Jackson looking to close the gap on the championship leaders as Airwaves Racing heads to Knockhill
Airwaves Racing is all set for the biggest road trip of the year as round 7 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship reaches it most Northerly point at Scotland's picturesque Knockhill circuit this coming weekend (23/24 August).
A successful weekend at Snetterton earlier in the month saw a rejuvenated Airwaves Racing squad refocus its challenge on the championship. After claiming a stunning second place finish and three top ten results, the Kent-based squad turns its attention to Knockhill, quietly confident of another fruitful performance.
Airwaves Racing heads into the bank holiday racing action at the Scottish circuit in good stead with Mat Jackson fixed on improving on his 6th place championship position to close the gap on the current leaders. Fabrizio Giovanardi is also confident that set-up changes made to the Mountune-powered Ford Focus ST during the recent Dunlop test should pull in better results for the double BTCC champion. With Airwaves Racing currently lying in fourth place overall and third in the Independent teams' standings it’s all still to play for as the second half of the BTCC season picks up momentum.
Unfortunately Snetterton proved to be a frustrating weekend for Crabbie's Racing team-mate Jack Clarke after damage to his #44 Ford Focus ST abruptly ended the BTCC rookie's race day challenge. Jack showed promising pace in all three of the weekend's races, running comfortably in the mid-pack and looking to be set for another strong points finish before contact halted the Crabbie’s-backed racers chances of a credible finish. Jack remains upbeat however, determined that his pace will soon be rewarded and has a top ten finish firmly in his sights.
Round 7 of the 2013 season takes place at Knockhill circuit on August 23/24. Live coverage of Sunday's events will be shown on ITV4, itv.com and also in HD from 11am – 6pm; with itv.com featuring live streaming online of Saturday's qualifying session between 3.05 and 3.35pm.
Team Manager Oly Collins said: “We're going into Knockhill off the back of a solid performance at Snetterton and a good test day as well. The test gave us a good opportunity to work on some things we've been keen on trying and they seemed to give some good results on the day. Hopefully this will translate into a decent Knockhill performance, even though the two circuits couldn't be more different. It’s going to be a busy circuit with a full grid around the tight and twisty circuit so qualifying will be more important than ever. It’s a difficult circuit to overtake on but one which never seems to fail to deliver a great race for the spectators.”
Airwaves Racing driver Fabrizio Giovanardi said: “Snetterton was a good weekend for me, when you think that I started from the back. Unfortunately the last race finished not as I was expecting, but our performance was good. I’m expecting to have a good result this weekend after our testing at Snetterton. We planned some small changes that helped us find an interesting setup for my style so I think we’ve made another jump forward.
“Knockhill was my best result in my first year ever in the BTCC back in 2006, after a really tough season. From that moment on, my history in the BTCC was a success and now I wish to restart that again with my new challenge in the BTCC with Motorbase.”
Airwaves Racing driver Mat Jackson said: “We had a great weekend at Snetterton and came so close to getting that win, but it just wasn’t to be. We’ve been under the radar a little this season, quietly plugging away and getting the results – a bit of a dark horse if you like - which means that we’re now sitting in a very good position as the second half of the season unfolds.“The Focus is in a great place at the minute, bang on the pace and I’m going all out this weekend to make sure that we close that gap on the championship leaders.”Crabbie’s Racing driver Jack Clarke said:“Snetterton was tough and a bit painful because we made another step forward in pace and after practice and qualifying I was confident and driving well. I was actually pretty unfortunate with the races and was put out of the last two races by contact from other cars. It was a shame because I had the pace to move to the front! We still produced our best qualifying of the season so far though and we also scored points in the previous round at Croft, so we’ve been showing promising signs of moving towards the front.“I am really excited about the event at Knockhill and racing in front of such a passionate crowd. I raced there in Formula BMW and enjoyed the track. I believe the tight nature and characteristics of the track should suit my style too and I’m looking forward to driving it in the NGTC.”