Motorbase Performance are looking forward to next weekend’s round of the BTCC at Oulton Park, where the team will trying to defend its lead in the independent drivers’ and teams’ standings.
The team, which runs Super 2000 specification Ford Focus STs equipped with Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) engines, enjoys a one point lead in the independent drivers’ standings with Mat Jackson over Eurotech Racing’s Andrew Jordan, and a ten point lead over Eurotech in the teams’ standings heading to the fourth round of the Championship, where Jackson took his second of four wins last season.
Jackson will also celebrate his 31st birthday on race day at the Cheshire circuit.
“We’ve done a lot of homework back at base during the break and it’s essential this pays off as everyone else will have moved their cars on in terms of performance at Oulton,” said Jackson.
“Last year was a bit of a mixed bag for me at Oulton but it all came good in the end with my second win there in the day’s final race. Everyone at Redstone Racing wants more and we need to keep hanging in there towards the top of the table, but until we’re on track at Oulton we won’t know how the S2000-spec cars like the Focus or BMW will stack up against the NGTC-spec cars like the MGs and Hondas.”
“I suspect it’ll be quite close with the lighter S2000s perhaps a bit nimbler up the hills and the NGTCs with their bigger brakes and tyres being untouchable under braking. It could be the closest weekend of the season.”
Motorbase Performance Team Manager Oly Collins added:
“We’re going to Oulton Park in a confident mood. We’ve made good use of the break – as well as working on the cars back at base we’ve kept busy with a test at Oulton Park, plus half the team went to the Nürburgring for the British GT race and we have a promotional event with Aron (Smith) on the streets of Dublin. All three drivers are well up for the weekend and they’re itching to get back behind the wheel.”
Motorbase Performance haven’t been the only ones to take advantage of the break. Their independent rivals have been busy as well, with West Surrey Racing drafting in the service of 2009 champion Colin Turkington to assist with the development of their NGTC-powered BMW 320si whilst the teams regular drivers were unavailable, and with Honda Racing customer team Eurotech Racing testing with the works team this Thursday at Pembrey.
Championship leaders Triple Eight Race Engineering have also been testing their MG6 GTs, also the youngest cars in the BTCC, during the break after the quick-fire first three rounds of the Championship left little room for development, and it’ll be interesting to see how the balance of power turns out at Oulton Park.