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News 2008: Motorbase Looking for Thrills not Spills at Knockhill

Motorbase Performance BMW will make the long journey from Kent to Knockhill in Fife next weekend looking to impress once again after a strong showing in the second half of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship 2008.

However, team principal David Bartrum wants his cars to be making the return trip in a healthier state than they were on the way home from the last round at Oulton Park.

Steven Kane's BMW 320si was totalled after being hit by an opponent in race three, while Rob Collard's machine needed a new engine after a mechanical failure ended his second race and almost stopped him from taking part in the third.

There was plenty for the Motorbase Performance BMW team to be positive about though – with both cars having finished comfortably inside the top ten in race one, and powerful performances from Kane and Collard while running in races two and three.

Now the team has its sights set on regaining momentum at Knockhill and hunting down the race win they desperately want before the season is out.

With a combination of high-speed complexes, tricky tight turns and often wildly fluctuating weather conditions, Knockhill offers an exciting spectacle for fans and a stern test for competitors.  Ulsterman Kane and Hampshire-based Collard have both scored wins at the Scottish track earlier in their careers, and believe they can do so again under the right circumstances.

With the circuit featuring such short laps good grid position will be vital to launching an assault on the podium positions.  While the Motorbase BMWs have shown excellent race pace all season, qualifying speed has been more difficult to find.  However, if the magicians in the Motorbase garage can find the extra performance needed for some hot laps in qualifying at Knockhill, then Collard and Kane will be confident finishing well up the race order.

Motorbase Performance BMW is currently fourth of the eleven teams in the Independents championship table.  While unlikely to catch run-away leaders Team RAC, a strong performance at Knockhill would push the team firmly into contention for the runners-up spot.

Motorbase Performance Team Principal David Bartrum said:
"It will be good to go back to Knockhill as it's a circuit I really like, there is always a big crowd and the atmosphere is great.  The track itself presents a very specific set of challenges and I think it will provide a good opportunity for the BMWs to shine.  We want keep up the really competitive form we have shown in the second half of the season, but avoid our cars getting caught up in nasty incidents like the one that caused so much damage to Steven's at Oulton Park.  If we can do that I think we'll be right up there challenging."

Motorbase Performance Team Driver Steven Kane said:
"I love racing at Knockhill, it's probably my favourite track.  It was the first place I ever raced on the mainland and I won there so it's got a place in my heart.  It's a very tight and technical circuit, so you have to be quite precise with the car in order to post good times.  The track surface also seems to change quite a lot from year to year which can catch people out.  There are a few really fast corners too so you have to be brave and really committed going into them.  I'm confident we'll come away having had a good weekend."

Motorbase Performance Team Driver Rob Collard said:
"Knockhill has been a good place for me in the past – I picked up my first Touring Car win there in 2005.  Overtaking at Knockhill can be quite a challenge because it is a narrow circuit, but that just makes it exciting for us drivers and the fans.  I think the car will be benefit from what we learned at Oulton Park in terms of set-up, and if we can qualify well we can run in the top six all day."

Event Information

Knockhill Racing Circuit
Dunfermline, Fife
KY12 9TF

Location:                     off the A823 north of Dunfermline, or from j4, M90
Tel:                            01383 723337
Length:                       1.30 miles
Number of laps:           24
Race Distance:             31.20 miles