David Bartrum's Blog
30th September 2011
September started with the Knockhill race weekend. What a fantastic view we had; you could see right down to the Forth Bridge and up to the William Wallace Memorial the other way up the valley. I think it was fantastic as a venue and the hotel was quite near; the food was good, we had a few beers. It was a great weekend on that side of things. The racing was somewhat to be forgotten.
Touring cars was abysmal; it was one of our worst weekends. In the Carrera Cup, poor old Steve Parish lost a car. But Michael Caine fell on his sword for the team and now the bigger picture has emerged; that was the reason why. It was clear that there was something brewing in touring cars for Michael, so he didn't mind giving up his car for Steve. It was a nice team gesture and Steve had a reasonable weekend. George Richardson had a great weekend and was very strong up there. He's been steadily building momentum over the second half of the season.
Then we went to Rockingham. As far as the touring cars were concerned, the views were different; being on the old site of the steelworks at Corby with lots of metal and concrete and not a tree in site. In touring car terms, the only glimmer of light was Michael Caine and he scored some points. For Mat Jackson, the first race shunt really put us on the back foot. Mr Byford ploughed into Mr Jordan, Mr Jordan ploughed into Mr Jackson, Mr Jackson ploughed into Mr Neal and Mr Neal ploughed into Mr Nash. Everyone carried on running and we carried on back to the garage. So Mat was on the back foot again and that was another abysmal weekend.
The shining light was Mr Caine and actually it wasn't a bad weekend for Liam Griffin. He finished all three races, which was a personal goal and he had a bit of progression, so that was fine.
Carrera Cup at Rockingham was alright. Mr Parish had two podiums and two good races; George was on the podium and Kieran Vernon showed good potential and good pace. He had a good first race and then not finishing the second race as he got hit in the wheel. I think for the first time Kieran really got to show his pace. Daniele Perfetti had not even seen the place when he pitched up on the Friday. He just blitzed it from the off and really enjoyed it. He definitely showed the pace he has got and I'm hoping it will be the same here at Brands Hatch.
So here we are on Friday morning at Brands Hatch looking at an empty sheet of paper for the weekend. We've got eight cars; the biggest number we've run all year. We ran eight all the time last year, pretty much. But it was never three touring cars; it was two touring cars and six Porsches. This time around we've got three touring cars and five Porsches. That's going to be quite hard work.
Mat J has just got to put the last two weekends behind him and get as high up as he can. We went into Knockhill leading the championship and we're now fourth so our realistic aim has got to be to finish third and win the independents, but that's going to be hard.
Carrera Cup-wise, the big news is that we've got Nick Tandy joining us for the last four races. Clearly, he is a very good Porsche driver and has come into team to plug the gap left by Tim Harvey and Michael Caine and to help Kieran and the other boys progress. And he's here to show that Motorbase is a good team, which it is, and to show the true pace we've got in our cars. I'm really looking forward to Nick joining us.
We had a good day's testing with Nick on Tuesday. He's a very, very good guy to deal with and he's very natural with the car. He's driving these cars all the time and he just jumped in the car and did what everyone else has been doing all year. He took the car as we gave it to him and he was away. He made a couple of minor adjustments. He is clearly at one with the Porsche and that's a big thing for us. That day Steve was running in his new car, so Steve got a few tips off Nick.
I'm hoping this weekend is going to be a good one. It's a big weekend for Motorbase and being at Brands Hatch is very special for us, so it's got to be done well. I love racing at Brands and I like it when I've got a buzz around both teams.