Following a massively encouraging return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in the second half of 2015, Motorbase Performance team boss David Bartrum praised his outfit’s decision to miss the first five rounds of the campaign.
In the 15 races and five BTCC meetings which the Kent squad competed during the 2015 season, the team’s new Ecoboost Ford Focus ST emerged victorious four times, lead driver Mat Jackson collecting a trio of successive pole positions also in the final three meetings of the year.
Jackson and the team’s form continued on finals day last weekend, narrowly coming short of completing a historic hat-trick in the final meeting of the season at Brands Hatch GP.
Engine development with Mountune and extensive testing of the updated Focus at the same circuit proved a vital factor in helping the team’s progression, as team boss Bartrum says that his outfit’s risk had thoroughly paid off.
“This is the whole point of coming back – to make it work”, Bartrum told The Checkered Flag on Sunday evening, citing the team’s consistent testing regime as key while budget restricted them to a half campaign.
“We race as a GT team as well which is always very busy, so we had plenty to do but we carried on testing and carried on developing. We didn’t stop.”
Pole position and a brace of victories were welcome results to the team in their final meeting of the season, Jackson again the man earning the silverware on his way to moving up to a highly creditable 12th in the championship.
The Kent circuit had played host to much of the Ford outfit’s early testing regime, Bartrum admitting that their local track made them comfortable in development work as the season progressed prior to their Snetterton return.
“We just didn’t race, but we carried on and got the car ready”, he added. “Mat did a lot of miles and it’s lived here for testing, because we live only two miles from the workshop.
“That’s why the car knows every blade of grass around here!
“More development, work harder, put more together and make it all stronger”, Bartrum added on the
team’s charge for 2016. “That’s what we’ve got to do and we’ll see what evolves.
“Race three was probably the most development work we’d done with the weight. We experienced the full 75kg on softs and standard tyres for both races, so it was all very good work and now we’re looking forward to next year.”
Motorbase also jumped up to seventh place in the overall Teams’ Championship, Jackson ending eighth in the Independent Drivers’ Championship.