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News 2007: Motorbase Performance Shines Despite Donington Downpour

Rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, Donington Park

Motorbase Performance drivers Matt Allison and Tom Ferrier overcame treacherous conditions at Donington Park this weekend to secure the Wrotham, Kent based team's largest points haul in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Matt AllisonHaving joined Motorbase Performance in the week running up to the Donington Park event, Tom Ferrier, from Bletchingley, Surrey, suffered a clutch problem in qualifying, which saw him just outside the top ten. Meanwhile, Allison, from Norwich, lined up eighth on the grid, setting a time just 0.529 seconds behind polesitter Gordon Shedden in his strongest qualifying performance of the season.

As the crowd made its way into the Leicestershire circuit on Sunday morning, the heavy rain was already falling, and the first race of the weekend got underway with the downpour continuing.

For Tom Ferrier, the race was curtailed through no fault of his own. After making up several places in the early stages of the race, the 25-year-old was collected by the out-of-control Vauxhall Vectra of Tom Chilton. The impact was enough to rip a driveshaft from the Motorbase Performance SEAT Toledo Cupra, leaving car and driver stranded in the middle of the track.

Matt Allison was running eighth as the safety car was deployed to allow the recovery of Ferrier's car, and following the restart, he was able to gain two places to score his highest BTCC finish in sixth.

Matt Allison / Tom FerrierFerrier opted to start race two from the pitlane in the hope of surviving the midfield madness at the first corner. The plan worked and he was able to pick off the backmarkers without too much difficulty. Despite the continued wet conditions, Ferrier climbed up to 14th position by the end of the race.

Matt Allison found himself battling with the manufacturer-backed cars from Vauxhall and SEAT throughout the second race, running well inside the top ten. He went on to finish in eighth position, scoring further championship points for Motorbase Performance.

Allison benefited from the reverse grid system for the third race, starting from the front row alongside Colin Turkington, in front of the live ITV1 television cameras. Unfortunately, the Motorbase Performance driver was passed through the first corner by Mike Jordan and Jason Plato. Allison then ran in fourth until minor contact sent him through the gravel and dropped him down the order. He ended the race in 10 th position to make it a trio of points-scoring finishes at Donington Park.

At the end of the wet weekend, Matt Allison said, "We have found some pace here this weekend. We got our best performance of the year in qualifying on Saturday and we have genuinely moved forward. Sixth in the first race is my best result of the season and it was great to get three points finishes and bring the car home without any major damage.

Tom Ferrier"It's a shame I got tagged in the third race as I was running strongly after starting on the front row. But even with that, it's been a real confidence booster for the team, especially given the terrible conditions we've had here. Hopefully we can go to the next meeting at Snetterton for my home race and continue to make good progress."

Ferrier's third race brought his best result of the weekend. Starting 14th on the grid, he made up two positions to finish in 12th position.

Tom Ferrier said, "I haven't raced a front-wheel-drive car in the wet for a very long time, so it wasn't the best of conditions to come back into the series. We had a problem with the clutch in qualifying, which made the weekend that little bit harder. I got taken out in the first race, which was disappointing as a good result in that race would have set us up well for the second one. It was good to bring the car home safely in the last two races, given how wet the track was.

"Motorbase are a brilliant team to be with and I'm glad to be out there again. Hopefully the weather will be a bit better when we go to Snetterton and then we can really show what we can do!"

Ferrier and Allison now head to Snetterton in Norfolk for rounds 19, 20 & 21 of the 2007 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, which take place over the weekend of 28/29 July.

Race results (provisional)

Round 16
1. Gordon Shedden (Honda Civic)
2. Adam Jones (SEAT Toledo Cupra)
3. Matt Neal (Honda Civic)
4. Mike Jordan (Honda Integra)
5. Jason Plato (SEAT Leon)
6. Matt Allison (SEAT Toledo Cupra)
DNF Tom Ferrier (SEAT Toledo Cupra)

Round 17
1. Jason Plato (SEAT Leon)
2. Gordon Shedden (Honda Civic)
3. Fabrizio Giovanardi (Vauxhall Vectra)
4. Matt Neal (Honda Civic)
5. Adam Jones (SEAT Toledo Cupra)
8. Matt Allison (SEAT Toledo Cupra)
14. Tom Ferrier (SEAT Toledo Cupra)

Round 18
1. Jason Plato (SEAT Leon)
2. Matt Neal (Honda Civic)
3. Mike Jordan (Honda Integra)
4. Mat Jackson (BMW 320si E90)
5. Gordon Shedden (Honda Civic)
10. Matt Allison (SEAT Toledo Cupra)
12. Tom Ferrier (SEAT Toledo Cupra)

All images courtesy of Peter Still Photographic