David Bartrum's Blog
End of Season Blog, 8 December 2009
After the final races of the season at Brands we had a week off in Italy to celebrate Barbara's birthday. While we were away, the guys had a big sort out in the workshops and the trucks.
Then we started some testing with both the touring cars and the Porsches. We did four days; two at Brands, one at Snetterton and one at Rockingham. In the first touring car test we ran Alex McDowell, Andrew Jordan and Steven Kane. Alex wanted to see where he was in a touring car and he was very good in the BMW. Andrew fitted with the team perfectly; it was like he'd been with us all season and it's a shame he's not coming with us for 2010.
I'd love to have Steven back in the team and this was a chance for him to see how far the car and the team had moved on since he last drove the touring car at the end of the 2007 season. He was very pleased with how good the car was.
A couple of weeks later we tested Ben Collins and Tim Bridgman. I'm always keen to see what the Carrera Cup guys have got to offer. Both of them will be quick if they do the BTCC, even though the weather for the test wasn't great. It was about the only frosty morning we've had. Tim is typical of the young blood you want coming into the BTCC and he would make a very good BTCC driver. Ben was the consummate professional and he was very good. He's a bit older and would do an excellent job in touring cars.
We've also been out with the Carrera Cup cars. I said back at the Autosport show in January that the Carrera Cup was buzzing and it still is. I'm really glad we made the decision to go back to the Carrera Cup and in 2010 we'll have a strong line-up with a significantly bigger team. I missed it greatly when we sat out the 2008 season and I was really glad to be back in it in 2009. We recently picked up two new cars from Stuttgart and three of our Carrera Cup drivers have been out testing. Steve Parish, Liam Griffin and George Richardson have all done several days' running.
In recent weeks we've confirmed that Airwaves won't be with us in 2010. They were a great partner for us and gave us a fantastic opportunity to be associated with a major brand. We delivered for them and really enjoyed working with them. They gave us a chance to uplift our profile with their brand. Now we want to find a new partner that is just as passionate about motor sport.
Looking ahead for our BTCC driver line-up, you certainly can't discount Rob Collard and Jonny Adam. We've got to look for a new commercial partner and we want to stick with the BMWs, they have been brilliant cars.
As well as the BMWs and Porsches, we will look at other projects and we've bought a Radical SR3. An opportunity came up with a driver and we bought it as a track day car, but it is worth racing as well. It's a case of looking at all the options.
On Saturday 5 December we went to the wedding of Michael Caine and Kim. It was a great ceremony but when it came to Michael's speech, I wondered how he'd get on without Rob Collard there as his fall guy. Normally at BTCC meetings Michael does an introduction for our guests and Rob is usually the target for his jokes. It was a really good day with lovely people; the Caine family and all his supporters who we call the Cainettes.
Then, the following day was the Autosport Awards and we went to see Jenson Button crowned. Then it was off to the Hard Rock Café with Porsche racers Tim Harvey, Tim Bridgman and Glynn Geddie for the after party.
Now it's time for a quick break over Christmas before it all starts again at the Autosport Show. We're planning to announce our Carrera Cup driver line-up during the show.
Finally, I'd like to wish a very Happy Christmas and a safe and peaceful New Year to all the Motorbase sponsors, team, drivers, supporters and fans!