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Motorbase targeting home success
Motorbase targeting home success

Brands Hatch Indy Circuit will host the second event of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season this weekend, where local team Motorbase Performance is determined to build on strong pace and competitiveness from the season-opener two weeks ago.

Achieving a podium finish with NAPA Racing UK driver Ash Sutton at Donington Park on the reigning champion’s maiden race weekend with the team, the target now for the Motorbase prepared squad is to mount a sustained challenge for trophies on home ground just a few days from now.

Based in Wrotham, less than four miles door-to-door from Brands Hatch, the team has already shown the potency of its quartet of hybrid powered Ford Focus ST cars with one-lap qualifying pace particularly noteworthy.

Since Donington, work has been ongoing to unlock more pace from race set-ups and to also prolong the performance from the Goodyear tyres and the team is quietly confident of a step forward at the 1.2-mile Indy Circuit.

Sutton goes into the second event of the season third in the overall championship after a very good start to the defence of his third BTCC title, his first season back in front-wheel drive since his BTCC debut back in 2016. Fourth in round one and then sixth in round two, he wrapped-up the Donington weekend with second place in the final contest.

Dan Cammish, of course, experienced wildly contrasting fortunes to those of team-mate Sutton during the curtain-raiser. Having shown strong pace in practice, a dramatic fire in qualifying – caused by a split fuel line – threatened to end his involvement there and then. Outstanding work overnight by the Motorbase mechanics got Cammish on track for raceday, where he took a best of 13th place.

Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan driver Sam Osborne will be hoping to replicate the terrific qualifying performance he delivered at Donington, where he lapped within 0.7 seconds of pole and only 0.2 seconds shy of the top 10. Racing to a best finish of 17th, his weekend impacted by throttle issues, Osborne is aiming higher this coming Sunday.

Team-mate Ollie Jackson is determined to bounce back as well as possible from a frustrating opening weekend where two non-finishes, the result of a software glitch impacting the throttle system, cost potential points results. In race three Jackson did post a finish in 19th but, let’s not forget, he is a former podium finisher at Brands.

Speaking ahead of the weekend, Oly Collins – Motorbase Performance Team Manager, said: “We love coming to Brands, it’ basically racing in our back yard! 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. Expectation is 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.”

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