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MOTORBASE HUNGRY TO CONTINUE PROGRESS AT SNETTERTON

Motorbase Performance heads to Snetterton this weekend (13/14 August) and the Wrotham-based squad is aiming to continue its momentum after a memorable first victory of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship last time out.

Just over a week ago at Knockhill in Scotland, reigning champion Ash Sutton brilliantly hustled his Ford Focus ST to a stunning win in Round 17 – the first-ever success in the BTCC for NAPA Racing UK.

Notably, too, he will arrive in Norfolk just days from now only six points shy of championship leader Colin Turkington and a single point in arrears of second place. With four events still to come, including the visit to Snetterton, Sutton’s bid for a fourth crown is very much underway in his maiden season in the front-wheel drive Ford.

In the sister NAPA Racing UK car, class act Dan Cammish is still awaiting the turnaround in fortunes after a character-building season so far. Last month’s Goodyear tyre test at the Norfolk circuit has certainly buoyed the Leeds racer ahead of this weekend, after going second fastest and notably being the quickest driver using the regular BTCC race tyre.

While yet to truly unlock his potential in the #9 Ford Focus, the three-time Porsche Carrera Cup GB Champion is long overdue some good fortune and a competitive weekend, with a return to the podium, would be popular up and down the pit lane.

Sam Osborne produced some impressive drives at Knockhill, only just missing out on his second top 15 of the season, and the Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan entered driver was happy with his own performance. Striving for a bit more pace from his set-up, Osborne is hoping to put into practice all he learned at the Snetterton tyre test where he was coached by Le Mans winner Nick Tandy.

Much-like Cammish, Ollie Jackson has endured more than his share of bad luck and Knockhill was no exception when a power steering issue spoiled qualifying and an incident in race two led to a pit visit. He hit back well, though, and a strong recovery gave a clear indication of his true potential. With positives to take too from the tyre test, Jackson is looking forward to Snetterton’s races and aiming for points.

“On the back of the win at Knockhill, we’ve had the taste and now we’re hungry for more,” said Team Manager Oly Collins. “We know the 2022 Focus is good around Snetterton from the recent test there, now we have to back that up when it matters. The forecast is that temperatures should be similar to when we were there last month, so what we all learned will be valid. I think Hybrid will be quite effective at Snetterton too, with plenty of opportunities to deploy on a long lap, so that will be interesting to manage over the weekend.”

“It was good to kick-start the second half of the season in a nice way at Knockhill, it’s a track I like, and we managed to get the car in a good place,” added Sutton. “We learned things good and bad at the Snetterton tyre test, so we’ll just make sure we avoid the bad and, ultimately, we need to look at it more with an eye to what Dan [Cammish] was doing on the race tyre as he was quickest. When we did our ‘standard’ tyre run, if you like, we weren’t a million miles away so hopefully it can be a good weekend.”

“The tyre test at Snetterton a couple of weeks ago went well for us, two very good and positive days, so that should give us a strong base to build from at the weekend,” said Cammish. “I’m looking forward to getting back to Snetterton, it’s a circuit I enjoy driving and I’ve gone well there in the past so we’ll be aiming for everything to come together and deliver a strong weekend. We’ve had some knocks this season so far but we’re all staying positive, keeping our focus – no pun intended – and looking forward.”

“During the recent tyre test at Snetterton we gained a lot of understanding of the set-up and so I’m hopeful we can put that into practice at the weekend,” said Jackson. “Knockhill was a disappointing weekend for us, but we had some terrible luck and it is such a unique track that it is always challenging to turn up with a fresh set-up and expect to hit the ground running. Snetterton is my old local circuit and has been one of my strongest tracks in the past with a win and a couple of podiums, so I’m optimistic we should get back up to where we deserve to be; in the points and challenging for the reverse grid.”

“We had some good positives to take away from Knockhill,” concluded Osborne. “I was happy with how I was driving, and the car was working well in the first two races. We did struggle for pace overall, though, so that’s something we need to try and change for Snetterton so we can get that much higher up the grid and have a fighting chance. We did make some good steps forward at the tyre test a few weeks back, so I’m hoping to put into practice what we learnt with Nick Tandy and push on from there.”

Free practice at Snetterton 300 will get underway at 0930 on Saturday (13 August) with session two following at 1210 and qualifying commencing at 1520 – the latter streaming live online at www.itv.com/btcc

On Sunday (14 August) the opening encounter is scheduled to start at 1208, with Round 20 following at 1415 and the day’s track action drawn to a close with the final race at 1710. The first two races will be screened live on the main ITV channel from 1200, with race three covered live on ITV4’s coverage from 1500.

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