Points on the board for Speedworks man Jackson at Knockhill


OLLIE Jackson’s form continues to improve in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after a maiden hat-trick of points-scoring finishes for Speedworks Motorsport in Sunday’s seventh round at Knockhill.

His haul at the past two meetings is bigger than in the whole of the first half of the campaign.

A highlight for the 29-year-old was 11th place in race three, which also marked his 50th start in the series.

“This weekend has probably provided my highest tally of the season,” he said afterwards.

“All things considered, I’m happy with that.”

Jackson, racing at the Scottish circuit for the first time in a front wheel drive car as well as making his BTCC bow there, qualified on the grid’s tenth row after battling suspension problems during Saturday’s opening free practice.

He improved from there to occupy 15th position at the flag at the end of Sunday’s first sprint, a result he repeated in the second race.

The Redditch-based ace then crept inside the top 12 in the afternoon’s finale, picking up an extra place following the exclusion later of Colin Turkington (eBay Motors BMW 125).

“It’s a second successive race weekend that Ollie has scored solid points,” said team principal Christian Dick afterwards.

“He’s in a much happier place as a result, which will hopefully be a platform for him to make it into the top 10 in the future.”

Meanwhile Dave Newsham, in Speedworks’ other Toyota Avensis, endured another weekend short on cheer.

The 46-year-old, making the shortest journey of the campaign from his home in Inverness, sat out Saturday’s second free practice session following a front suspension failure earlier in the morning.

The Cheshire outfit’s engineers worked swiftly to repair the damage for qualifying, during his machine required a driveshaft part to be replaced.

From 14th on the grid for race one on Sunday, he made up three places by the finish.

Newsham’s was then the first Toyota across the line at the end of the second sprint, classifying tenth despite a gearbox problem.

“That was the hardest race of my life,” he said.

“I had to ram the gears home, just about wrecking my arm.”

In race three, the equivalent of which he won last season, he was on course for his best result of the afternoon only for the rear subframe on his machine to break while he was eighth on track.

Dick said: “Dave had one of those meetings where if something could go wrong, then it did.

“He deserves credit for never once letting his head drop, but by the time of his retirement in race three it was a case of laughing rather than breaking into tears. He couldn’t have tried any harder.

“Hopefully his run of bad luck will change, because we know the pace is in the car for results to be better.

“It doesn’t feel like we’ve had much fortune this season, but we’ll continue working with the same enthusiasm we always have done.”

Speedworks’ position – sixth – in the Independents Team Trophy remains unchanged, although the squad jumps to seventh in the HiQ Teams Championship.

The series resumes at Rockingham, in Northamptonshire, on September 15.

Words: Andy Simpson. Picture: Matt Sayle Photography.