David Bartrum's Blog
29th September 2013
We were in the mix at Rockingham and it was Mat's weekend to shine. It was a hard weekend because, yet again, we didn't qualify how I would have liked. Qualifying was disappointing, but we learnt that we had good race pace. That paid dividends on race day, because everyone else seems to come up with some for qualifying but don't seem to be able to back it up on race day.
The Triple 8 cars were a classic example. They went out and had a difficult qualifying and an even more difficult race. We had Tom Onslow-Cole for his first weekend with us and he was learning the car and didn't have the best of times, so he was low down on the grid. Aron was also low down: they were 17th and 18th and Mat was ok-ish in 12th.
I knew we had good pace in the car and I knew the boys could race. Mat was just class and blasted straight to P2: that was a really good race for us. Unfortunately Tom got caught up and got hit and came in with damage and that was him out. Aron had a good push forward and got to 13th. With Mat going to the front it set us up nicely for race two.
However, the ballast went on, so that was a bit of a curved ball and definitely affected the car, but it seemed to affect Andrew Jordan as well. Where we thought the MGs were going to be strong, they weren't great. Mat did a really good job in race two to get P4 with 36kg of ballast: that was another very good result.
Tom did a good job and went from 22nd to ninth, which was a good drive and Aron ended up 15th. We went into the last race and Mat delivered us another P4, so it was a very good weekend with solid results. So we took heart from that, even though we'd not been where we wanted to be in qualifying, we knew we'd got race pace.
This race pace showed very much at Snetterton, not so much at Knockhill but that was a bit of a strange weekend for everyone, it showed at Rockingham and again at Silverstone.
Yet again we didn't have a great qualifying at Silverstone, but we knew the pace would be good once we got racing. Unfortunately for Tom, once again he got caught up and collected some damage. He had an electrical problem in qualifying, which was a wiring loom fault that the guys duly found. But it was too late to save his qualifying position and he had to start from 21st and he ended up getting damage.
But Aron and Mat had brilliant race days. Aron got a podium in the second race with a really good drive. Mat was in there but got some damage in the first race which closed up a vent and he was struggling on air for the engine. The grid draw put Aron from third to fourth, so it didn't affect him too much. And it turned out to be one of the best races I've seen this year.
Aron and Mat both drove superbly and were really battling hard and we came out with a second and a fourth. Unfortunately, Mat made a bit of contact with Colin Turkington and was fined for it. He was very apologetic and there was no way we went out with the intention of hurting Colin Turkington's championship. We'd like to see him win the championship if we can't do it. We like Colin and we think he's one of the best guys out there. Mat wouldn't do that deliberately.
Aron did another stunning job to get another podium with P2. To come out of Silverstone with a second and a fourth in a very hard third race was very good. The battling was very intense and we had the pace on pretty much everyone out there and I'm over the moon with the jobs the boys did. It was a very good weekend and I just want Mr Onslow-Cole to join the party. For me, Silverstone was one of the more exciting weekends.
That has set us up for our home race at Brands Hatch. There is a championship to be won and if it is going to be a Honda, let it be Andrew Jordan because we're getting bored with the others. Good luck to Andrew.
We've got to race for ourselves when we get to Brands Hatch and we'll be out to do what we can at our home race. We love the place and I'm looking forward to racing there.