David Bartrum's Blog
13th September 2013
Knockhill was a bit of a strange weekend. We'd had a very good Snetterton and we'd had a bit of boost pressure taken out, as a few of the other teams did. I expected a bit more than we got at Knockhill.
We went into the weekend thinking we wouldn't have the pace we had at Snetterton, because we hadn't been there to test. But we weren't the only ones who had a bit of a strange weekend. It was probably one of the more dull touring car weekends I've seen.
We went out and raced, we had dinner, we raced again and it was one of those sorts of weekends. We scored some points and we moved forward a bit, and then we went home. It wasn't the weekend I was expecting, but it wasn't as bad as it first looked. We had a little bit of damage and Aron had a few offs and didn't have a great weekend. He managed to get himself a six grid place penalty for Rockingham.
After the pace of Snetterton we wanted a scintillating weekend in Scotland and for us, and some other teams including MG, it didn't quite happen. All of a sudden, it was a rear-wheel drive circuit.
We left Scotland knowing we had a lot to do at Rockingham and my head was fizzing with a new plan. I was thinking about what to do with the third NGTC car and I'd been approached by quite a few people. When you come out of Scotland you are staring down the barrel of the three cream races, the three races everyone wants to do. We were getting quite a few enquiries on cars, because we have the only spare NGTC car.
I was mulling over two people I was talking to and suddenly a press release came out from Tom Onslow-Cole, which caught my attention. He had parted company with Team Hard and wasn't going to be racing with them again. As time went on I was quite curious about that and I had this niggling feeling that Tom Onslow-Cole could be a good fit with Motorbase and our drivers. We needed a big bang finish to the season and he could bring another dimension to the team.
I thought the best thing was to phone Tony Gilham and see what the situation was and he explained things. He said there was no contract, so I pressed on with a plan. We ended up talking with Tom and there was a bit of budget, which is needed to make the world go round. It seemed like a nice fit to keep him out there. He has been criticised for jumping teams but he really had decided he wasn't going to race the Team Hard car and it was me that went after him.
I thought he'd fit in well and give us more exposure, so we struck a deal. I think we've got three of the brightest and fastest drivers. It will be interesting to see what he can bring to the team over the final three race weekends. There was no time for testing before Rockingham. We've not had the best of years, so we need a good finish.