Jackson and his family-ran team contested the British Touring Car Championship in 2007 and 2008, in each case using the BMW Andy Priaulx used to win the previous year's World Touring Car Championship. Jackson run under the Jackson MSport banner in 2007, and as BMW Dealer Team UK in 2008. This support was from a network of BMW dealers rather than BMW themselves, so the team was still classed as an independent. For 2009 Jackson moved to the Racing Silverline Chevrolet team and since 2010 he has raced for Motorbase Performance.
Racing Career[edit | edit source]
Early Years[edit | edit source]
He started racing in karts in his teens, before finishing 4th in the 2000 Renault Clio Cup, his first attempt at tin-top racing. For 2001 he moved to the production class of the British Touring Car Championship with the GR team's Ford Focus, finishing 4th in his class. He struggled for funding in subsequent years, and was something of a forgotten man when he entered the SEAT Cupra Championship in 2005 with a family-run team. He was a revelation however, finishing as series runner-up, with a series-high 8 race wins, and a tally of 8 poles and 8 fastest laps. After being considered by SEAT for a BTCC drive , he remained in Cupras for 2006, taking the championship lead after a double victory at the season opener. A string of 9 wins in the first 12 races made him strong championship favourite, and he went on to clinch the title.
British Touring Car Championship[edit | edit source]
Jacksons M.Sport (2007–2008)[edit | edit source]
Jackson was a frontrunner in the 2007 BTCC season, clinching many podium places before his first victory at Oulton Park in race three . Thruxton did not go well for him, a crash and an engine failure leaving him with no points . His home round at Donington saw him start 4th and briefly lead race one, before fading down the order as the wet conditions did not suit his rear-wheel drive BMW . At the second Brands Hatch meeting he attempted to make an overtaking move at the first turn (around the outside) and spun, triggering an 11-car pile-up, leaving two drivers in hospital . At the final rounds at Thruxton, Jackson showed pace and won the final race of the series. While everyone was focusing on the Fabrizio Giovanardi v Jason Plato title battle, Jackson snuck inside Tom Coronel at the start of the third race. He managed to hold Team RAC driver Colin Turkington behind him to win his second BTCC race of the season.
Jackson stayed with the team for 2008. At the first round at Brands Hatch, Jackson started at the pole position and led for over 3/4 of the race until rain started to fall and he lost grip in his BMW. He was overtaken by VX Racing's Giovanardi shortly before the end and had to settle for second place. In the second race he battled for fourth place, and in the third race he fought his way through the field for a second place finish behind the Team RAC BMW 320si of Turkington.
At Rockingham, Jackson started the weekend 10th on the grid but fought his way up to 6th place. In the second race he got a good start and quickly took the lead after mistakes by SEAT driver Darren Turner and Giovanardi, and recorded his third career victory. In the third race, which was delayed by rain, Jackson managed to fight his way up to second behind Turkington, despite his RWD BMW 320si slipping in the conditions. All was going well, with Jackson closely following Turkington, until an ambitious overtaking move around the outside resulted in him being pushed out wide and into the gravel trap. Jackson recorded a DNF and lost his chance of taking the championship lead. At Donington Park, he qualified 14th on the grid for the first race, Jackson drove through the field making his way up to 5th place. His race ended when contact was made with Team Dynamics driver Tom Chilton. In the third race he managed to get his first points of the weekend with a solid 8th place finish.
At Croft, Jackson qualified a decent 7th on the grid, race 1 took place in atrocious weather, pouring rain causing there to be rivers and puddles all over the track. From the start, he flew into an early lead, but the race had to be red flagged after an accident between Team RAC driver Stephen Jelley and Robertshaw Racing driver Alan Taylor caused an injury to a marshal. The race was restarted but the weather had become worse. Jackson restarted 2nd on the grid but flew into the lead at the first corner. This meant he was the first to enter the treacherous Tower corner, which resulted in him locking his brakes and going straight on. He went through the gravel trap, but managed to return to the pack in a lowly 18th place. He stayed there though as another red flag was brought out and the race stopped due to the poor weather. He finished the 2008 season second in the championship, 36 points behind Fabrizio Giovanardi.
RML (2009)[edit | edit source]
Following the pullout of a key sponsor, Jackson's own team did not have the funds to run their car in 2009. Mat was not listed on the 2009 entry list for the BTCC, leaving his plans for the season unclear. However, he returned to the BTCC in a one off race for RML in a Chevrolet Lacetti at Thruxton,
winning in the final race of the day. He was later then confimed to race the rest of the season for RML under the Sliverline Racing banner alongside Jason Plato. He generally struggled in the first half of the season, before a run of eight successive podium finishes (a record in the era of reverse-grid races) including a win at Knockhill and pole position at Silverstone took him to 5th in the standings.
Motorbase (2010–)[edit | edit source]
Jackson was signed by Airwaves BMW for the 2010 season. He managed to win round nine at Brands Hatch and collected six podiums over the course of the season, finishing seventh in the final standings with a total of 155 points, 14 points behind team mate Steven Kane.
For the 2011 season, he stayed with Airwaves Racing. The team no longer ran the BMW 320si but instead competed with the Ford Focus ST for him and rookie team mate Liam Griffin. The cars were acquired from Team Aon and used the same Mountune NGTC engine as the Team Aon cars. In this season he returned to the front of the field, battling Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal for the championship, winning races at Donington, Oulton Park, Croft and Snetterton. He went away from Snetterton as the championship leader but poor results for the rest of the season put him out of contention, he finished 4th in the Drivers Standings.
Jackson is staying with Motorbase in 2012, now rebranded as Redstone Racing. He won the first race at Donington Park and he won the third race until he was disqualified for running over the turbo boost limit. He had a bad day at Oulton Park, making contact with Rob Collard in race two and giving them both punctures. He then spun Daniel Welch into retirement in the third race of the day, Jackson was penalised for both incidents.
Other activities[edit | edit source]
Racing record[edit | edit source]
Complete British Touring Car Championship results[edit | edit source]
(key) Races in bold indicate pole position (1 point awarded – 2001 all races, 2007–present just in first race, 2001 in class) Races in italics indicate fastest lap (1 point awarded – 2001–present all races, 2001 in class) * signifies that driver lead race for at least one lap (1 point awarded – 2001 just in feature races, 2007–present all races, 2001 for leading in class)
* Season in progress
References[edit | edit source]
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