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News 2013: Airwaves Racing shine through the rain at season finale

October 15th

Jackson secures two podiums & an independent race win at season finale

Airwaves Racing made a spectacular return to the podium last weekend (October 12/13) collecting two independent race wins and podiums in all three races at its home track Brands Hatch during an action-packed finale to the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season.

Saturday's sessions produced missed results for the Airwaves Racing squad. After a promising opening free practice session with all three Airwaves Racing NGTC's showing impressive pace, Aron Smith suffered a dramatic roll at Paddock Hill bend causing massive damage to the #8 Ford Focus ST that resulted in the Irishman missing the afternoon's qualifying session. Airwaves Racing's latest signing Tom Onslow-Cole pulled back the results for the Wrotham-based team managing to secure a solid P7 start for race 1, just narrowly missing out on a top three spot.

A frenetic opening race in torrential conditions set the scene for the day. With Tom putting in a first-rate drive at the front of the pack; the Airwaves Racing driver did well to avoid numerous incidents, piloting his #6 Mountune-powered Ford Focus ST to a P4 finish - claiming his first trip to the rostrum in Airwaves colours and collecting an independent race win along the way. Further back in the field; his Airwaves team-mates both showcased their race craft, making up significant places during the opening race with Mat and Aron closing the top ten in P9 and P10 respectively.

Airwaves Racing trio showed impressive pace in Saturday's FP1 sessionRace 2 looked set to deliver a stunning set of results for Airwaves Racing with the trio of Focus ST's running in P3, P4 and P5 during the opening laps' treacherous conditions before Tom's earlier race pace dropped off following contact and the 26 year-old battled hard to bring the Focus home in P9. The remainder of race 2 was Mat's time to shine as the 32 year old pulled out another of his show stopping wet race runs to secure another independent race win for the Airwaves Racing squad and a return to the podium with P3 finish, closely followed by Aron in P5.

With the 2013 championship title still undecided heading into the final race of the season, cool heads were required all round to secure a good final result for the squad in the driving rain. The reverse grid results did little to affect the Airwaves Racing running order, with Aron and Mat trading places to P3 and P5 and Tom remaining in P9. The weekend's spoils proved to be Mat's once more with another first-rate wet race performance. Mat drove impeccably to cross the line in P3, claiming his second podium of the day – closely followed by Aron in P5 as Tom fought back from another mid pack tussle to end the day in P13.

The weekend's strong home track results sees the Motorbase-run outfit end the challenging season on a high note; with the Airwaves Racing squad bringing 2013 events to a close placed third overall in the Independent Teams Standings.

Onslow-Cole takes an independent win in race 1Airwaves Racing Team Manager Oly Collins said:
"That's a great way for us to end this season. This weekend has summed up our season really in two days really; a pretty tough first half but with promise and a great second half with plenty of silverware!

"Full credit to the whole team who all worked late and so hard to repair an extremely badly damaged car for Aron; it was a nice reward for everyone to get some podiums. All three of our drivers drove amazingly today [Sunday] in those conditions to bring the cars back in one piece and high up the order.

"Also, we'd like to congratulate Andy Jordan and Eurotech/Pirtek Racing on winning the overall and independents titles."

Airwaves Racing driver #7 Mat Jackson said:
"To come to Brands Hatch, Motorbase's home circuit and go out on a high with two third places and two podiums is a great testament to everyone in the team that has worked so hard in what has been a difficult year to achieve the results that we have. It proves Airwaves Racing have turned a corner from the mid-point; we've been regularly back on the podium and we're back where we should be; back fighting for podium places and that's championship winning material if we can keep doing that.

Onslow-Cole celebrates his first Airwaves Racing race win at Brands Hatch

"I think overall it's been a very good weekend. The conditions were very difficult today [Sunday], the car's been faultless throughout and we had the pace in the car that's enabled us to get in the mix. To have two podiums in one day is brilliant - rewind six months and they felt like a long way away but to come back in the final round is mega.

"We've worked hard this year and grafted for it, and now all three cars are capable of challenging for podiums; it's a great result for the team."

Airwaves Racing driver #6 Tom Onslow-Cole said:
"A more successful weekend; we've had some glimpses of pace in qualifying. P7 is probably not where I thought we'd end up, I thought our time was good enough for something a little higher but when I saw how close the times were, we were just on the wrong end of that tenth so all in all a good performance in the dry.

"Today [Sunday] has been a little more tricky in the wet. Race 1 was really good but races 2 and 3 were difficult; not because of set ups or conditions but because of the racing. I had a little bit of contact in race 2 at turn one that knocked our steering out and then in race 3 where I was trying to be a little more cautious it opened me up to being push around a little bit. I think after that the car just didn't feel good enough, which is a real shame because on the green flag lap and the outlap the car felt really sharp and the best it's felt so far, so I was really looking forward to getting stuck in during the race. But I guess that's how it goes!"

"It was great to my first 'Sampson' laurel in race 1, a big moment in the Motorbase camp and hopefully it's the first of many! I think the car is not far away from where it needs to be at all. We've got some things we need to test, but for sure the team will be here next year with a car capable of challenging for the title."

Jackson celebrates on the Brands Hatch GP podiumAirwaves Racing driver #8 Aron Smith said:
"The weekend didn't get off to the ideal start after the shunt in FP2, so it put us on the back foot as a result of the damage; and to be fair after seeing it come back in I didn't even think we'd be racing this weekend. Everyone in the Airwaves Racing team chipped in and stayed until really late last night to make sure we made it back out when I think the majority of the teams would have just have just rolled it onto the trailer and brought it home. So with that being said I'm so grateful that we even got to race.

"Race 1 we came from 25th to 10th which was really good, 10th to 5th and race 3 – we changed a little something on the set up which didn't exactly go our way but we still got a top 5 so I'm still really content.

"The car is now capable of challenging for podiums in the wet so it shows how we now have the car as competitive as possible, and what we've learnt in the second half of the year is going to put our car as one of the title contending cars for sure next season."

Event Information:
Brands Hatch GP Circuit Length: 2.30 miles
Laps: 15
Race distance: 34.5 miles
Brands Hatch Circuit, Fawkham, Longfield, Kent DA3 8NG
Tel: 0843 4529000