On a weekend that saw Motorbase Performance surpass their 300th race in the British Touring Car Championship, the Kent-based outfit tasted victory for the fourth time this season as Mat Jackson took the chequered flag first in race two, and both cars demonstrated strong pace throughout the weekend in Norfolk.
This was despite a rather contrasting tale unfolding on both sides of the garage. Motorbase’s longest serving driver, Jackson, bolstered his race two victory with another strong points haul in third during the opening contest, however a loss of power in the final encounter meant he was forced to retire despite moving his Ford Focus from eighth on the grid up into second during the opening exchanges.
For 2013 champion Andrew Jordan, the trip to the 2.99 mile circuit painted a far less enjoyable picture. A power steering issue during qualifying resigned the Red Bull athlete to the back of the 31-strong starting grid on Sunday, however the Pirtek Racing pilot fought back impressively from a first lap detour across the infield to score two points in 14th amid a chaotic first race.
Despite some early progress in the second contest, Jordan was ultimately forced back down the field with contact before rounding out the weekend with his strongest result in 5th, finally clear of the midfield pack.
Regardless of the weekend’s struggles, Jordan still sits atop the Independent Drivers standings, with Jackson close behind in third, whilst as a team Motorbase strengthened their hold on the Independents Teams Championship and made progress against their rivals in the overall category, now sitting 3rd, some 72 points adrift of Team JCT600 with GardX.
Team Manager Oly Collins admitted the weekend had a distinct ‘two halves’ feel to it, but underlined his pleasure at the performance of the car and believes that Motorbase have a role to play yet in the destiny of this season’s title.
“That was a weekend of two halves, an absolutely outstanding day for Mat until his unfortunate electrical issue in race 3 and a really unfortunate weekend for Andrew which obviously stemmed from the sudden power steering failure in qualifying,” commented Collins.
“Both cars have been on the pace all weekend, which was very reassuring and we head to Knockhill hoping for more.
“The Championship still has more twists and turns to come I’m sure and it’s still so close at the top. With all the big incidents from the weekend we’re obviously pleased to hear that everyone escaped relatively unhurt.”
Jackson was also keen to put the weekend into a wider context, and also paid tribute to the Ford Focus on a landmark occasion.
“It’s been a good weekend from the word go really. The pace has been in the car from FP1 all the way though,” said Jackson.
“Obviously, it’s been a big weekend for us with our 300th race so it was great to take a win and a third and a fantastic effort from everyone involved in the team.
“Race 3 was unfortunate, but that’s motorsport. There are highs and lows and you just have to accept them and move on from them. We’ll put it right and come back fighting at Knockhill.”
The aforementioned trip north of the Scottish border takes place on the 13th-14th August as the BTCC circus makes it’s annual trip to Knockhill, the home circuit of defending champion Gordon Shedden and a fans favorite on the calendar.
With just four meetings left to go in arguably the most competitive season of recent times, Motorbase certainly have an opportunity to throw their drivers back into the ever-changing championship frame with another strong showing.