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Jackson ready to attack at Brands Hatch BTCC opener

Tuesday, March 27 2012

Redstone Racing's Mat Jackson is poised to attack the opening round of the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend (31 March - April 1) targeting podiums and a top three place in the driver standings.       

The driver for the Wrotham-based squad suffered a torrid second half of the 2011 season, which saw him surrender a championship lead at the halfway mark to finish the campaign in fourth. However, Jackson claims he has learnt from his mistakes and is ready to launch a new title bid at the Kent circuit.

He said: "We have got to have podiums, be at the front and come away from Brands Hatch being in the top three in the championship table. If we come away leading it then we have done well.

"It was frustrating last year and there were a few mistakes on my part, but from the mistakes which happened I feel we have become stronger from it, so hopefully this year I can get in the lead and maintain it. All we can do is focus on our own game, we know it will be a tough year to stay ahead of the NGTC cars but hopefully we can do that from the word go."

Motorbase Performance, who will run three S2000 BTCC Ford Focuses under the banner of Redstone Racing, are based just a stone's throw from Brands Hatch and they are expected to shine this weekend. Running race winning Ford Focuses for Jackson, BTCC new recruit Aron Smith and Liam Griffin, the team should have the edge on the Honda and MG, as they try to get on top of their new NGTC cars.

While Jackson is at home behind the wheel of his Focus, he is still wary of the threat the likes of Matt Neal, Gordon Shedden and Jason Plato will pose in their all new NGTC machines. However, the 30-year-old, who has 16 BTCC career wins, feels it is time for someone to wrestle the title away from Plato and Neal.       

He said: "I think the new cars will definitely be at the races and in testing they have proved to be very quick but is it just over one lap or a race distance? We are very mindful that they are going to be quick though, but who knows what will happen this season. All we know is what we have what was capable of winning last year and we have got to continue down that road.  

"The plan every year is to take the championship away from Plato or Neal. They are both quick and been around a long time and have manufacturer support. We have to remember we are an independent and we cannot forget that. We don't have the budget they have and we have just got to plug away to try and turn them over."

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch on 31 March - 1 April are available in advance from £25, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information, call 0843 453 9000 or click here.