Turning point for Motorbase
Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO takes to the track once again this coming weekend, as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship returns from its annual summer break at Snetterton.
The reigning Independent Teams’ champions arrive in Norfolk in winning form, having scored their maiden outright race win of the season last time out at Croft. It was a roller-coaster weekend for the Motorbase-run team following Luke Davenport’s injury. However, the weekend also proved pivotal for the squad’s 2017 campaign with Mat Jackson storming back onto the rostrum with three Independent race wins, an overall third place podium and his first outright race win of the season.
Team-mate Martin Depper also enjoyed his most successful weekend of the season to date. The eSpares-backed driver battled through from the back of the grid to take tenth in race two. The turnaround weekend’s results saw the Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO vault to the top of the Independent standings and the Kent-based squad now heads to Snetterton – one of its most successful circuits – in confident shape.
“Obviously Croft was a rollercoaster weekend for us with Luke’s accident and our first win of the season,” said Team Manager Oly Collins. “The performances were our best of the season and now that we’ve opened our winning account, the plan is to carry on in that manner.
“We turned a bit of a corner with the car at Croft and we’re confident that we can carry that into Snetterton. We’re leading the Independent Teams standings and our aim is to strengthen that position as we head into the business end of the season.”
With Davenport’s Focus beyond repair, the team will be fielding two of its race-winning Ford Focus STs as the season gets back underway this weekend. Fortunately, the 24-year-old has made excellent progress and is now recuperating at home and although he will not race again this season, his physio programme is well underway and he is expected to make a full recovery.
The outcome of the accident however, means that the squad’s efforts are now focused not only on the coming weekend, but also on completing the build of the new third Focus in time for the next round at Knockhill which follows just two weeks later.
“It’s great to see Luke recovering now and we’re all looking positively to the rest of our season;” added Collins. “Snetterton holds a lot of good memories for us. We unveiled the first-ever Motorbase Performance designed and built BTCC car here five years ago and we’ve had some really good results there.”
“We enjoyed our strongest race meeting of the season here in 2016, but that’s all in the past. You can’t rule anyone out, such is the strength of the grid and the recent test at Snetterton showed up some interesting results. It’s going to be another very close grid again this weekend.”
Rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will be broadcast live and in high-definition on ITV4 and via the ITV Hub on Sunday 30 July between 1115 – 1800. Live streaming of Saturday’s qualifying session is also available via itv.com/btcc between 1550 and 1620.
Mat Jackson said: “Croft was a real turning point in the season so far. There has been so much work behind the scenes at Motorbase to get back the pace we showed earlier in the season.
“We had an extremely successful test at Snetterton during the break when we were able to test many changes to the car and hopefully we can build on our winning ways from Croft. We have enjoyed great success at Snetterton over the years and really hope that we can start the second half of the season with a bang!”
Martin Depper said: “I’m eagerly awaiting the second part of the season. I didn’t quite start the season with the pace I expected but we’ve all worked hard, and continue to iron out performance, hence Croft was my best weekend yet!
“Snetterton will be really one of continued development, and ideally my chance to move up the grid. As for the circuit itself, it’s one of the longest circuits we race on and where it’s all about your exit of corners, so that’s what I will be concentrating on.”