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News 2012: Redstone Racing down but not out!

June 10th

Oulton Park Aron Smith

Redstone Racing is vowing to fight back in the second half of the 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) following a challenging weekend at Oulton Park fraught with bad luck – although the Kent based team still leads the Independent Teams' Trophy.

After posting the second quickest time in free practice one, a heavy crash into the barrier at Cascades in free practice two hampered Mat Jackson's qualifying effort. The team worked incredibly hard to repair his car in time to join the session, and Mat completed six laps to secure tenth on the grid for race one. His team-mates Aron Smith and Liam Griffin both saved their best efforts until the end of qualifying, clinching 11th and 13th respectively with their final flying laps.

Oulton Park Liam GriffinRace day got off to a frustrating start, with a positive result for Jackson – who made his way from tenth to fifth – in the opening encounter counterbalanced by retirements for Griffin and Smith. Griffin stopped out on track during a safety car period following an alternator failure, while after the restart Smith was hit from behind causing a terminal right rear puncture.

It was Griffin's turn to shine in race two, as the Addison Lee director avoided drama throughout the field to climb from 18th on the grid to eighth. Unfortunately woes continued for the rest of the team: after a lightning start, Jackson was dicing for the lead with Rob Collard's BMW when the pair made contact, resulting in a left front puncture and damage that eventually led to the Redstone Racing driver's retirement. Smith, meanwhile, was classified 16th after being pitting at the end of the formation lap with a boost issue.

Oulton Park Mat JacksonThe team was once again hampered by incidents in the weekend's final race. After starting on the front row following the reverse grid draw, Griffin dropped back to seventh before heavy contact with the barrier at Druids led to his retirement and a safety car period. During this time Smith was hit hard from behind, the damage also ruling him out of the race. Redstone Racing's remaining driver, Jackson, was involved in several tussles but managed to make his way through the field to take a creditable seventh position at the chequered flag.

Redstone Racing driver Mat Jackson said:
"The weekend didn't get off on the right foot as having a big off in free practice meant we were on the back foot in qualifying. We managed a good result in race one and in race two we were running in a good position before being involved in an incident with Rob Collard that ended up compromising us both. Once again in race three a potential good result was overshadowed by incidents, which was really frustrating as the car felt good and we had the pace."

Redstone Racing driver Aron Smith commented:
"It's such a shame the weekend didn't go the way it should have after the effort the team put in. The car was unbelievable, we were just so unfortunate to get caught up in other people's driving standards."

Redstone Racing Team Manager Oly Collins concluded:
"It's been a terrible weekend pretty much from the start. It has been unbelievably expensive with very little to show for it due to all of the incidents we've had. The driving standards in the championship have reached an all time low in my opinion; we have to keep on fixing damage, time after time. This weekend really pushed the team's resolve but the guys were, as usual, amazing. It will be a very busy two weeks to prepare the cars for Croft, that's for sure."

Redstone Racing will now travel to the north east of England for round five of the 2012 championship at Croft circuit on 23rd/24th June.