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Dave Bartrum: ‘A useful break’

David Bartrum has admitted that the six week break since round five of the 2013 British Touring Car Championship has been useful for the Motorbase Performance team.

“It’s been a big break, but a useful break nonetheless,” Bartrum said. “A lot of the teams have been out testing and we’ve all been to Snetterton now, so it’s going to be really interesting and exciting to go back and race there with what we’ve learnt.

“I’m looking forward to this race weekend just like it’s the first one of the season.”

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After a tough opening half of the season – a start which has seen the team fail to secure an outright podium finish with their NGTC Ford Focuses – Snetterton marks the resumption of the season and the first circuit which the team have data for the NGTC car.

In the six week break since Croft, the team have been out testing at Snetterton in an official two day Dunlop test and both Mat Jackson and Aron Smith are confident of improvements as the season progresses.

Factory Porsche driver and former Motorbase driver in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Nick Tandy, also drove the NGTC Focus during the two day test to help with the development of the car.

“The recent two day tyre test at Snetterton showed some very encouraging pace and we have been working relentlessly over the mid-season break to recover some of the pace that was lacking in the first part of the year,” said Jackson, who debuted the NGTC Focus last year and secured a trio of top 10 finishes at Snetterton.

“With some big changes made to the car, I feel that we have a package that will enable us to fight for wins as the season resumes this weekend at Snetterton.”

Irishman Smith arrives in Norfolk as the highest placed of the Motorbase Performance drivers and is confident of a strong weekend at a circuit he has gone well at in the past.

It was the trip to Norfolk last year which helped Smith to a strong second half of the season and he is targeting a similar story this time around.

“This weekend was a turning point last year for Motorbase as a team with the birth of the NGTC Focus, so returning here with our cars at the best they’ve ever been is rather fitting,” adds Smith, who starts the second half of the season 11th in the Championship.

“Everyone in Airwaves Racing has the right to go into this weekend feeling confident and with all the hard work that’s gone on in the six week gap; I think that we are on for our best weekend to date.

“Snetterton is a circuit that I’ve always gotten on well with, it’s been kind to me in the past and now it all seems to be shaping up for one hell of a weekend,” he concludes.

Liam Griffin returns to the team for the trip to Norfolk after missing Croft due to business commitments. He finds himself two wins off the lead of the Jack Sears Trophy, the new for 2013 class for the older S2000 cars.

“I’m looking forward to getting back out in the car again this weekend; it feels like it’s been a long time since I last raced – although I did beat my 10 year old at karting last week!” explained Griffin, who was last out in the Focus at Oulton Park in June.

“We had a good couple of test days here recently; the weather actually made it hard to judge some of the times but I was happy enough with my pace and the car ran faultlessly all day.  The testing did show up the growing gap between the next generation and S2000 cars so I just hope it doesn’t become an issue in the races,” concluded the Addison Lee Motorbase driver.

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