David Bartrum's Blog
Since my last blog a lot has happened, I should apologise to you all for not keeping you up to date with what's been going on, but it's been that busy and although we have had what has seemed a life time to the last round we have needed all this time to rebuild our 2 seats after a Brands Hatch round I would like to forget.
We had to miss Knockhill because with the smallest amount of time and the biggest distance to travel it was impossible, and with the amount of parts needed we just could not get it all done. As it was we had to cannibalise our spare car, we had already had a good go at the spare after Thruxton earlier in the year, and what with all the other accidents this season there is very little of that car left.
Still we now have everything back together and have just completed 2 days testing at Brands and Snetterton, all ran well and we are now looking forward to the last round as it is at a circuit that our cars run very well at, so we are looking for a strong finish to the season.
We have had 3 excellent drivers this season, we started with Matt and Gareth, and then later Tom joined us replacing Gareth. This was one of those things that happens when you are working with a very tight budget. With the amount of damage we had got by half way it became necessary to bring in Tom, his budget was also being stretched to fit in some Touring Car rounds, as he was already doing GTs. He originally came for 2 rounds but managed to stretch it to 3 rounds, Gareth and Tom are both fine drivers and good guys to work with and I would hope to work with them again in the future.
So to the future. We tested with Paul O'Neill last week at Snett and Brands, I can see why he is so popular with the BTCC fans, he is a top bloke to have around and as I write this we are working with him to get him out for the last round at Thruxton, so fingers crossed we can write another chapter in the Motorbase Touring Car season.
We have not had the smoothest of seasons so it would be nice to finish the year with a good result. Matt has worked hard for the team this year, along with his dad Kenny and his sponsors, so it would be nice to get a result and end the season on a good note.
Running one car in the BTCC is hard work, and as we have seen this year there have been some excellent one car teams this year - the ever present Mike Jordan, the very impressive Adam Jones in another Toledo run by a good team GR Asia, but the star for me has to be Matt Jackson. His family runs his car on a shoestring budget, and it shows what you can do when you work hard and keep going, the results do come, and that's what we have tried to do. Running 2 cars is bloody hard work, just ask a tech or Kartworld, it's tough being a 2 car independent, so I must say a big thank you to all of my team and drivers for the effort they have made and I hope we can show what we can do at the finals day.
We are working hard to get everything in place for next year, we are currently sorting our new cars for 2008, and trying to source sponsorship partners, and with the upgraded Porsche and our new Touring Cars I am very excited about 2008.
I must not forget our Porsche drivers, in Pro-am Andy Britnell has been getting faster and faster, in the last 4 races he has won 3, this has put him in with a chance of winning the Pro-am title, this would be great if he could do it as we won this last year with Phil Quaife.
Sam Hancock in the Pro class has been very impressive, at Knockhill he scored his first win and would have had a second that day had it not been for a puncture, he has got a taste for the top step now and wants more wins at his home circuit next week, and I think he will get it.
The one driver that has had it all go against him is Steven Kane. He had worked hard and had a good lead, but things went wrong for him in the last 2 rounds leaving him a very big mission for Thruxton, but don't write him off - if anyone can still get the job done he can.
Steven also tested the Touring Car at Brands Hatch with Paul, he impressed me with his speed within the first session, he had never driven a front wheel drive saloon in anger before so perhaps we are seeing a Touring Car star of the future getting ready to step up, we will have to wait and see.
I will do my best to keep you all up to date in the winter as to what's going on, thank you for your support and see you all at Thruxton.