Attleborough’s Ollie Jackson claims his best points haul at Rockingham
Ollie Jackson and the AmD VW Golf team's decision to miss the Knockhill round of the British Touring Car Championship paid dividends as the Attleborough racer had his best event yet at the following Rockingham round.
'It was a good weekend despite starting off a bit shaky,' declared the Norfolk racer, who claimed his best points haul of the season at the Corby circuit after intensive development between the Snetterton and Rockingham rounds.
The weekend didn't start well with a loose front ball joint giving Jackson horrendous torque steer and iffy handling in the opening practice sessions.
'With the problem banished for qualifying we found a lot of time but unfortunately it wasn't enough,' reflected Jackson, who would line up in 17th place.
However, another niggling problem hampered Jackson in race one. 'I made a monster start, passing two or three cars before I'd even got to turn one, but as I rounded it there was a pop and the car lost a lot of power.
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'A boost hose had popped off and despite a trip into the pits to fix it, it recurred and we were relegated to going in and out of the pits to ensure it was sorted for race two.'
Race two was wet and the team thought they might be in with a shot of a decent result despite starting on the back row of the grid.
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'I got a decent start and passed a few cars before the first hairpin and gradually threaded my way through, passing four or five cars while also benefitting from one or two others being 'assisted' off the track by other drivers, and a couple more simply making mistakes in front of me,' he recalled.
'Towards the end I was just about hanging onto Adam Morgan, but he sailed straight on at the first hairpin and rejoined right behind me. I managed to hold him off and was relieved to see the chequered flag after what felt like an extremely long race.'
For the reverse grid final race Jackson was drawn to start from second place but was a touch apprehensive after being involved in a monster accident after his previous experience of starting on the front row.
'Sadly after many good starts I chose that moment to get it wrong and wheel spinning away from the line left me vulnerable going into the first corner and I got well beaten up and bounced out of the way by the cars following me.
'I ended up about 12th, and threaded my way back up to eighth with a couple of passes and a few people falling off again. I ended up repassing Matt Jackson for seventh, but couldn't hang onto it and we ended up having a good little battle and swapping places a few times.
'All in all a good race finishing eighth, but I was a little disappointed not to finish a little higher as I definitely had the pace of the two guys in front of me.'