After a more competitive outing at Thruxton, BTCC squad Motorbase feel that they are finally heading in the right direction after a trying start to their 2013 campaign, and are confident of now challenging the big guns again at Oulton Park.
The team came out of the Hampshire venue feeling upbeat thanks to five top-10 finishes in the three Thruxton races that were not without drama, both Mat Jackson and Aron Smith surviving high-speed offs at Church corner in race two before recovering to salvage seventh and fifth in the third and final race.
Team manager Oly Collins was encouraged by the team’s pace, saying: “That’s a much better performance to go home with. I appreciate the results aren’t quite what we hoped for but the performances of the cars are definitely a step in the right direction! After just 30 minutes testing at this circuit on the unique Thruxton tyre, we went into qualifying further away from where we would have liked but the progress we made was very positive.”
Motorbase have recently been testing at Snetterton during the lengthy break between Thruxton and next weekend’s visit to Oulton Park on June 8/9, and have been encouraged by their improvements in performance.
The team also tested their third NGTC Ford Focus ST successfully, the machine initially set to be driven by reigning British GT champion Michael Caine during the 2013 season at a later stage. However, due to his current commitments in the British GT series with Porsche, Caine’s participation is now very unlikely, although the team remain hopeful that the third Focus will still race in 2013.
Jackson himself remains optimistic about the team’s chances heading into the fourth event of the calendar, saying: “We’re moving forward and we’re moving forward fast. Looking forward to Oulton Park; we’ve got a bit of a break now to get ourselves sorted and reflect on what we’ve done so far. With the data we have now we can improve and make steps forward – we know where we’ve got to strengthen up and I’m a lot happier with where we are with the car; I think we can win some races.”
His team-mate Smith echoed the positive feelings of his squad heading into Oulton Park, adding: “I would like to say that we now have a car that’s capable of always being in the top five; now that we know that it’s capable of being there, hopefully we can make some tweaks and get amongst it for the rest of the season.”