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News 2008: Thruxton Next for Motorbase BTCC Challenge

The most challenging track in Britain is the next stop for the Motorbase Performance team in the 2008 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship when the BTCC circus sets up at Thruxton this weekend (17/18 May).

The team's pair of BMW 320s for Steven Kane and Rob Collard will now tackle the high-speed sweeps that make the Hampshire track such a challenge, and the team knows that an Independent victory is within reach after Kane came within half a lap of winning at Donington last time out.

While Kane has enjoyed some tremendous races – notably at Brands and Donington – Collard has suffered at the hands of others and has been denied the chance to show the fighting spirit and pace that make him a popular BTCC racer. He didn't even get a race finish at Donington as the intervention of other drivers twice put him out of the race.

"Rob really deserves a change of fortune," said team boss David Bartrum. "He's been driving strong, clean races, but he keeps getting hit off by others. Thruxton is his home track, and we're really confident that he will be right up there."

Kane, meanwhile, came very close to an Independent victory at Donington and only being delayed by the BMW of Stephen Jelley on the final lap cost him the win. But both Steven and the Motorbase team had shown that a breakthrough first win is clearly within reach. "The first race at Donington was the best race I've had so far, and we could have won the Independents' Trophy," said Kane.

Now comes Thruxton, with its unique challenge. In qualifying, team mates will be working together to try and slipstream each other to set leading grid positions. Then, in the races tyre performance will be a critical factor as teams try to get the best out of their tyres on a circuit that is notoriously tough on tyres.

"An awful lot of our work in free practice on Saturday morning will be about tyre performance," said Bartrum. "That's always the story at Thruxton. I think we can be right up there, and I really hope that Rob's fortunes change; he deserves some better luck."

Once again, extensive live coverage of all the race action will be shown on ITV4. The first of Sunday's three races starts at 11am, while live coverage of the afternoon's action will run from 12.30pm to 5.30pm on ITV4.