HENLEY-in Arden’s Mat Jackson had a stellar weekend at Rockingham where he recorded a first and second place finish for the first time this season, reports Andy Parsons.
Following on from a fantastic meeting last time out at Knockhill where he achieved his and the Motorbase team’s first two podiums of the season with a second and third, Jackson went one better and won the first race of the weekend then followed it up with a second place finish in the second race.
Unfortunately his luck ran out in the final race which was quite feisty and he eventually came home in 14th position.
The weekend had started well for Jackson who made the most of the two free practise sessions to set his car up ready for qualifying and then duly delivered by posting the quickest time of the session.
It was not all plain sailing though as a red flag with just minutes of the 30 minute session remaining left Jackson on tenterhooks knowing that the field would be coming out to give it one last hoorah, but non of the other drivers were able to improve their times which handed Jackson his first pole of the season.
In the opening race Jackson made a bright start and never looked back with the chasing pack finding no way past.
At the chequered flag his closest pursuer was Gordon Shedden who boosted his championship hopes with this result.
It was also a good race for Shedden in the day’s second installment who, having made a break at the start of the race, was then hunted down by Jackson who despite his best efforts could not quite get on terms with the Fife racer.
Unfortunately for Jackson the Number ten ball was pulled out for the reverse grid race which meant he would have plenty to do to get a third podium of the day.
Again despite giving it his best efforts Jackson initially managed to get up to fourth place but then as his softer tyres began to wear he found himself being caught by the chasing pack.
A couple of safety cars did not help as this bunched the field back up and as other drivers got their elbows out Jackson got mixed up in it dropping him to fourteenth place where he finished.
A delighted Jackson said: “What a great weekend, we knew we had a great car from the results of the first two rounds but to come here and get our first win with the new Ecoboost Ford Focus was awesome. I am now just looking forward to Silverstone in three weeks time.”