Motorbase Performance states its intent on BTCC return at Snetterton
Motorbase Performance made a promising return to the grid during round six of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship claiming points finishes in all three races as the second half of the season got underway at Snetterton this weekend (August 8/9).
Returning to the championship after a first half sabbatical, David Bartrum’s squad stated its intent to challenge for podiums from the off – marking the debut of the new Mountune engine with a 100% reliability performance and two top ten finishes for the Focus ST.
Following a positive start to the weekend during Saturday’s early free practice session, qualifying proved a challenge for the Wrotham-base outfit with extremely close times seeing Mat Jackson and James Cole struggling with the late entry ballast and the pair settled in P14 and P20 places respectively for Sunday’s opening race.
A tough first race for the Motorbase duo delivered the first result of the weekend, with Mat Jackson battling his way through to cross the line in twelfth to open the squad’s points tally for the season. Meanwhile James Cole had a somewhat baptism of fire on his return to the BTCC grid, ending the race in twenty first place.
Set-up changes for both Motorbase cars paid dividends for the team during an incident-packed race two. Both Jackson and Cole found their race pace early on, challenging for top ten positions as the race unfolded and the teams’ efforts were justly rewarded with a P8 finish for Jackson in the #4 Focus and a BTCC career-best P11 finish for Cole in the #44 car.
Race three started well with Cole immediately challenging for the top ten before contact from Bushell’s Focus and Abbott’s Audi forced the 27-year old into the pits with rear suspension damage. Jackson continued his fine form into the closing laps of the weekend, piloting the #4 Focus to a weekend-best P6 finish to claim his third points finish of the weekend.
The Motorbase Performance squad now has a quick turnaround before heading North for the championship’s annual visit to Scotland as Knockhill plays host to round seven of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship on August 22/23.
Motorbase Performance Team Manager Oly Collins:
“It’s been an interesting return to the paddock for us this weekend. I think the team has done a great job considering we’ve been away for the first half of the season. There’s no substitute for racing so the results are probably not what we hoped for but it’s a good start especially as we’ve been carrying ballast all weekend.
We’ve moved forward in all three races and both Mat and James drove well; it’s just a shame for James that he was forced out of race three as a result of some dubious driving standards. “Overall we’ve enjoyed our return to the BTCC; compliments to the team and to mountune for great reliability in all the testing sessions and also during all three races this weekend. We can now focus our efforts on claiming some silverware at Knockhill.”
#4 Mat Jackson:
“We came into the weekend with a car that was quick, we did FP1 and the car showed it was on the pace. We then made some small changes and I think it’s fair to say that we didn’t regain the ground until race two. Qualifying and race one were hard battles then during race two and race three we got the car back to where it needs to be. “I think having being out of it for the first half of the season we are on the back foot in terms of development so the data we’ve gathered this weekend is invaluable. To get a P6 with 45kg of ballast on-board whilst racing the new engine for the first time is mega and a great result for the team.”
#44 James Cole:
“I’m happy with how we finished the weekend, it’s much better than we expected at the start of the day we’ve come on leaps and bounds with the car. I’ve also achieved my highest position finish which we didn’t expect from 23rd on the grid; to make that many places up is fantastic and a great job by the team. “My pace was getting closer to Mat over the day; it’s just a shame that race three ended as it did through no fault of my own when we were looking good
for a top ten finish.”
Source | Mountune | Motorsport Performance | BTCC