11 August 2010

Update from Justine Jackson - VW TDI Series

A Promising Weekend for Justine at Autobahn Country Club

After a five week break, the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series was back in action for Round 6 at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois. With a tough first half to the season, Justine Jackson driver of the #40 Project Podium, Jetcon Corporation sponsored Jetta was more determined than ever to produce some solid performances in the second half of the season.

The weekend kicked off with Practice 1 early Saturday morning on a wet and drying track, the first wet session of the season. It was a great learning session for Justine as she logged some very important laps for future reference on racing in the wet. “I was a little nervous about going out in the wet for the first time of the season but it was a very valuable practice session. The track was slippery but the TDI cars drive very well in the wet and the brakes very amazing despite the wet track! I definitely learned a lot in my time on track especially regarding tire conservation as the track was drying out really quickly about half way through the session so we all had to be searching for puddles so we didn’t destroy them.”

Qualifying took place much later on in the evening in cool but dry conditions and despite a hard charge by the young driver, Justine would qualify a disappointing 25th after making a few mistakes toward the end of the session which prevented her from improving on her time. “I was really looking forward to a great qualifying session and it started off really well. I felt very good in the car but I made the mistake of pulling into the pits to cool off about twenty minutes into the session as the track was getting faster and faster because of the cool track conditions. As I went back out with less than ten minutes left it took me way too long to get back up to speed and I was able to improve my time by half a second but unfortunately I made a couple mistakes in my last two laps and ruined my chance of improving. But despite the bad outcome it was the best I have felt in the car all year and for that I am very happy.”

With practice and qualifying in the books, it was now time for Race 6 of the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series. After getting a good standing start Justine was quickly up to speed and amazingly in the first two laps of the race she improved on her qualifying time by two and a half seconds after making a small change to her seating position after finding something in her data from qualifying. As she continued to charge, on lap three in turn 1 Justine pushed a bit too hard, entering the turn hopping, she hit a bump and lost the car hitting the inside tire barrier. As she drove off in hopes of finishing the race she spun going into turn 3 as the left rear tire rolled of the rim. She then decided to pull off track to reduce the chances of incurring any more damage or inhibiting another driver. “Another bad end to the weekend again but this weekend was different in a good way. In qualifying and the few laps I completed in the race I felt pretty good in the car and I feel like I am finally starting to understand and apply how these TDI Cup cars need to be driven. For sure this is even more motivation for me to keep working and praying hard and I can’t wait until Road America in a few weeks. A huge thank you to my sponsors Project Podium, Jetcon Corporation and the awesome support of the Helle Nice Foundation and I definitely would not be here without my Heavenly Father who has kept me believing throughout this challenging season.”

Justine will be racing next at Road America on August 20-22 in Rounds 7 & 8 of the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series