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Motorbase expecting ‘unpredictable’ season start

Motorbase Performance Team Manager Oly Collins has dubbed the forthcoming 2016 British Touring Car Championship as “the most unpredictable start to a season” due to the raft of off-season changes.

The Kent-based team missed the start of the 2015 season after announcing early on that they would not appear until the second half of the year.

That reappearance then allowed the team to take an incredible four wins with Mat Jackson that would surely have amounted to a title tilt had they been present for the first 15 races.

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Looking ahead to 2016, Collins has prominently cited the change in control components supplier, from GPRM to RML, as the main reason behind the difficulty in making predictions ahead of the first round at Brands Hatch Indy this weekend.

“We’ve had a really positive pre-season with our cars running the new RML components and we’ve managed to get a fair amount of miles under our belt,” said Collins. “It’s been a busy time for us, but hopefully the hard work will have been worth it come Saturday!

“It’s a very difficult one to predict this season as we’ve all kind of hit the reset button with the new suspension kits and we’ve all had to start afresh. We know what we’ve been doing but to a certain extent not necessarily what our competitors have.

“This time of year is always full of questions heading into the opening weekend but going into this season seems to be the most unpredictable start to a season I can remember in the BTCC.”

For 2016 Jackson is joined by new signing Andrew Jordan, resulting in arguably one of the strongest line-ups on the grid.

“Andrew and Mat have been working really well together during the close season and hopefully they can continue to do the same on track,” added Collins. “Our target is simple, we’re here to win the Championship; but I guess that’s the same for everyone before the lights go out!”

Jackson revealed he is hoping to pick up where he left off in 2015, when he won two of the three races at the season finale at Brands.

“We’ve had a little bit of running with the new RML suspension kit and the boys have done a great job with the car as always,” said Jackson. “We’ve really got to see how it all pans out during qualifying and race day.

“We finished on such a high here last season with two race wins and a pole and it would be fantastic to pick up where we left off, but we’re under no illusions of just how competitive the grid will be.”

New signing Jordan had nothing but positive words about his first few months at the team, with the former champion also setting himself a high target for his first outing in the Ford.

“Obviously I am very excited to get back to the racing at Brands and to kick off my new season and relationship with Motorbase,” said Jordan. “We have done a lot of testing together and I feel we have clicked really well but the serious stuff starts this weekend.

“It would be my dream to get pole and a win this weekend but I know how tough that will be. I’ve managed to get pole at Brands Indy a couple of times before so I have good confidence heading there.

“I’m also really interested to see how it will pan out with most teams moving to the new RML suspension kit as it’s a bit like starting from scratch with car set up.

“The aim this year is to win the title so I need to make sure I have three strong results to kick the year off well and hopefully gain some momentum. It’s always a fine balancing act of being consistent, staying out of trouble whilst going on maximum attack for wins and podiums.”

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