Davenport secures maiden silverware on improved weekend for Motorbase
Reigning Independent Teams Champions Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO scored a trio of top ten finishes at Oulton Park, with Luke Davenport also sealing a maiden Jack Sears Trophy.
Mat Jackson was the lead scorer for the Motorbase-run squad over the weekend, with the Warwickshire-based driver taking a season-best sixth in Sunday’s opening race, followed by seventh in race two. Having just missed out on pole from the reverse grid draw, Jackson’s fortunes unfortunately gave out, with an engine issue forcing the #3 Focus into early retirement on the opening lap of the final bout.
“The weekend was an improved performance all round, although we’ve still come away disappointed with the results,” said Jackson. “We started well, qualifying seventh, but we could have been even higher had we not have been caught short with the red flag at the end – a top four was definitely on the cards, which was frustrating.
“It was great to be back up challenging at the sharp end for fourth in race three and the car was on the pace. We struggled with the consistency of the brakes in race two which really held us back but it was another solid result, so to not get the chance to build on seventh in the final one was a massive disappointment.
“Unfortunately these things happen in racing; it was something that was out of our control and just one of those blows that we couldn’t have done anything about. But we dust ourselves off again and we’ll come back stronger at Croft.”
The weekend ended on a high note for BTCC rookie Luke Davenport. Having made progress during Sunday’s opening two races, a spirited drive from 17th on the grid was rewarded with top ten finish – marking a career-best BTCC result for the Cambridgeshire man and his first visit to the podium as the top scorer of the weekend in the Jack Sears Trophy.
“We’re very happy with the progression in the car as a team this weekend,” said Davenport. “Mat’s qualifying showed that and I was a little bit gutted not to be right up there challenging alongside him. We were looking good in sectors one and two during the session but then sadly lost out with the red flag in the final sector which set us back.
“Sunday was great. We had two solid, progressive races without any major incidents and worked our way up the grid to 17th for race three. I got a good start and felt I had a decent bit of momentum and we managed to make up some places early on. It was a nice personal achievement for me to get past some of the established drivers on the grid like Jason Plato and Jack Goff to get my first top ten and first Jack Sears Trophy. I’m a happy boy!”
Regrettably it was another difficult outing for team-mate Martin Depper. A heavy crash during the closing minutes of qualifying saw the #30 Focus relegated to the back of the grid for race one leaving him with a tough battle through the pack during all three of Sunday’s races – with his best-placed finish of 20th coming in race two.
Team Manager Oly Collins said: “We had a few improvements on the car starting the weekend and that showed qualifying in the top six and getting some good points finishes on Sunday.
“A great result for Luke in securing our first Jack Sears Trophy and his first points finish with a top 10 result. He’s been showing this kind of promise all season but just hadn’t quite realised it until today. A real shame for Mat in race three with the engine issue, especially just as we were looking good for another decent points finish. It’s very rare for us to suffer this kind of issue.
“In a way it’s nice to come away from a weekend disappointed with top six/seven qualifying and race pace. That’s because we know there’s so much more to come from us!”
Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO remains fourth in the Independent Teams’ standings, whilst Jackson has moved up to 6th in the Independent Drivers Championship.