Mat Jackson bounced back from a tough qualifying session to move into the lead of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship standings as the season resumed at Snetterton.
The Airwaves Racing driver only managed 13th on the grid in qualifying on the new Snetterton 300 layout leaving him with work to do on race day.
A brace of sixth place finishes in the opening two races left him with a front row start for race three when the reverse grid draw was made. Having battled ahead of Dave Newsham on the second lap, Jackson was able to build a lead and secure a victory that makes him the championship leader for the first time since he joined the BTCC grid.
“We had a bit of a nightmare again in qualifying, we tried something new on the Focus and it just didn't work here, plus having the 36kg of ballast on board didn't help our cause,” he said. “It didn't look like this weekend was going to be going our way at first either, both of the first races were a bit of a struggle, so I was quite pleased to manage a couple of top six finishes. I was amazed that the reverse grid worked in our favour again and knew that we were capable of taking the lead; it was then just a case of keeping our heads and not making any mistakes to bring in another win for the team.
“It's the first time I've ever led the Championship and it feels great but I'm chuffed to bits for team boss David Bartrum, team manager Oly Collins, chief engineer Dave Potter and the rest of the Motorbase crew who run our cars. Don't let it be forgotten we're a privateer team taking on the bigger budget factory teams. We're the underdogs and maybe we're starting to get under their skin a bit going by some of the comments that have come our way – it's all mind games and we'll not fall for it.
“Everyone in the team and all our sponsors are up for this fight and there's not a better team spirit anywhere in the pit lane. It's put us in the best possible position for the next round at what's arguably the most punishing circuit on the BTCC calendar, and with 45kg on board, things could get interesting!”