Mat Jackson has played down talk that the Chevrolet Lacetti is the dominant car on the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship grid going into the eighth round of the season this weekend.
Following a strong weekend for the Racing Silverline team at Knockhill last time out, where both Jackson and Jason Plato took victory (the latter also coming from the rear of the field to finish second in the final race), a number of drivers have expressed views that the Lacetti is 'in a class of its own'.
While the RML-run car has been impressive throughout the season, Jackson said he didn't feel the Lacetti was any quicker than the BMW 320si run by Team RAC and Airwaves BMW, while the VX Racing Vectra also remains a strong package.
"Is the Lacetti the car to beat?” he said. “It depends who you ask! The competition says it's the fastest thing in a straight line and you just put your foot down and disappear. But there are only two Chevrolets up there - where are the other two?
"We are getting there but I don't think the Lacetti is any quicker overall than the BMW. Turkington is still qualifying on the first few rows with 45kilos of ballast whereas me and Jason Plato haven't got that kind of weight. The Vauxhalls certainly aren't slow either. I think the Lacetti is up there, it's a big improvement on where it's come from, but to say it's in a class of its own is wrong. However, I'm still targeting a couple of wins this weekend."
Jackson was arguably the man of the weekend at Silverstone last season, when he produced two storming drives at the wheel of his family run BMW – including a fine recovery drive through the field to take second in race one after an earlier incident.
Having closed in on the top six in the championship standings following his strong weekend in Scotland, Jackson will now look to overhaul Rob Collard in the championship race – although without having to come from the back of the grid.
"The results at Silverstone last year were fantastic," he said. "Hopefully we can do the same this weekend - but preferably not from so far back on the grid! Last year was a pretty wet weekend and if it rains this year then bring it on.
"Knockhill was just mega. It's a boost that was needed for everyone involved in the team and we're all looking forward to Silverstone. Sadly there was no party for me... I had to get back for work the next day!"