MOTORBASE AIMING TO BUILD ON BRANDS HATCH MOMENTUM
Front-running Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship team Motorbase Performance heads to Thruxton Circuit this weekend (28/29 May), aiming to continue its podium-finishing momentum – as well as bolstering its 2022 title challenge.
Hot on the heels of his first silverware of the season at a wet Brands Hatch just under two weeks ago, where he achieved excellent third and second-place finishes in rounds four and five, NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Cammish is focused on maintaining the impetus and rising further up the points table.
Last year, of course, Cammish was a podium finisher at Thruxton during a one-off BTCC outing prior to beginning his, ultimately successful, Porsche Carrera Cup GB title bid. Back in April, he ended the official pre-season test at the ultra-fast Hampshire track inside the top six.
Team-mate Ash Sutton, who was quickest of all during Season Launch in Hamshire, goes into the third event of the year holding P3 in the Drivers’ Standings and is determined to be back on the podium, as he was at Donington Park during this year’s curtain-raiser.
Qualifying woes led to a challenging race day at Brands Hatch last time out, but the reigning champion showed his class and quality with three superb drives. Charging from 18th on the grid to a terrific ninth in race one, he then climbed to fourth in race two and ended the day with sixth in race three.
Ollie Jackson and Sam Osborne go into rounds seven, eight and nine of the BTCC season aiming to put together a consistent weekend in their Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan Ford Focus STs.
Last year, Thruxton was the venue for the championship opener, which proved a successful event for the team-mates, Jackson claiming a best of ninth position and Osborne taking his best result yet in the series with a top 12. More of the same, or indeed even better, will be the target just a few days from now.
Going into this weekend’s action in Hampshire, Motorbase/Ford holds second place in the Manufacturers’/Constructors’ Championship while the squad’s NAPA Racing UK entry is second in the Teams’ battle.
“After a strong weekend at Brands last time out, we’re confident of some more strong results at Thruxton,” said Team Manager Oly Collins. “We had a good test there earlier in the year during Season Launch, so hopefully we can build on that. There’s another interesting weekend in store as we all continue to learn how to maximise the hybrid for this year and we’re all learning it together throughout the grid.
“Thruxton is a circuit which requires us to manage tyre wear probably more than any other that we visit, so it’s always a challenge for the teams as well as the drivers. The weather could also throw a spanner in the works like Brands, but we’ll have to wait and see what the wonderful British weather delivers on the day!”
“I’m looking forward to going to Thruxton this weekend, it’s always a mega track to race around,” added Sutton. “Since Brands Hatch, we’ve been working hard to see if we can progress the car forward and address the balance issues we’ve had – I’m confident we’ll get on top of it. We had good pace at the season launch and the Focus seemed pretty hooked-up there, so I’d like to think we’ll be in the mix. Making in-roads on the top two and picking up some more silverware is the aim.”
“I’m really excited to get going at Britain’s fastest race track,” said Cammish. “I always love racing at Thruxton and the challenge it provides. You need to be at one with the car to find the lap time there, the balance must be right and you’ve got to have the confidence to push the limits through the fast stuff like at no other track we visit with the BTCC. Brands was obviously good for us, a strong response from the first round at Donington, so I’m hoping to continue that momentum and further climb the points table.”
“Challenges on the BTCC calendar don’t come much bigger than Thruxton and I’m really looking forward to being back there,” said Jackson. “It’s a fantastic track, the racing is as exciting as it gets, and it’s the kind of circuit which really does reward bravery and commitment. Brands was a mixed weekend for us after we went the wrong way with the set-up initially, so I’m hoping we can start off on the front foot this weekend and build from there to battle for some great results.”
“Thruxton is always a big challenge and a unique one as well,” concluded Osborne. “You really do need a good car under you to give you the confidence to push – especially with so much of the lap flat out. It’s been a mixed start to the season for us but we’re working hard on moving forward with the set-up and I’m really hoping to push towards the top ten. Last season at Thruxton we had a good run to 12th place so I’m focussed on trying to repeat that and really push on.”
Following two free practice sessions at Thruxton on Saturday (28 May) qualifying – which will be streamed live online on www.itv.com/btcc – will begin at 1515. Sunday’s opener will kick off from 1140, with the second contest from 1440 and the final race of the day at 1720, with all the action live on ITV4 from 1100.