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Rockingham: Jackson aiming to 'stay in the mix'

Motorbase Performance's Mat Jackson says the aim of this weekend will be to remain in the mix of the BTCC title while attempting to close the gap on BMW.
Mat Jackson says he can ill-afford to record anymore DNF results as the Motorbase Performance driver aims to remain in contact of the British Touring Car Championship race at Rockingham.

Jackson will start the opening race on the front row of the grid alongside Gordon Shedden after narrowly losing out to the reigning champion in yesterday's titanic rain-hit session.

The Ford Focus ST driver arrives into today's three races on a decent role of form having taken two victories in as many meetings at Snetterton and Knockhill.

Following his heroic race three last time out in Scotland, Jackson moved ahead of Matt Neal and Colin Turkington as the most winningest driver of the year so far on four victories.

"It puts us in a good position for race one so we'll see what happens. It's completely different conditions at the moment and it looks like it's going to be dry," said Jackson.

"We've had some good results and the car seems to be working very well. Hopefully we can come away from the weekend with more points in the bag and close in on the championship – that's the aim."

Though he's won more races than anyone else, a brief mid-season dip - coupled with two DNF's - Jackson still has work to do from fifth in the drivers' standings, 43-points back.

"What we can't do is have any more DNF's. We've had far too many so far so we just need to get finishes and make sure we're in the mix at the end," the Ford driver continued.

"It's good in one way for the championship because it will close it up but the guys that are around me on the grid are also close in the championship. If we can all stay together we'll all reel Sam [Tordoff] but really we need pull some points on those guys as well.

"The main is to the pull the BMW in, keep in contact with everyone else and keep the title fight going. We can't take ourselves out of the game. We need finishes and that's what we're going."

As like many, Jackson is mindful of preserving of tyres long enough to remain in race-winning contention.

"Rockingham is a funny place. You can get spread out very quickly in the race and tyre degradation is going to be critical around here, as it always is. Again, that might play into the hands of Subaru," Jackson continued.

"If you can have a good qualifying around here it makes it a lot easier. It's quite a hard place to come through. After sort of two or three laps, you can't really make progress if you're in the midfield section."



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