Motorbase looks to cap fine season
With an insurmountable lead in both the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s Independent Teams’ and Drivers’ standings already in the bag, yielding maiden titles for Motorbase Performance, the outfit now turns its attention to the overall trophies at this weekend’s Brands Hatch finale.
Mat Jackson and Andrew Jordan will fight it out between them for Independent Drivers’ honours and both are still firmly in the mix as two of eight drivers arriving at the legendary former Formula 1 circuit with a chance of taking the coveted BTCC Drivers’ crown.
The former is just 21 points shy of current championship front-runner, Team JCT600 with GardX man Sam Tordoff. Given there are 67 points on offer over the course of this finale weekend, Jackson will feel as much in the hunt as any of his rivals.
“It’s great to be going into this weekend with the championship race still so close,” said the Warwickshire racer. “Fifth spot in the standings means we’re carrying less ballast into qualifying and being only 10 points away from second puts us in a great position.
“This is the strongest we’ve ever been in heading into the final round and it highlights what a great year it has been for Motorbase.
“It’s been an interesting one for a lot of the guys in the championship and it’s stayed very, very close at the top. With eight drivers in contention going into the final it shows what a strong year it’s been all-round but all the pressure is on Sam (Tordoff) not to make a mistake this weekend.
“We’ve just got to treat it as any other race meeting. The pressure isn’t on us; all we can do is go for wins and bank the points. It’s down to the others to lose it more than it is for us to win it. We need to make sure that qualifying goes to plan so we can hit the ground running in race one and deliver the results from there.”
Jackson’s stablemate, Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan is a further 13 points back and is not willing to give up on the fight, though admitted bad luck may have to strike those ahead of him to really put him in the running.
“I don’t feel any pressure, which is strange to say heading into a title decider for two championships,” said Jordan. “We’ve got a good lead in the Independent Drivers’ standings so my aim is to go to Brands to seal that and to try and secure a first Drivers’ title for Motorbase – that would be a nice way to end my maiden campaign with the team.
“In terms of the overall title, I’m just going there with the same mentality as I did at Silverstone – to just try to be quick and win races, with a bit of hope that the other guys in front all fall over each other and I can score some big points.
“Realistically it’s going to take some misfortune for the other guys, but I’m in a position where I can just roll my sleeves up and get stuck in and see what gaps I can make in the championship.”
Whatever the outcome, Team Manager Oly Collins is proud of Motorbase’s achievements in 2016.
“It’s hard to believe that we are so near to the end of an amazing season for all of us at Motorbase,” said Collins. “We go into the final weekend with both drivers in the hunt for the outright championship.
“We’re Independent Teams’ champions, Independent Drivers’ Champions and have consistently fought amongst the Manufacturers all year long and beaten most of them along the way.
“It’s been a pretty good season by anyone’s standards, especially for a small team like ourselves.”