Ollie Jackson was left over the moon after scoring his maiden Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship podium at Brands Hatch this past weekend.
Having produced a storming drive to go from P23 to P12 in the opening encounter, the AmD with Cobra Exhausts driver took a gamble to run slick tyres in the second BTCC encounter at the Kent circuit whilst many around him ran wets.
Launching his Audi S3 off the sixth row, Jackson slipped down the order in the early stages before fighting his way back in the final ten laps, positioning himself in the battle for the lead and ultimately coming away with third place.
Despite the weekend ending in disappointment after he missed out on a top ten finish in the reverse grid race, Jackson was left delighted, admitting the opening round could not have gone any better.
“It’s been an emotional weekend,” Jackson said. “We’ve worked so hard as a team to improve the Audi and have been getting quicker and quicker, and today we’ve been able to fight for strong results across all three races.
“Race one was perhaps the race of the day to be honest and to come from where we where on the grid to finish twelfth was really good and helped to set up the result in race two.
“We knew it was a gamble to go with slicks but also knew that the circuit was only going to get drier and it proved to be the right call. The car was absolutely fantastic and to bring home a podium was beyond our expectations coming into the weekend.
“Even with the success ballast onboard for race three, we could well have had a top five finish had we not been hit off track a few times, which also cost us the Jack Sears Trophy this weekend.
“However, I can’t go away from a weekend where I’ve taken my first podium feeling disappointed and I think we have shown this weekend that we deserve to be taken seriously in this series and aren’t just here to make up the numbers. We have to now try to build on this and fight for regular points as the season goes on.”
Sam Smelt, who made his BTCC debut in the second Audi, bagged a trio of finishes.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jakob Ebrey Photography