Jackson and Darkhorse impress
As the eyes of 110,000 focussed on the young guns in the Toyota 86 Championship over the Supercars weekend at Pukekohe Park, one more senior racer used his experience to good effect to make his own mark on the super-competitive championship.
Andrew Jackson – and team Darkhorse Racing – debuted in the Championship and made it a weekend to remember with seventh in the final race and a couple of other strong finishes placing him a highly creditable seventh for the round.
“We moved forward all weekend,” explained the Auckland 28 year old. “From qualifying 13th we moved through to eighth in Race 1. In Race 2 we started from 13th again and moved to 11th leaving us with enough points to start eighth on the grid for the final race of the weekend. Finishing seventh in the final race meant we took seventh overall for the weekend which we were more than happy with.”
Jackson believes several years’ experience in tin tops was worth having as he took on his younger rivals, many of whom jumped into the category straight from karts or single seaters.
“Most definitely, we raced a lot better than our car speed suggested,” he added. “To hang in there in the top half of the field was a fair effort. Having more experience in race situations and car positioning in the closing laps was certainly in my favour to hold off several faster finishers. Car set-up is still something we are struggling with, but we are going to invest in some help moving forward with this to ensure we are on the pace.”
It was also Andrew’s biggest racing weekend in terms of the profile of the meeting and the size of the crowd and he loved every minute, once the enormity of the occasion had sunk in.
“Once I got the nerves out of the way I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, atmosphere of the Supercars event and most of all the racing. It was a fantastic experience,” he said. “It was a very cool experience that you don’t get too often in this country. 110,000 isn’t a bad crowd is it? I must admit once you’re racing you don’t notice them too much.”
It’s back to Pukekohe Park for the second round over the weekend of December 8 and 9 before the Christmas break. The series then joins up with the Castrol Toyota Racing Series for the trip to the South Island and rounds at Highlands Motorsport Park and Teretonga.
Release: Toyota Racing NZ
Caption: Andrew Jackson battles with Campbell Stewart at Pukekohe.
Picture Bruce Jenkins.