TWO PODIUM FINISHES FOR RACING SILVERLINE AT SNETTERTON Racing Silverline's Mat Jackson made a sterling start in yesterday's first round of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton, which saw him claim the independents win...
TWO PODIUM FINISHES FOR RACING SILVERLINE AT SNETTERTON
Racing Silverline's Mat Jackson made a sterling start in yesterday's first round of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton, which saw him claim the independents win and a 2nd place finish in the overall championship. Having moved up to 5th position from the first lap, consistently quick laps followed, allowing him to forge his way past O'Neill and menace the Airwaves BMW of Adam. By lap 6, Mat had shot past on Rivett Straight and with awesome pace, spied his next target, Team Dynamnics' Thompson.
A mechanical problem for Thompson on lap 10 paved the way for Mat to claim 3rd, but there was more to come from the 28 year old. The safety car was called for a brief stint as a result of Thompson's slow moving Honda, but Mat used this to advantage and on the restart, was all over the back of VXR Racing's Jordan. Keeping his focus, despite the ever increasing pressure from Adam behind, Mat grabbed P2 as Jordan ran wide into the Esses.
Speaking after race 1, Mat commented, "It's great for Racing Silverline, RML, Autowindscreens, our new sponsor here this weekend, Matchthedeal.com and Paul Castle Consultancy who are backing me and of course, it's always good for me!"
In the sister Chevrolet-Lacetti, it was a frustrating start to the first of three races for Jason Plato, having retired from race 1 after colliding with the BMW of Turkington.
Despite making a good start in the front-wheel drive Lacetti, Jason was unable to fend off the all too familiar lunge from Turkington, resulting in him slipping back to 2nd. Contact on the first lap saw both drivers spin, breaking the track rod on Jason's car. With bent steering, a hugely disappointed Jason, who had it all to play for from pole, was forced to retire early.
Speaking on his first lap tangle with Turkington, Jason summarised, "There was an opportunity to go down the inside, which is where I was. It was a racing incident to be fair. We touched and my front wheel clouted his wheel and badly bent my track rod.
It all tightened up and it was the slightest little nudge, we just touched in the worst possible place and it was just one of those things. But I need to try and win races not just let him romp off in the distance"
The second race proved to be hugely rewarding for Jason, claiming a very respectful 3rd place podium finish having started the race from a distant 19th.
A storming start placed Jason in 13th by the end of the first lap, just behind BTCC newcomer, James Nash. His dominant charge continued from start to finish, picking off Pinkney on lap 2, followed by RML-run Nash by lap 6. As Jason moved onto his next target, challenging Collard with nose to tail racing, the Racing Silverline team watched on with baited breath. Exuding confidence and speed, Jason dived past Collard out of Bomb Hole and into Rivetts Straight, securing 7th position and he began his charge to catch Thompson.
By the 15th lap, with three left to go, Jason was up to 3rd position and set his sights on Turkington. He managed to bring the gap down to just 0.907s before the chequered flag fell, giving Jason a much deserved podium place and 11 championship points for what was undoubtedly a determined drive.
It was disappointment for Mat, having held onto 2nd place off the start for the second race, the number 2 Lacetti had been running well and showing great pace until a gearbox oil leak caused his retirement.
Race three didn't go to plan for either of the Racing Silverline drivers. A problem with the power steering on Mat's car meant he did not make the start.
Starting 7th, Jason gained three places by the second lap. Having stolen 4th place from Turkington into Rivetts, both car and driver were looking handy and on for another great result, setting the fastest lap of the weekend with a 1:12.195 on lap 4.
By the sixth lap, Jason had worked his way to 3rd place, once again revelling on his exit speed out of Sear to outmanoeuvre Adam. But it wasn't to last, with Jason suffering a puncture to the front left tyre. He pitted and rejoined the pack one lap down, being classified 13th at the finish.
The next round of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship takes place on the 15th & 16th August at Knockhill.