David Bartrum's Blog
4th September 2010
Silverstone race weekend, Carrera Cup-wise, was mega, mega, mega. Our man Caine was worthy and he was on fire with a double win. That was brilliant, and Ollie Jackson did a great job and George Richardson really did kick up a gear with two thirds. George has progressed massively; he definitely turned a corner when we went to Snetterton for the GT3 Cup Challenge race at the end of July.
Silverstone was always going to be a tough weekend, but it was brilliant in Carrera Cup. We had a lot of business to do that weekend with sponsors and guests, because Silverstone lends itself to that. We had a lot of very important guests having a good look at touring cars and a good look at Carrera Cup. The hospitality unit had a really good atmosphere about it and Michael Caine did a really good job with the driver interviews.
The touring car races were somewhat hard. It wasn't a circuit for our cars and it was very much a place for the Ford Focuses to have their wicked way again. We were next to them in hospitality and I looked at our one trophy and thought, 'oh well, we got a trophy,' and then I turned round and looked and there were 10 trophies standing in their place. That's what you can do with a turbocharged gas car. But it's not my job to make their cars go slower, it's my job to make our cars go faster.
We had a good weekend. It was a bit tough, but we got a podium out of it. But our goal of winning the independents' trophy was seriously under attack and there was absolutely nothing we could do about it.
But it was a good weekend for Carrera Cup and a good weekend for touring cars from a business sense. Not a bad weekend on the track, but got a great one.
We came out of Silverstone on Sunday night and got the Carrera Cup cars back in the truck by Friday night, all done. We had an early morning depart on Tuesday to be at Knockhill to test on Wednesday. The trucks got here at 4pm Tuesday afternoon, so they did it in 10 hours. We had to come Tuesday, so everything had to be done.
The touring car boys had a little bit more to do, but they had a bit more time as they did a shakedown on Wednesday and travelled north on Thursday. They got here about 3pm on Thursday.
Now we're at Knockhill and we had a fantastic Carrera Cup qualifying, with a double pole for Michael Caine. Ollie Jackson struggled a bit, but he's not very well with man flu and when you've got an unwell 'Wookie', you've got something on your hands. He's got man flu of the highest order and he found it very tough in the car. It's a very physical and demanding lap at Knockhill.
Charlie Bateman kicked up a gear with fifth and sixth. To give credit to our two pro drivers, they've kept the two Red Line pros down. The old guy, Harvey, was here on Wednesday and was very quick. He did a few laps, then got in his car and went. He came back and did the same again on Friday and we were not quite where we wanted to be. We knew where we could be, but we hadn't unlocked it.
So Patrick, the engineer, sat them down and unlocked it. We showed Michael on the data what he should have done and he went out in qualifying and did it. Charlie was the same thing and kicked up a gear after a horrendous Silverstone weekend with two non-finishes.
So here we are at Knockhill and we've had a good qualifying in Carrera Cup. Unfortunately good old Liam broke a driveshaft. We then went out for touring car qualifying and Steven Kane has done a good job with P5 and Mat broke a driveshaft, so he's P12. And Mat's driveshaft broke in exactly the same place as Liam's. But we've been doing P12 recently with both shafts working! But Mat and I have got a saying that we've got a very good race car and I hope he'll show that on race day.
Next year is buzzing along really well. I walked into the racing car show in 2009 and said that the Carrera Cup was buzzing. If it was buzzing then, it's fizzing, buzzing burping and farting now. It's off the scale. I can't tell you how many people want to do it. Most of our team wants to stay and we have a reserve list. The interest is very high but I love the set of guys I've got; they are all lovely guys and they've all got different goals.
Touring cars is very good as well. The sponsors have seen what we've done this year and we've talked to all the people that matter, as well as some new ones. We have a third BMW sitting in the corner of the workshops with a cover over it and he gets very bored because everyone keeps going out and leaving him behind. So I think he might go out locally at first, and we're talking to a couple of drivers.