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BTCC title challenger Mat Jackson: "We can win this"

Sunday, September 25 2016

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship contender Mat Jackson heads to Brands Hatch with a shot of his maiden title next weekend (1/2 October), having dominated his last appearance on the Grand Prix circuit.

Jackson won two races and finished second in the 2015 finale, giving him and his Motorbase team momentum over the winter. He's won four races so far in the Ford Focus and aims for more at the squad's home track.

"I think we're in a good place," he said. "It's not going to be easy - it's 21 points but we're up against guys that have been banging away at the front for pretty much all the races we've done - but it's certainly achievable. We'll head to Brands with guns blazing and be fighting for the wins, we need to win as many races as we can."

"The pressure's on Sam [Tordoff's] shoulders; everybody else has got nothing to lose, it's all on Sam. It's his first time in the championship to be in the position that he's in leading, so it could be a bit rocky. Anything could happen in these final stages as we've seen in the past."

Mat doesn't expect such an easy ride at on the Brands Hatch GP circuit this time, however. "Last year we enjoyed the advantage of no success ballast in the car. This year everywhere we've been has been slightly different, we head into Brands with 39 kilos, so we're going to carry weight for qualifying and it certainly isn't going to help us, that's for sure.

"The circuit's been very good to the Focus. It's a great high speed circuit; out the back it's just phenomenal and it's a place that I enjoy, so hopefully we can get a good qualifying which I think is going to be absolutely crucial to take the championship."

Whilst the Focus isn't the dominant force it was late last year, Mat's scored more wins than anyone apart from reigning champion Gordon Shedden (the pair are equal on four apiece), so he's pleased with progress so far. "Obviously we'd like a few more points in the bag so it wasn't so tight," he said. "But we're still in the mix and it's more than just a mathematical opportunity. The reality is that we can do this, and I think overall as a team we've performed well."

Mat's also aware that team-mate Andrew Jordan can also win the title and is expecting no favours: "At the moment we're both out for ourselves; I think Andrew wants to win it as much as I do, so we're very much focussed on our own game and we head to Brands with our own strategies. We can work together, but whilst we've both got a chance of the title, we're pushing very strong to achieve this."

To beat seven rivals to win his and Motorbase's first title is something that Mat relishes. "It would be mega," he said. "It's very close, a huge amount of winners this year, and to come down to eight drivers at the last round is great. I think that it will be a spectacle for everybody that turns out on the banks, it should be a weekend not to forget."

BTCC title contenders
1. Sam Tordoff, 278pts
2. Gordon Shedden, 267pts (-11)
3. Matt Neal, 265pts (-13)
4. Robert Collard, 261pts (-78)
5. Mat Jackson, 257pts  (-21)
6. Andrew Jordan, 247pts  (-31)
7. Colin Turkington, 241pts  (-37)
8. Jason Plato, 220pts (-58)

Tickets for the BTCC finale at Brands Hatch on 1/2 October are available in advance from £27, with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click   here.