MOTORBASE PERFORMANCE STRIVING FOR SUCCESS AT HOME CIRCUIT
The second event on the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship calendar is being hosted at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit this weekend (14/15 May) and local team Motorbase Performance, based in Wrotham, is determined to build on the strong pace of its quartet of Ford Focus STs from the season opener three weeks ago.
Reigning Champion Ash Sutton achieved a podium finish with NAPA Racing UK at Donington Park and the team has been putting in plenty of work to try and unlock more race pace before heading to the 1.21-mile Indy Circuit.
Sutton enters the second event of the season third in the overall championship for his first season back in front-wheel drive since his BTCC debut in 2016, having scored points in all three races and an impressive second-place finish in the final encounter in Leicestershire.
Dan Cammish experienced slightly different fortunes than team-mate Sutton during the season opener, after facing issues with the car which threatened to end his involvement in the weekend altogether. The Motorbase mechanics put in a valiant effort to restore the car for race day, where the #9 Ford secured a best finish of 13th place.
Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan driver Sam Osborne will be hoping to repeat the impressive qualifying performance he delivered in Leicestershire, where he finished only 0.2 seconds shy of the top ten. Unfortunately, throttle issues throughout the weekend hampered his results, but the 29-year-old was still able to achieve a best finish of 17th.
Osborne’s team-mate Ollie Jackson faced a similarly frustrating opening weekend, with two non-finishes. Despite the disappointment, the Reigate racer was still able to achieve a top 20 finish in the final race on Sunday.
“We love coming to Brands, it’s basically racing in our back yard!” said Team Manager, Oly Collins. “Being our home circuit, we know the track really well and it’s the first circuit we tested the 2022 car on this year so everything is familiar. Unfortunately, this won’t give us an advantage as much as we would like it to. Expectations are high in the camp this year, but so is the competition! As expected, Donington was a tightly fought weekend and it will continue to be all year as usual. Ash is sitting in a nice position in P3 in the championship but, let’s face it, that’s two spots away from where we want to be this year.
“All four drivers came away from round one with a bunch of positives but some weren’t transferred into results through no fault of their own. Now we aim to build on those positives this weekend and get some more silverware in the cabinet. Brands is a very different circuit to Donington, certainly with regard to Hybrid deployment, and we’ll also get to see the effects of the Hybrid restrictions in qualifying for the first time, it will be interesting to see how that plays out this weekend.”
“Donington Park was very much a weekend of learning and to come away with a podium at the end of it was a real reward for the team and a step in the right direction,” said Sutton. “Heading to Brands Hatch we’ve been able to dig into the data and hopefully we can unlock even more from the pace.
“I always enjoy driving Brands, it’s a mega circuit and always produces great racing. It’s going to be interesting to see how the hybrid deployment plays its part in qualifying – I’m looking forward to it!”
“Our season starts here really, after the dramas of Donington!” added Cammish. “I’ve got to say again what an incredible job everybody at NAPA Racing UK and Motorbase did to get me on the grid after the qualifying fire, it really was an amazing effort.
“I’ve enjoyed a lot of success at Brands in the past and I know the team has been working double-hard to extract as much as we can from the Ford Focus, so I’m really looking forward to being back there and, hopefully, challenging for our first podiums.”
“I always love racing at Brands, it’s a great challenge and is obviously my home track and also the team’s home venue so I’m looking forward to a strong weekend,” said Jackson. “Donington was a tough start to the year for us with the software issue, just one of those things unfortunately, but all of the boys worked so hard.
“I’m hoping to reward them with some good results on Sunday, we’ll be pushing hard to get some good points in the Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan car.”
“Brands can’t come soon enough, to be honest,” admitted Osborne. “I’m really excited for the weekend and taking a lot of positivity forward after we showed such good pace in qualifying and the races at Donington.
“In terms of the results there we didn’t come away with what we wanted, but the overall performance was strong and so we’ve got a lot to build on at the weekend. If we can qualify as well again, I’m sure we can put together three strong races.”