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News 2008: Three Top 10 Finishes for Motorbase

Three top ten finishes and impressive pace from both drivers was the tally for Motorbase Performance at Rockingham on Sunday (13 April) in the second event of the season in the 2008 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Rob Collard"I'm happy with the weekend because we've pushed forwards a bit further," said team boss David Bartrum after Steven Kane and Rob Collard both finished all three races on a day when the final race ran in some of the most challenging conditions seen in recent BTCC history. "But I certainly don't feel that we've achieved what we can just yet," added Bartrum.

Qualifying was a tough experience for Kane, who was on target for a place in the top six when an alternator problem developed. That eventually resulted in his time being disallowed when the car would not restart after a mandatory visit to the weighbridge and he was left to go back out at the very end of qualifying and grab 11th on the grid. Collard, meanwhile, was only 16th after a disappointing time in qualifying.

Steven KaneHowever, in the opening race on Sunday morning, Rob showed his true fighting spirit by battling back up the order after being pitched off the track by Jason Plato's SEAT on the opening lap. While Kane ran strongly to claim tenth place, Collard fought his way back to 13th, despite rain starting to fall in the closing stages.

"We were really pleased with the way Rob fought back; he showed good pace," said team boss David Bartrum. Kane, meanwhile, raced hard after a up and down opening lap.

Steven Kane"I got up to about eighth at the first corner, but then got shoved out wide, which put me back to about 16th," reported Kane. "But I had a good race behind Plato and was catching towards the end. When the rain first started the car was pretty good, but when it really came down I was struggling and it was just a matter of keeping it on the track."

Race two netted 10th place for Kane and 12th for Collard, although Kane was battling with a steering problem. "I knocked the steering out at the start when someone hit me and I never had proper turn in after that," explained Kane. "The steering was crooked, so it was just a matter of getting the car home. It was busy trying to make my was past people and it was an interesting race!" Collard also had a good run. "Compared to yesterday we're a lot more competitive. I had a good start and the car came on strong," said Rob.

Collard & KaneThe final race of the day ran in truly challenging conditions as a heavy rainstorm swept across the circuit. With standing water in places, many leading drivers fell off and Kane spun twice in the dreadful conditions. But Collard called on all his BTCC experience to battle through to a fine eighth place.

"I'm very pleased for Rob," said Bartrum. "He was catching the others at the end of the third race and I think he has turned a corner with the car today. He's certainly shown the racer that he is. Steven has raced hard as well and if we'd not had the alternator problem in qualifying, he would have been even further forward."

The Motorbase team now has three weeks to prepare for the next BTCC event, at Donington Park on 3/4 May.