MOTORBASE CHARGING BACK TO THRUXTON WITH CONTINUED SUCCESS IN SIGHTS
Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship race-winning squad Motorbase Performance is relishing the return to flat-out Thruxton this weekend (27/28 August) with its sights squarely fixed on big points and more silverware.
Travelling to the Hampshire speedbowl off the back of its second victory of 2022 with NAPA Racing UK’s Ash Sutton just over a week ago at Snetterton, the Wrotham squad is also returning to a track where reigning champion Sutton chalked up a hat-trick of podiums during the previous visit in May.
Fourth in the championship ahead of the eighth race meeting of the campaign, Sutton is just a single point shy of third position and only ten points adrift of second place. In total, the Ford Focus ST racer has nine podiums to his credit this year.
Dan Cammish was the fastest of the Motorbase qualifiers at Snetterton a week ago, and was on course for a strong event until being caught up in a luckless incident early in race two, which will inevitably mean he will be more determined than ever to turn his pace and potential back into podium finishes this weekend.
Likewise, the NAPA Racing UK driver was the top Motorbase performer in qualifying at Thruxton in May, third fastest overall and just 0.081 seconds shy of pole.
Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan’s Ollie Jackson produced a superb season-best result of ninth place in the third of the scorching hot Snetterton races the weekend before last, capping an impressive event where he made great progress across the board and raced well.
Off the back of his strongest showing of the campaign to date, Jackson will clearly be hoping to harness that and move further forward at Thruxton where there is unfinished business from the May visit – power issues and an enforced engine change badly hampering the third meeting of the year.
Returning to the scene of his first points finish of the season, Sam Osborne is hungry to add more in the sister Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan Ford Focus ST and goes to Thruxton increasingly happy with the direction of travel in terms of set-up
Getting the second half of the season off to a solid start at Knockhill at the end of July, almost making it back into the points-paying top 15, at Snetterton the end results may not have been what he wanted but Osborne raced well and was only prevented from more after some robust contact.
“I’m looking forward to heading to Thruxton this weekend!” said Sutton. “We’re coming off the back of two wins in as many race weekends, so confidence is high and everyone at NAPA Racing UK is pushing so hard. We were strong at Thruxton earlier in the year and came away with a hat-trick of podium finishes so I’m feeling confident, especially as we have really moved the car on since then. We’re at a critical point in the season now and we’ve got a little ground to make up, so it’ll be maximum attack!”
“I’m really looking forward to heading back to Thruxton this weekend,” added Cammish. “We were fast there earlier in the season; it is a track I’ve always gone well at and really enjoy. We had some good speed at Snetterton and should’ve come away with much more than we did, but as has been the story this year it didn’t work out for us due to factors out of our control. We need a big, consistent weekend and that’s the absolute focus. I’m determined to be back on the podium and get some momentum.”
“Hopefully we’ll be able to start where we left off at Snetterton with a good balance and competitive pace, although Thruxton is a very different track,” reflected Jackson. “Our last visit there earlier in the season was pretty challenging with some mechanical issues that set us back but, in reality, we had enough pace to stage a fight from the back of the grid almost into the points, so I’m optimistic. Our understanding of the Hybrid car is growing round by round and I’m now getting to grips with the driving style needed, so I’m positive about turning out some points finishes and stay in the running for the reverse grid.”
“We’ve been making good steps recently,” said Osborne. “I’ve been racing well, and we’ve had good pace in the car so hopefully that can continue at Thruxton. We obviously got into the points when we were there in the spring and had a good run into the top 12 at Thruxton last year, so we have put in some good performances there. There’s no other track on the calendar like Thruxton, you need the car working well to provide the confidence to take it to the limit – hopefully we’ll have that.”
Saturday’s free practice sessions start at 0930 and 1205 before qualifying – which will be streamed live via itv.com/btcc – gets underway at 1525.
Round 22 of the season will begin at 1145 on Sunday, with Round 23 commencing at 1435 and the final contest set to start at 1720. All three races will be broadcast live on ITV4 from 1115.