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News 2008: Silverstone Success Proves Slippery for Motorbase

HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship
Silverstone, August 31, 2008
Rounds 25/26/27 Race Report

Motorbase Performance BMW scored more solid points finishes in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone this weekend despite battling with the atrocious weather conditions at the Northamptonshire circuit.

Steven KaneWhile unable to match its impressive recent form and secure podium finishes, the team showed glimpses of the pace which has made its cars challengers at the front of the grid.

Qualifying saw Steven Kane starting Race One from an excellent sixth on the grid - a Touring Car career best for the Ulsterman.  Team-mate Rob Collard was unlucky to be caught out by changing track conditions and left facing an uphill battle from 16th.

However, both Motorbase drivers have been extremely quick out of the blocks throughout the season and Silverstone proved no exception - with Steven Kane blasting his way to second place before the first corner to sandwich himself between the SEATS of Jason Plato and Darren Turner.  Meanwhile Rob Collard was also making progress through the field and found himself in a four car abreast battle for position with those around him.

Kane's aspirations of a podium finish were then destroyed when contact from Matt Neal sent him sliding into the gravel trap and out of the race.  Rob Collard's luck was little better as he lost power steering due to an electrical issue and struggled to nurse the car round the slippery Silverstone circuit.  The fact he managed to bring the car home in 16th position was a feat in itself.

Success for Motorbase Performance in Race Two looked like it may have been a tall order, with Collard starting from 16th and Kane from the very back of the grid.  However, both drivers produced scintillating drives in the heavy rain to power their way through the field.  By lap two, Collard had already made his way up to 11th while Kane had seized an incredible ten places and moved up into position 13.  Both Motorbase men were on a roll and they proceeded to carve their way into the top ten, with Collard in 8th and Kane in 9th by lap 13.

Rob CollardKane then began to find his rhythm at his favourite track and after passing his team-mate he quickly reeled in both Shedden, Plato and Onslow-Cole in rapid succession to claim fifth place.  It was a stunning drive from the Northern Irishman that went a long way to making up for his bad luck in race one.  Collard also produced a fine performance as he brought the BMW320si home in ninth place and gave Motorbase another double points finish.

The reverse grid positions for Race Three saw Motorbase Performance BMW handed a great opportunity for a shot at the podium, with Rob Collard starting second and Steven Kane setting off from fifth.  They were both in the thick of the battle at the front of the field going through the first corner, but Kane's challenge was dented after a spin on the second lap and he had to rejoin the race at the back of the field.  Collard meanwhile was struggling to control the car in the heavy weather and slipped back to ninth on lap three. 

The Motorbase Performance BMW drivers then started to show glimpses of the excellent form produced in recent races.  Collard got back on the pace and fought his way back to finish seventh, while Kane chalked up some of the fastest laps in the field to finish just outside the top ten in 12th position.

Motorbase Performance BMW will now look to finish the season with a flourish at the team's home track of Brands Hatch in three weeks time.

Motorbase Performance Team Principal David Bartrum said:
"I'm not really happy because I felt we could have taken a lot more from this weekend.  We made it very difficult for ourselves as usual and it was especially disappointing not to take a podium form Race Three from such good starting positions.  However, the car was very quick when given some clear track so we will look forward to our home race at Brands Hatch and try to give all our supporters there something to celebrate."

Motorbase Performance Team Driver Steven Kane said:
"It was a really mixed weekend because I was so fast in Qualifying but didn't have much luck in the races.  Race Two was good and it was great to have the pace to fight back from dead last all the way up to fifth.  However, I have to hold my hand up and say I just pushed it too hard in the last race, I caught the kerb and because it was so wet it just spun me right round.  I've not made many mistakes this year so I suppose I'm allowed one and that's the way it goes sometimes in racing."

Motorbase Performance Team Driver Rob Collard said:
"I'm frustrated because I feel we could have had so much more from this weekend but the conditions have thrown us a bit.  The car felt superb in Qualifying but we lost the balance a bit in the races and I spent most of my time just trying to keep it on the track.  Where everything clicked in the last race it didn't do that here, so we will have to go back to the drawing board and come up with something to put us back up there at Brands Hatch."