The Motorbase Performance run Airwaves Racing secured a brace of top three finishes during the final round of the 2013 British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch.
Mat Jackson battled back from a disappointing qualifying session to bring the #7 NGTC Ford Focus home third in the penultimate and final round of the season to secure eighth position overall in the Championship.
“To come to Brands Hatch, Motorbase’s home circuit and go out on a high with two third places and two podiums is a great testament to everyone in the team that has worked so hard in what has been a difficult year to achieve the results that we have,” said Jackson.
“It proves Airwaves Racing have turned a corner from the mid-point; we’ve been regularly back on the podium and we’re back where we should be; back fighting for podium places and that’s championship winning material if we can keep doing that.
“I think overall it’s been a very good weekend. The conditions were very difficult today [Sunday], the car’s been faultless throughout and we had the pace in the car that’s enabled us to get in the mix. To have two podiums in one day is brilliant – rewind six months and they felt like a long way away but to come back in the final round is mega.
“We’ve worked hard this year and grafted for it, and now all three cars are capable of challenging for podiums; it’s a great result for the team,” added Jackson, who finished the season eighth overall.
In his third event for the team, Tom Onslow-Cole took his best result for the team in the opening race of the weekend as he moved up from his seventh place grid position to finish 4th and top Independent driver.
Races two and three were hampered after contact with other drivers and this meant that he secured a ninth and 13th place finish in the final two races.
“A more successful weekend; we’ve had some glimpses of pace in qualifying,” Onslow-Cole added. “P7 is probably not where I thought we’d end up, I thought our time was good enough for something a little higher but when I saw how close the times were, we were just on the wrong end of that tenth so all in all a good performance in the dry.
“Today [Sunday] has been a little more tricky in the wet. Race 1 was really good but races 2 and 3 were difficult; not because of set ups or conditions but because of the racing. I had a little bit of contact in race 2 at turn one that knocked our steering out and then in race 3 where I was trying to be a little more cautious it opened me up to being push around a little bit.
“I think after that the car just didn’t feel good enough, which is a real shame because on the green flag lap and the outlap the car felt really sharp and the best it’s felt so far, so I was really looking forward to getting stuck in during the race. But I guess that’s how it goes!”
“It was great to my first ‘Sampson’ laurel in race 1, a big moment in the Motorbase camp and hopefully it’s the first of many!” the elated Onslow-Cole said. “I think the car is not far away from where it needs to be at all. We’ve got some things we need to test, but for sure the team will be here next year with a car capable of challenging for the title. “
Aron Smith battled back from a major off in the second practice session to bring the #8 Airwaves Racing Focus home inside the top 10 in all the 3 races at Brands Hatch as he secured ninth in the Championship.
Smith admitted that he didn’t think he’d get to take part in the final three races – the car had ended up on its side after hitting the barriers on the run up to Druids hairpin.
“The weekend didn’t get off to the ideal start after the shunt in FP2, so it put us on the back foot as a result of the damage; and to be fair after seeing it come back in I didn’t even think we’d be racing this weekend,” Smith admitted.
“Everyone in the Airwaves Racing team chipped in and stayed until really late last night to make sure we made it back out when I think the majority of the teams would have just have just rolled it onto the trailer and brought it home. So with that being said I’m so grateful that we even got to race.
“Race 1 we came from 25th to 10th which was really good, 10th to 5th and race 3 – we changed a little something on the set up which didn’t exactly go our way but we still got a top 5 so I’m still really content.
“The car is now capable of challenging for podiums in the wet so it shows how we now have the car as competitive as possible, and what we’ve learnt in the second half of the year is going to put our car as one of the title contending cars for sure next season,” Smith concluded.