David Bartrum's Blog
Post-Snetterton, 15 August 2009
The holiday after Croft was great and we came back recharged. We came back to touring car testing; first at Snetterton then at Rockingham, and we worked through a lot of stuff.
In among that we did a GT Cup race at Oulton Park with Steve Parrish to get him some miles. He also got his last signatures with a couple of good results down at Lydden while we were on holiday.
We've also been working at a lot of other things, including the future and trying to put things together for next year. It didn't feel much like a break, apart from the time we were on holiday. Then the second half of the season came round as quick as that.
To reflect on where we were at halfway through the season; in Carrera Cup I wanted Michael Caine to have won more races, I'm really pleased with the way Ollie Jackson has advanced and got on and he's done a very good job. I'm hoping we'll have a really good second half to the season in the Carrera Cup, but everyone else in the paddock is working as hard as we are. We've been lining up some new drivers for Carrera Cup. I said the Carrera Cup was buzzing back in January and the indications are that it will continue to buzz. We're hoping to run another driver before the end of the season with a view to joining us next year and we're already talking to a couple of other drivers, which is brilliant at this stage.
Touring Cars is one tough nut to crack. We want a good strong second half of 2009 with the Touring Cars, but it won't be without its highs and lows and it will be emotional at times.
August is a tough month, with three race meetings and it's still tough out there. That's very important. August is a horrendous month for cash flow. You've got to make sure your sponsors get value for money and you've got to be better than the next guy.
The race day at Snetterton was a difficult day for us, both in Carrera Cup and in Touring Cars. Ollie Jackson did very well again and showed massive improvement. He's leapt forward every race and at the last three rounds he's had a double podium each time. I think that elusive pro-am1 win is coming.
Unfortunately Michael didn't have a good weekend in his home Grand Prix. It was a weekend that just didn't click and there was the incident with James Sutton in the second race, which meant he didn't finish.
The Touring Car weekend was a slow start but ended up quite good, apart from Rob's accident. Jonny had a good day with a fourth and they ended up third and fourth on the grid for the last race. Rob made a good start and got up with the leaders and then got through into the lead. He got quite a good lead and then the safety car came out when oil went down.
That bunched them all up and Rob was back with the pack. When the race restarted young James Nash was a bit keen; Rob was trying to go around the oil and Nash punted him round. The really unfortunate part was that the punt sent Rob into the path of Stephen Jelley and it was a double whammy for BMW, with two very big repair bills for us and Team RAC. That was a really disappointing end to the day and I've never had a driver taken to hospital before.
Rob's a tough guy but he was quite shaken and badly bruised. We went up to the hospital and they were very good at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. They looked after him very well and he had a CT scan and all the usual tests. They checked him over thoroughly and released him at about 1am. They let me take him home and got him back about 3am. So that finished the Snetterton weekend.