Rebecca Jackson recently headed to Brands Hatch for her final race weekend of her 2017 season and the final rounds of the Ssangyong Racing challenge. The series was new for 2017 and sees indentical Ssangyong Musso Pick ups racing each other on circuits around the UK.
The pick-ups are barely changed from their road going counterparts, just the usual safety modifications such as a roll cage and an extinguisher plus some racing wheels.
The racing has been close all season and Rebecca has had her share of success including a strong fourth place at the previous round at Cadwell Park.
Unfortunately, she had to miss Friday testing at this round due to prior commitments. She knew this could make the weekend tough as the big trucks handle very differently to anything else she had taken round the Kent circuit and track time was vital in order to be able to take the trucks right to the limit.
Despite this, she headed out to qualifying on Saturday in determined mood. She charged around the Indy circuit but by the end of the session the lack of testing had shown and she lined up in tenth.
Hopefully with a good start in the race, Rebecca could pass the row in front and then latch on to the chasing pack ahead to hopefully move up the field. As the lights went out, her start was good but as they rounded the first corner, Rebecca’s truck was hit from behind, sending it spinning to a halt.
She recovered but by now was a long way behind the other trucks (apart from the one which had hit her!) She made up one place when another truck had issues to take ninth. Hopefully the two races on the Sunday would go better.
The first race was on Sunday Morning. This time the start was good once again and she got through the first corner unscathed. Unfortunately as Rebecca exited Graham Hill bend, a rival forced her onto the grass, causing the truck to lose pace and most of the trucks she had passed in the first half of the lap, then repassed her. She was left to take ninth once again, vowing that the third and final race was going to be her best of the weekend.
It certainly looked like this would be the case as she rocketed off the line. She was soon into eighth and then got into what would be a race long battle for seventh place. She was soon into seventh but then had to hold back eighth place. For lap after lap, she was pressured for her seventh place but repeatedly resisted the pressure. This had meant that the top six had got away so seventh was going to be as good as it got, as long as she could hold on!
But she did hold on, taking the flag in seventh. This was an excellent result after the difficult start to the weekend and the great battle for seventh had been a great way to finish the season. By Marc Waller