown this weekend that we deserve to be taken seriously in this series and aren’t just here to make up the numbers. We have to now try to build on this and fight for regular points as the season goes on.”
A BTCC regular since 2010, a tearful team principal Shaun Hollamby added: “It’s been a fantastic weekend to start the season and to come away with a podium is way more than we could have imagined.
“Ollie has driven better than he has ever done before across race day and he made the most of the tyre call in race two with a fantastic performance. To secure his first podium in that way was brilliant. If anything, that showed the steps forward we have taken with the Audi and he certainly deserved more than he got.”