BTCC Driver of the Year: 3rd
3rd – Mat Jackson
Average poll score out of ten: 7.89
Ford Focus ST
Mat Jackson may have only taken part in half of this year's British Touring Car Championship but you still voted the Motorbase Performance driver into the top three of our end of year leaderboard.
Missing half of 2015 due to Motorbase's off-track financial strife, meant the Ford Focus ST outfit could attack the beginning of each race weekend without having to run success ballast, as virtue for existing outside of the top-ten order.
Jackson came out of the traps fast during practice at Snetterton but a lack of understanding of the revised Dunlop rubber for 2015 confined the 34-year to a best finish of sixth. But the confidence quickly grew and the knowledge gained from Norfolk translated into an instant return to the podium at Knockhill.
As Jackson and Motorbase continued to find their feet, cries from several key figures – regarding their place in this season's championship – grew ever louder. Many rivals called the parity of the Ford's Mountune developed EcoBoost engine into question following concerns of an alleged straight-line speed advantage.
Jackson simply ignored the furore and went onto win four races during the last three events of the season, all in outstanding fashion. The Motorbase driver only finished outside of the top-ten on three occasions, meaning the 34-year old scored points than anyone else during the second half of the year.
Jackson went some way in silencing the Ford sceptics by finishing on the podium on three separate occasions – including a race win – while running maximum ballast. Although we'll never know if the 2015-spec Focus was good enough to win the title, 2016 should go some way in answering some of those questions.
Mat Jackson in Crash.Net BTCC Driver of the Year poll
BTCC Driver of the Year poll 2014: 3rd
BTCC Driver of the Year poll 2013: N/A
BTCC Driver of the Year poll 2012: 4th
BTCC Driver of the Year poll 2011: 5th
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About the vote:
Rather than repeat the Drivers' British Championship standings, the BTCC Driver of the Year poll asks viewers to take into account factors such as machinery, performance relative to a team-mate, riding style, experience, injuries, progress and personality just as much as race results and scoring each of the top twenty from this year's BTCC standings with a mark out of ten.