New Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher driver Ollie Jackson had the opportunity to shake down his Ford Focus RS last week at Brands Hatch in preparation for the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.
With one of the cars to have at the tail end of 2018 underneath him, this is Ollie’s best chance yet to consistently finish within the top ten and score podium finishes throughout the year.
“The car feels great, it was a step change to what I was used to when I drove it in November and the team have made extensive detail changes under the skin over the winter which have definitely created further progression too. Ollie told The Checkered Flag,
“The guys know their stuff at Motorbase so there’s not really anything to iron out as such from the car side, for me it’s about adjusting my driving style to suit the different traits of the car and learn how to reliably extract everything from it.
“For example I’ve actually switched to left foot braking this year as in the tests last year I felt the car actively needed it to get the best out of it.”
Confidence is the preference for the habitually strong minded amongst us and it’s rarely done without a reason. However, with the known capabilities of the Focus. There is belief that 2019 could be a strong year for both the team and driver, they just won’t let it get to their heads.
The thirty-four year old continued, “The pace was extremely promising and was surprisingly close to what I achieved in Qualifying in the Audi last year despite it being a cold day on old tyres and not actually pushing very hard.
“This is undoubtedly going to be a big year for me and hopefully a vindication of the massive effort that we’ve made for me to be sat in the Focus, not to mention David [Bartrum] and Oly’s [Collins] faith to put me in it in the first place.
“In terms of the team, they’re as cool as cucumbers, they know they had the car at the end of last year and that we’ve achieved a lot over the winter. That said, we are all aware the competition also moves along too so we’re not going crazy with our expectations or shouting about what we’re going to achieve. I think quietly confident sums it up”