Mazda racer Andrew Jackson heads to Hampton Downs next weekend on a mission to a second 2018 title in his RX8 machine, in what his only his second season racing in the machine.
Jackson (28) secured the RX8 class NZ title at the recent New Zealand Grand Prix meeting. This was the second of a two round mini NZ series to decide the title with the first having been held at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park Christchurch over the weekend of the Lady Wigram Trophy meeting for the Castrol Toyota Racing Series. There was a field of 21 down south and a bumper field of 33 RX8s, RX7s and MX5s to navigate his way through at Manfeild to secure the title.
It’s back to regular business this weekend for Jackson, with the North Island title in his sights in what could end up being his most successful season in motorsport. He started 15 years ago in karts at the age of 12 racing though Junior Restricted to KZ2 classes before moving to Pro 7 where he has raced a Series 1 RX7 and a Series 6 model for five years before moving to the RX8 class, which has added new life to what is one of the country’s oldest racing communities.
Backed by Safepak, Firefly Search, Freight Direct, Aaqrue Group and Silverback Cargo Care, Andrew’s car will carry #1 for the first time this weekend as the country’s top RX8 racer. And while he has a decent points lead in the North Island battle, he is still mindful of the consistency and performance of his rivals, he’s not underestimating the challenge ahead this weekend in the final round of the NEXEN Tyre backed series.
“Consistency is definitely the biggest challenge in a one make class,” he explained. “There are six or seven guys right at the pointy end which makes things very exciting and it really just comes down to car setup and being able to hold your nerve. Lucky I still have dad on the tools who still spend tireless hours working on the car to ensure we are in good shape.”
Family is a big thing in this double title challenge too. “Leo Bult is the biggest rival and he is actually my father in-law too,” he added. “You never want to lose the father in law! He’s had a few poles and race wins this year also, so he’s going to be tough to beat this weekend regardless.”