Jackson provides Airwaves with fresh impetus
Airwaves Racing celebrated a return to form at Donington Park last weekend with a trio of top ten finishes, topped by Mat Jackson’s fourth place in the final thrilling contest.
Quality racing and non-stop drama was the order over the Easter weekend, with both Jackson and team-mate Fabrizio Giovanardi experiencing their own highs and lows in the three races.
Under changing and very challenging conditions, the Airwaves Racing squad looked to be set for a mixed bag of results with Fabrizio managing a strong finish to the weekend’s opening race – making up four grid spots to pilot the #7 Ford Focus ST across the line in P7. Mat had a more eventful race, battling hard in the difficult midfield to cling on to 14th.
Race two almost reversed the team’s earlier results as Fabrizio struggled with grip on the very wet track. Conversely, following set up changes to the #6 Mountune-powered Ford Focus ST; Mat came to life during the safety car punctuated showdown and managed to work his way up through the traffic to cross the line in P7, followed by Fabrizio in P12.
“I had a good start to the weekend; not a bad qualifying and a good first race, after that I’ve jumped into hell and I don’t know why,” claimed Giovanardi. The main thing that is making me crazy is not understanding what has changed, but we will work to find out why we struggled in race 2 and 3.”
While Giovanardi may have struggled in the finale, team-mate Jackson flew to the front in the only dry race of the day.
An opening lap melee offered up the perfect opportunity for Mat, and the Airwaves Racing man took full advantage to steal into fourth in time for the first appearance of the safety car. His Airwaves team-mate also made good use of the diversion with Fabrizio moving up into P8, albeit briefly, as he eventually ended up out of the points after a post-race 30-second penalty for causing a collision and exceeding track limits.
Mat went on to challenge the MG of Jason Plato and Hondas of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden running at the front of the pack. He fleetingly ran side by side with Neal for third place; but the Airwaves man had to settle for fourth at the finish – his and the team’s best result of the season so far.
“There is a vision now on where we need to go to get more pace and it’s a nice position to be in,” beamed Jackson. “We’re painting a picture and it’s getting bigger. Race 3 was a great result, to be racing alongside the factory Hondas and MG is mega and it’s where we should, and deserve to be.
“There’s a clear direction on where we’re going and the results from this weekend show that. I feel a lot more comfortable in the car and hopefully we can go to Thruxton and continue the good form.”
The weekend’s strong results sees Airwaves Racing strengthen its position in the overall teams’ standings and move up to third position in the independent teams’ championship.
PHOTO CREDIT: PSP IMAGES