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News 2012: Redstone Racing digging deep after Croft disappointment

June 24th

Liam Griffin and Aron Smith

Kent-based Redstone Racing is hoping for a turn in fortunes after a torrid weekend during the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship's (BTCC) visit to Croft circuit on 23rd/24th June 2012.

Consistency was key in the opening race as all three drivers overcame adversity to bring their 'little red devils' home in point scoring positions. After running as high as fifth in the early stages, Mat Jackson maintained his eighth place grid position despite an engine power issue. Aron Smith survived a slow puncture to his right front tyre to join Jackson in the top ten, while Liam Griffin recovered from a drive through penalty for a jump start to finish a creditable 14th – improving eight places on his qualifying position.

Jackson's power problems meant the team was forced to change his engine ahead of race two. He was unable to start with the rest of the field, but Redstone Racing's mechanics worked incredibly hard to get his Ford Focus ST out on track for the final lap to check the installation of the new engine. There were similar frustrations for Smith, who stopped out on track while running seventh due to a suspension issue, however Griffin secured 14th to score further valuable points for the squad.

Mat JacksonThe trio's hopes of charging through the field in race three were unfortunately dashed, as the team endured two retirements. Griffin held firm in 14th place until a heavy crash at Tower after contact from behind by Lea Wood's Vauxhall ruled him out of the race, shortly before Smith returned to the pits with a steering issue. There was a glimmer of hope, though, as Jackson took the chequered flag in 12th place, scoring some consolation points for Redstone Racing.

Redstone Racing driver Mat Jackson said:

"It has been a frustrating weekend but it's just a case of breathe in, move on. We struggled to match the NGTC cars as they've got so much grip at this circuit, which really hurt us from the outset. The problem we had in race one gave us no option but to change the engine for race two. Then going into race three at the back of the grid was always going to be a nightmare as it's no holds barred racing; nobody has anything to lose."

Redstone Racing driver Aron Smith said:

"It's such a disappointment. I got up to eighth in race one but then the puncture made it virtually impossible to keep the car on track. We made some really good set-up changes for race two and the car felt good before we had some technical problems, then we had more issues in race three. I'm gutted for myself and the team, but that's life."

Redstone Racing driver Liam Griffin said:

"I've been waiting for my luck to change and it just hasn't. There's so much contact now in the BTCC and it's resulting in drivers not getting the results they deserve. It's very frustrating that we're spending a lot of time, effort and money on going racing and have nothing to show for it."

Redstone Racing team manager Oly Collins said:

"The only positive from this weekend is that we now have seven weeks to assess everything. Liam sustained possibly the most damage I've seen to one of our BTCC cars. We struggled with pace all weekend compared with the NGTC cars and rear-wheel-drive BMWs; I can't say I enjoyed this event at all! As ever, the guys in the team have been amazing - I can't thank them enough for their efforts, time and time again, with nothing to show in return. Once again we have been on the receiving end of some really bad luck!"

The BTCC will now take a seven-week break before round six at Norfolk's Snetterton circuit on 11th/12th August, where Redstone Racing hopes better fortunes will smile on the team.