News 2012: Mat Jackson end of season interview
The 2012 British Touring Car Championship season was a mix of highs and lows for the Motorbase Performance team which saw the Kent based squad enter a new era as a constructor after unveiling its in-house built NGTC Ford Focus ST midway through the season.
In the first of a short series of interviews, we catch up with Redstone Racing Driver Mat Jackson as he takes a look back at his third year with the team and discuss his plans and hopes for the 2013 season.
MP: On reflection, how do you feel about your performance and results during the 2012 BTCC season? How much do you feel 'luck' has to play in how BTCC races turn out?
MJ: "2012 was unlike other seasons; with a switch of car at the half way point of the year. You never know what lies ahead but to finish the season having won in the old and the new car was a great achievement that I am very happy of. There is always a small element of luck as in all walks of life and the BTCC is no different!"
MJ: "Exciting, Rollercoaster, Successful"
MP: Did you expect the Motorbase built NGTC Focus to be challenging the manufacturer-backed front-runners and winning races so soon after its maiden appearance?
MJ: "The NGTC rules lend themselves to professional independent teams such as Motorbase, however, if I am honest I have great faith in the team to build a car that is capable of winning and fully expected to be challenging for podiums and wins by the end of the season; may be not leading three races, two of which we were robbed of victory."
MP: Last years 'parity' controversy was replaced with rows around 'boost levels' this year. As a driver what are your thoughts on the equalisation measures put in place this season... did they work?
MJ: "I feel that equalisation measures were too great and ultimately became a driver equalisation based on the driver/ team ability to achieve a lap time!
"Just because a driver/ team can achieve a quick lap time because they have been working hard for a number of years why should a lesser experienced Combination be allowed to travel down the straight at a greater speed to achieve a faster overall lap time!"
MP: What would you say were the stand out moments of the season for you.... good, bad and ugly?
"The bad was the Brands Hatch finale. To be leading and have a repeat problem costing us another win was frustrating and now we have to wait six months to try again.
"The Ugly has to be David Bartrum's face after the first time I scratched his new baby!! It only took me 3 Laps!!"
MP: This was your third year driving with Motorbase Performance in the BTCC. What would you say are the biggest changes that you have seen in the team and Championship during that period?
MJ: "The Team has grown so much from a team that just preps cars to a full-blown constructor and knowing David it will not stop at being a constructor! We are still a young team and learning fast every race weekend, we are improving."
MP: Do you think that with the new NGTC in place, 2013 will be the season where you and Motorbase can really put pressure on the Manufacturer backed teams and challenge for the outright BTCC title?
MJ: "The NGTC rules have given teams like Motorbase the chance to challenge the manufacturer backed teams. We also know that we need to improve the car further and are only just scratching the surface so we can expect a busy winter and hope that we will be able to mount our strongest title challenge since the team began."
MP: What can we expect to see from Mat Jackson in 2013?
MJ: "Hopefully I can put a championship challenge together and become 2013 BTCC Champion."