Mat Jackson has debuted the first car built by Motorbase Performance for the BTCC this weekend with the brand new Next Generation Touring Car-specification Ford Focus ST, and says the main focus is now on the 2013 drivers’ championship.
The car was delivered to the track early in the morning, just a few hours before the first practice session without ever having turned a wheel, and though Jackson, who sits sixth in the overall standings and third in the independents’ with the points scored with the team’s S2000 Ford Focus, the 32-year-old is happy with the progress and performance of the car on its first day
“Considering the guys have worked so hard, so late to get it done, and we’ve run our first day with very limited faults, it’s pretty impressive really,” said Jackson to TouringCarTimes.
“As far as the NGTC stuff goes, the cars have worked hard to get this anywhere near the front and it shows. They’ve done a good job.”
In terms of his aspirations today with the new car, Jackson added:
“We were hoping for pole! But we’ve got to be realistic. The other guys have got five races on us and have done a lot of testing in the same equipment (NGTC). It’s moved on from where it was at the start of the year, and it’s moved on very very fast and that’s why we knew we’ve got to make the move to jump into this as soon as we could. 16th is not ideal, but it’s a test day. We knew it was going to be a test day, it isn’t the way we wanted to do it, but it’s the only way.”
Mat Jackson admits his chances of battling for the independents’ title, which he narrowly missed out on last year is slimmer due to the change of car mid-season, but says the independents’ title was never his goal anyway.
“The independents’ is one thing, but for me it’s the main outright Championship, that’s what I want to win, and we’re not going to do that in an S2000 car. What we’re looking at is the future, and we’ve got to look forward to next season, and the earlier we make a start on this, the more we can learn data wise so that we’re there.”