Starting from fifth on the grid, Mat Jackson harnesses the belief that a podium is within striking distance as his Motorbase Performance squad celebrate their 300th British Touring Car Championship race at Snetterton.

Although a dip in form has seen Jackson drop to eighth in the title race, the Ford Focus driver turned his best qualifying performance in yesterday's 30-minute shootout since starting from third at Donington Park.

Jackson is largely carrying the hopes of his Motorbase squad going into the first race after a power steering issue curtailed his team mate Andrew Jordan's qualifying run, meaning the former champion will start 31st and last.

"P5 is a good start. We're in the mix which is where we need to be. Hopefully we can at least be on the podium in the first race to celebrate our 300th race," said Jackson.

"Oulton Park was a tough weekend but Croft was a lot better despite messing up a bit in the last race. It seems we've got the car back in the sweet spot and hopefully we can have three good races today to give our championship the boost that we need.

"After Croft it's put us out of the game a bit so we need to put that straight."

Jackson says managing tyre life around the longest lap of the season will prove a vital element as the soft compound makes its return to the fray.

Incidentally, both Gordon Shedden and Colin Turkington have both elected to run the soft tyre in race one while Jackson will run the tyre in race two.

"It's a long old lap around here so it's hard on tyres. We'll see how they hang on over the race distance. We've got to see how the soft tyre performs and whether it drops off or not," Jackson continued.

"We need to aim for the podium. We're certainly within striking distance of the podium from where we're starting but a lot can still kick off. Obviously Gordon [Shedden] is on a mission and Colin [Turkington] will want to get another win.

"It seems pretty close on times in the top-three but I think they'll struggle to do that in the race. I think we've got the consistency so we'll see what we can do."

Now in his seventh season the race-winning squad, Jackson explains how his Motorbase squad has evolved amidst the emergence of the NGTC era.

"I've been for here for seven years. We've gone through some great times and some rough times - that's motorsport. The NGTC era project kicked off in 2012 and that was the first time we as a team became a constructor," Jackson explained.

"We went from being an independent as a customer of BMW before Ford and went into construction. That was a big step for the team. Hopefully we can get on the podium 300 races on from where it all began and get some wins."