Motorsport News - Touring
Redstone Racing Knockhill Review
28th August 2012
Redstone Racing Keep up the Pressure at Knockhill
Redstone Racing leaves Knockhill in an upbeat mood after a consistent weekend of results that saw the Motorbase-run squad achieve five top ten finishes and make further steps forward in the development of the new NGTC Focus.
The first race of the day got off to a promising start for the Redstone team; with both drivers getting a good run off the line Jackson quickly moved up into sixth position in the opening lap. At the head of the field Smith caught Plato and made a bold challenge on the weaving MG to steal second place briefly before being passed by Onslow-Cole as he recovered from the move.
An early appearance of the safety car allowed the field to bunch up and Smith had a long and tense battle on his hands for the remainder of the race as he fought off a number of forceful challenges from ONeill and Shedden. The young Irishman defended well right into the final hairpin where, despite a heavy shunt from Shedden, he managed to maintain his position.
Pushing the S2000 Focus nose to nose against the Honda as they headed for the chequered flag, Smith narrowly missed out on his maiden BTCC podium by a hair's breadth of one hundredth of a second, picking up his best ever finish of fourth. His Redstone team-mate Jackson once again showed that in spite of minimal testing, the NGTC Focus is already showing promise of becoming a front runner in the Championship as he took advantage of a mistake by ONeill on the closing lap, crossing the line behind Smith in fifth place.
Race two turned out mixed fortunes for the Redstone team with a forced early retirement for Jackson in his NGTC Focus ST. The 31 year old held onto his fifth place position for the majority of the second race, however after losing his exhaust in the later stages of the race, Jackson was called back into the pits by the Redstone team amid concerns over his exposure to fumes within the car.
Dublin-based Smith defended well under increasing pressure from ONeill for the opening ten laps before eventually succumbing at the chicane dropping into fifth before losing another spot to Foster in the closing laps to cross the line in sixth.
The reverse grid draw put Smith in P5 for the final race of the day with the other Redstone Racing Focus in P16 following Jacksons DNF in race 2. Both the S2000 and NGTC performed well during the race, with the later having undergone exhaust repairs during the break in the days racing action.
Not for the first time this weekend, Smith jostled for position with ONeill throughout the race before being on the receiving end of an over ambitious shunt from Fosters BMW, which the Redstone Racing #5 did well to recover from. Issues with the S2000s power steering in the closing laps saw Smith struggle to keep up his position and he crossed the line in eighth place.
Further back in the field, Jackson was on impressive form as he made another of his renowned charges through the field in the new NGTC Focus, working his way up into ninth place to chase down the lead pack. Unfortunately, a hit from Collards BMW in the closing minutes saw the Redstone man drop back to take tenth.
Redstone Racing now head back on the long road South to the teams Kent headquarters satisfied with a consistent weekends racing as the Championship enters a four week break before returning for Round 8 of the BTCC at Rockingham on 22/23 September.
Redstone Racing Team Manager Oly Collins said:
All in all there are a lot of positives to take away from this weekend. Aron drove a fantastic weekend with three top ten finishes along with one which should have been his first podium if it wasnt for an over enthusiastic Shedden.
We learnt a whole load more about the NGTC car which is running reliably and showing promise which I feel sure we can transform into podium challenges at Rockingham next time out. Mat drove a very sensible weekend and the whole team have once again worked amazingly well to get the results we have from both cars.
Redstone Racing Driver Mat Jackson said:
The NGTC has run faultlessly again this weekend. Weve shown signs of good potential and were certainly making progress with the car and the set up so were learning all the time. The races maybe didnt come out the way we wanted but overall were moving forward; the more development we do the better well be. Were not a million miles away from the pace; were proving ourselves to be competitive and once again the Redstone boys have done a great job on the car.
Redstone Racing Driver Aron Smith said:
Its been a fantastic weekend, the best of my year so far. To start off in third in qualifying was brilliant and I think we deserved P3 in race 1 if it wasnt for the Shedden incident. Weve made a big step forward with the car this weekend and I think were in a position to be very competitive.
I cant wait for Rockingham, hopefully well have similar luck going there three good results is all I want.
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