The Motorbase Performance BMW team will look to carry over its superb form from the last round of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship to the next event at Oulton Park on July 27.
With the team’s hard work during the mid-season break bearing fruit and producing a podium as well as points finishes for both of its drivers in all three races at Snetterton last time out, morale is understandably high in the Motorbase camp. However, team boss David Bartrum will be making sure no-one in his squad is resting on their laurels and will demand a repeat showing at Oulton Park.
The scenic circuit in Cheshire will present a tough test for all the drivers who line up on the starting grid, with 2.26 miles of rapidly changing gradients and blind crests. However, both Motorbase Performance drivers Steven Kane and Rob Collard will be looking to use the lightning starting power and solid race pace the Dunlop-shod BMW 320si produced at Snetterton to get the drop on their opponents and challenge at the front of the pack on race day next weekend.
Northern Irishman Steven Kane will certainly be confident of being on the pace at Oulton Park. In addition to picking up a second place on the podium in the last BTCC round, he won both of his race outings at the track in the Porsche Carrera Cup in 2007. Kane’s healthy points haul at Snetterton has propelled him into fourth place in the Independent Drivers championship, and he will be looking to close the gap on those ahead of him with another strong showing.
Hampshire-based Rob Collard will also be confident he can secure more points for himself and the team at Oulton Park. It was at the very same venue he tasted his greatest success in Touring Cars - clinching the Independent Drivers title at the circuit in 2003. Sitting sixth in the 2008 Independent Drivers standings, and having missed out on podium finishes by only the narrowest of margins in the previous two rounds, the experienced Collard will determined be looking to grab a top-three spot this time out.
Motorbase Performance is currently fourth in the Independent Teams championship table, and a similar set of results to those gained in the previous weekend of the championship would potentially see the team break into the top three and become serious contenders for the title.
Motorbase Performance Team Principal David Bartrum said:
“It was a really good weekend for the team at Snetterton, but come Monday morning that all has to be forgotten and you have to start preparing for the next race or it’s just not good enough. Oulton Park is a tough circuit and will present a unique set of problems for us to overcome when setting up the car. We’ve been very competitive lately though which we’re happy with, and hopefully we can run well up the field again as that lessens the chance of the cars being damaged in the rough and tumble of the pack. I want us to go and do more of the same as we did at Snetterton, so bring it on!”
Motorbase Performance Team Driver Steven Kane said:
“Obviously my confidence is after high the podium in the last race but I have to stay focused and try and maintain that level of performance at Oulton Park. I won there twice last year so it’s a track I know well. The target for the weekend has got to be to score more points for myself and Motorbase Performance and keep the momentum we have built up in the second half of the season going.”
Motorbase Performance Team Driver Rob Collard said:
“I’m really looking forward to Oulton Park as it’s one of my favourite circuits. I’ve always gone very well there and I think it will suit the BMWs because there is a lot of fast, flowing corners. The last round was great because the car was very competitive and we proved the potential we had been showing for a while. It was a strong performance by everyone involved in the team and morale is very high now. After the results at Croft and Snetterton everyone now knows that Motorbase is a threat to the leading teams and we want to be competing at the sharp end. We want to go on now and score as many points as possible at Oulton Park.”