Mat Jackson says he is confident of challenging for the 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title as he prepares for his first weekend with the new Airwaves Racing Ford Focus.
Jackson remains with the Motorbase Performance-run team for a second season this year but will be armed with a new car after the team purchased the Fords used by Team Aon in 2010, which have been fitted with an NGTC-spec turbo engine over the winter.
Having enjoyed a solid pre-season testing programme, Jackson will now hope to start the season in style at Motorbase's home circuit of Brands Hatch this weekend with the title being his ultimate goal for the year ahead.
“Everybody here at Airwaves Racing is behind us to challenge for the championship,” he said. “It's certainly the right step going to the Ford Focus but a championship comes down to more than just being quick, you have to be consistent too. The title is a long way ahead that is certainly the goal. It's going to be interesting at Brands Hatch and it is about time we get the show on the road. I've got to thank all the guys at Airwaves Racing for getting this car ready.”
Jackson will be joined this season by Carrera Cup graduate Liam Griffin, who said his aim for the weekend was to try and break into the points in his first meeting in the series.
“I've raced in the VW Cup and that is a very good place to learn front wheel drive,” he said. “The cars in the BTCC are quicker, but they are not a million miles away so I'm feeling confident. A point in any race would be good but gathering points is a realistic target after the pace we produced at Silverstone.”