THE AmDtuning.com team secured a hat-trick of points finishes on a challenging weekend of racing for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton.
Race day saw the Hampshire circuit battered by high winds and heavy rain, leaving the West Thurrock-based team to battle against the elements with its turbo-powered VW Golf.
Attleborough-based driver Ollie Jackson went into the weekend eager to bounce back from a tough weekend at Donington Park, and he secured 13th on the grid in what would prove to be the only session where dry tyres were used.
Despite visibility issues in the opening race, Jackson showed the pace of the Golf by posting the sixth quickest lap en-route to 12th, where he then started race two.
Jackson was again on the pace in the second race of the weekend but his chances of a top-10 result to match his speed were hampered when he became boxed up behind the Honda of Jeff Smith.
An off-track excursion across the grass then led to a quick pitstop before Jackson rejoined the circuit to cross the line in 15th and score the final point.
Ahead of race three, conditions seemed to be improving, prompting Jackson and the team to go with a combination of slick tyres on the front and wets on the rear of the Golf.
But as the field completed the green flag lap before the start, the heavens opened and Jackson had no option but to pit at the end of lap one to fit wet tyres all round.
While that dropped him right to the back of the field, Jackson battled back into 15th to take his third points finish of the day, leaving him 18th in the championship and 14th among the independents.
“We were up against it in the conditions and it’s a bit of a shame that we had such good race pace and didn’t quite get the results to match it,” he said.
“Sadly when you are stuck behind a car that is quick in a straight line, it can be difficult to make a move stick, even though we had more pace in the corners.
“The decision to go with the mix of slicks and wets seemed to be the right call in race three when we started the green flag lap but then it chucked it down and I had no option to pit.
“It was right to take the gamble though and we finished where we started, so we didn’t lose anything by doing it.”
Jackson feels the Golf’s race pace was the big positive from the weekend and he had also learned a lot about driving a front-wheel drive car in those kind of conditions.
“They were the first real laps I’d had in the wet and they will also help with my car control in the dry,” he added. “There are a lot of positives for us to take away.”