David Bartrum's Blog
Post-Brands Hatch, 27 October 2009
Rockingham wasn't a great weekend for us; we didn't cover ourselves in glory. Rob had an engine go at Rockingham, so we had to sort that out. We had a spare to put in, so that wasn't a problem, but with an important end of season race at Brands coming up, we needed another spare in the truck, so that was the rush to get another spare.
Steve Parish's Porsche had a bit of damage from the puncture he picked up at Rockingham, so Ant had another busy week. Steve delaminated the tyre, so there was this big strip of tyre flailing around and it smashed the wing, the radiator and did quite a lot of damage.
The Brands weekend was the end of an era for the BTCC, with the last race for Vauxhall and they will be missed very much. Ian Harrison and his crew at Triple 8 have been first rate all the way and they will leave a massive gap in the BTCC.
In the Carrera Cup it wasn't a great day for Michael. It would have been nice to finish on a high, because Brands is the one place we've never won a Carrera Cup race.
The star of the show was Ollie Jackson and he was P1 in first testing on Friday. That was down to new tyres, but it was good to see. Steve Parish didn't cover himself in glory and it was a bit of an eye opener for him. He had a fantastic weekend at Rockingham and came to Brands with a very heavy cold and was quite distracted.
With the touring cars, I was quite pleased right up until the last race. It was a very difficult weekend because we didn't want to get involved with the championship and the three drivers trying to win the championship; one of them was a BMW so we certainly didn't want to get in the way of that.
With the reverse grid for the last race it started off well and I was over the moon for the first four or five corners. We went down the back straight one-two, but then Rob and Tom Chilton got together. I was particularly annoyed, and still am very annoyed, about Matt Neal and his standard of driving. He shoved Jonny blatantly off the circuit. It seemed to be a case of 'it's the end of the season, so who gives a stuff?'
Jonny then got his car back on, dead last, and worked his way back up to eighth with a really fine drive. He managed to take two more positions in the championship by doing that; he finished eighth by two points. If he'd not got back on and driven hard, he'd have ended up tenth.
Both Jonny and Rob were very good all weekend and were running in the midst of it all. They kept out of the championship battle and then went out for glory in the last race and on the first lap we were one-two!
It was a close and competitive season, but I don't think we took as much from touring cars as we should have done. And in some respects, I've got a little bit of that about the Carrera Cup as well. We should have had more from it, particularly in the pro category. In pro-am1, we could not have wished for better, and Ollie is certainly Motorbase driver of the year. He's learnt an awful lot this year and it shows what Carrera Cup can do for bringing a driver on.
We've had a fairly good season and it was certainly good to be back in Carrera Cup; we missed it last year and I was glad we were back in. We'll now be working hard over the winter. We'll be testing our Carrera Cup cars and we'll be testing some touring car drivers and 2010 looks very, very promising.
We're going to announce a very strong Carrera Cup line up very shortly and there will be more news on touring cars.
To everyone who has supported us this year, I'd like to say thank you very much indeed. The team, the guys behind the scenes and people who do things that you don't realise, like going backwards and forwards to Germany for engines. Then obviously the sponsors, who are vital, and everyone else who is involved. It's been a good solid year to build on in 2010.
Watch this space! Always watch this space with Motorbase. The team at Dynamics have a saying; put a smile on your face, work with Motorbase. We've got a saying: put a smile on your face, support Motorbase!