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News 2008: Motorbase Back Where it all Began at Brands

HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round Ten, Finals Day
Brands Hatch, September 21, 2008
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Motorbase Performance BMW will return to Brands Hatch for the finale of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship this weekend (20/21 September) looking to sign off a landmark season in style.

Motorbase TeamIn only its second season in the BTCC and with a new car in the shape of the BMW 320si, the Wrotham-based squad has made great strides and performed beyond many people's expectations during 2008.  With the team going from strength to strength in the second half of the season, a win on home ground at Brands Hatch would be the icing on the cake.

Team principal David Bartrum said, "We came off the back of a very hard year in 2007 and came in with a new car, starting from scratch with no data and no real budget for a lot of testing.  We had to hold off sorting out the drivers until quite late for a variety of reasons, but picking Rob Collard and Steven Kane turned out to be a very good call.  We took a bit of a chance on Rob because he'd been out of it in 2007 and he'd got a bit of a reputation, which he clearly doesn't deserve.  Steven had been with us in Carrera Cup and we wanted to take him to the next level.

Steven Kane"We came to Brands for the first round and Steven had good speed but they both had crashes and Steven had quite a bit of damage," explained Bartrum.  Then, they went to Rockingham and it rained and it wasn't a great weekend.  "Rob had a bad weekend at Donington and had lots of damage and at that point I was thinking: 'here we go again, our luck's not going to change'."

Motorbase didn't have a spectacular weekend in terms of speed at Thruxton, but the team did have six finishes.  "We came back to Croft with a different attitude and we turned a corner.  From Croft onwards we have shown speed and the podium at Snetterton really did rejuvenate everyone.  That day was really special for me.  It didn't matter where it was on the podium; it was like a win for us.  Then we were on the podium in Scotland with Rob and he'd really earned it, just like Steven had at Snetterton."

Now it is time to return to home ground at Brands Hatch for the season finale over the weekend of September 20/21.  With the Motorbase team garage situated only around three miles away from the circuit, the venue where David Bartrum first became involved in motorsport, it will be a special day for the team principal.

"I'd love to get a win at Brands on home soil.  That's the Holy Grail for all of us, but everyone will be going out for glory at Brands on the last day of the season," admitted Bartrum.

"Racing Touring Cars is not easy; it's been very, very hard work but there is a lot of satisfaction when you achieve.  You've also got to find the funding and that's way it is important for us to finish the season on a high and help find a budget for 2009 that will take us to the next level."

Motorbase Performance Team Driver Steven Kane said:
"I'm looking forward to the last round of my first season in the British Touring Car Championship, and I will be going to Brands Hatch to try and get a really good result.  We've been working on the car and made a few improvements so it should be in good shape.  I managed to get our best qualifying result of the season at the last round at Silverstone which was great, so hopefully we can translate that into another good starting position at Brands Hatch.  We have a realistic chance to get a strong result, but we'll need a bit of luck in a race situation unlike at Silverstone.

Rob Collard"Looking back at the 2008 season as a whole I have enjoyed it immensely.  In terms of sheer enjoyment it's been the best year of racing for me since I raced karts.   I've loved every minute and next year I can only be better because of all the experience I've gained.  I've shown I have the raw pace but I've had to learn how to deal with much tougher traffic than I was used to before.  I think I've done that well though, and if I get the chance to be with Motorbase next year then hopefully I can be right up there making a title challenge."

Motorbase Performance Team Driver Rob Collard said:
"Brands Hatch is quite close to home for me so I've always really enjoyed going there because I get a lot of support from friends and the fans.  Our pace may not have been quite as good in the last round at Silverstone, but we still scored a couple of good top ten finishes so people shouldn't underestimate that.  I really want to finish the year with another podium for Motorbase and I think we've got a good chance of doing it.  I won the final race at Brands in 2005 so it would be nice to repeat that this weekend.

"I'm just delighted to have been back in the British Touring Car Championship in 2008.  At the start of the year I had to learn about the car and the team and that was difficult to do in the short space of time we had, but everyone buckled down and was so committed to the job.  That showed in the second half of the season, which brought some very good results, and we've definitely been heading the right way in terms of development.  I think everyone in the Motorbase team from the management to the engineers and drivers wants to win and be at the sharp end in every race, which is great because it just shows how ambitious the squad is to move forward."

Event Information

Brands Hatch Circuit

Location: off A20 from J3, M25 or J1, M20
Tel: 01474 872331

Length: 1.22 miles
Number of laps:  24
Race Distance:  29.28 miles