Mat Jackson leads the way for Motorbase
The Motorbase Performance Ford Focus of Mat Jackson is showing imperious form ahead of today’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship qualifying session having topped both practice runs at Silverstone.
Jack Goff has also enjoyed his day so far, improving on his fourth place in FP1 with second in the next session. Team BMR RCIB Insurance driver Colin Turkington set the third fastest time in practice.
Jackson’s standout performance leaves him in confident mood as he chases back-to-back pole positions. The multiple race winner scored a first ever qualifying top spot for Motorbase Performance last time out at Rockingham, and despite only edging out Goff by 0.053s during practice here Jackson did abort an even quicker lap after running wide at Brooklands.
“It’s so far so good, but we now need to go fastest in qualifying otherwise we’ll look a bit silly,” said Jackson. “Obviously free practice is one thing but qualifying is another. I feel confident in the car but we don’t what the others have got at this stage. Hopefully we can put ourselves in a position to score some podiums tomorrow.”
With Jackson and Goff leading the way it was left to Turkington to produce the best time of the likely championship contenders. The Ultsterman needs to overturn a 33 points deficit in the standings and it’s therefore vital that he can set a time at the sharp end later this afternoon.
The latest young stars of the BTCC – Josh Cook and Tom Ingram – were next up in the practice timesheets, fresh from their recent podium heroics at Rockingham.
Aron Smith backed-up the undoubted pace of the VWs by setting the sixth fastest time ahead of championship leader Gordon Shedden. Andrew Jordan needs a stellar weekend to keep his title chances alive and he’ll be hoping to replicate team-mate Goff’s pace during qualifying. Jordan has performed well during practice, but with the field being extremely close he ended up eighth with a time just 0.255s shy of Jackson’s flyer.
Adam Morgan’s Mercedes and Rob Austin’s Audi rounded out the top ten positions, whilst Jason Plato could only manage 11th after admitting that his Team BMR RCIB Insurance outfit have not yet found the perfect set-up in his VW CC.
“We’ve not got the car quite where we want it yet but we are making progress,” claimed Plato. “We know what we want the car to do and I’m sure we will be able to find a couple of tenths this afternoon.”
Such is the competitiveness throughout the field that the top 23 cars were blanketed by less than a second, which bodes well for a potentially exciting qualifying session. The action will get underway at 15:45 and will be streamed live and exclusively via www.itv.com/btcc.
1 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance
2 Jack GOFF (GBR) MG 888 Racing
3 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMR RCIB Insurance
4 Josh COOK (R) (GBR) Power Maxed Racing
5 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport
6 Aron SMITH (IRL) Team BMR RCIB Insurance
7 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Honda Yuasa Racing
8 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) MG 888 Racing
9 Adam MORGAN (GBR) WIX Racing
10 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Exocet AlcoSense
11 Jason PLATO (GBR) Team BMR RCIB Insurance
12 Matt NEAL (GBR) Honda Yuasa Racing
13 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) JCT600 Racing with GardX
14 Hunter ABBOTT (GBR) Exocet AlcoSense
15 Andy PRIAULX (GBR) Team IHG Rewards Club
16 James COLE (GBR) Motorbase Performance
17 Robert COLLARD (GBR) JCT600 Racing with GardX
18 Dave NEWSHAM (GBR) Power Maxed Racing
19 Mike BUSHELL (R) (GBR) AmD Tuning.com
20 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing
21 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing
22 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Eurotech Racing
23 Tony GILHAM (GBR) RCIB Insurance Racing
24 Alex MARTIN (R) (GBR) Dextra Racing
25 Derek PALMER (R) (GBR) Support Our Paras Racing
26 Simon BELCHER (GBR) Handy Motorsport
27 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) AmD Tuning.com
28 Stewart LINES (R) (GBR) Houseman Racing
29 Daniel WELCH (GBR) Welch Motorsport