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News 2008: Home Improvement in Qualifying for Motorbase

HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship - Round Ten, Finals Day
Brands Hatch
Day One/Qualifying Update

The Motorbase Performance BMW team secured two superb top-ten spots on the grid at home circuit Brands Hatch after Qualifying for the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship.

The Motorbase Performance BMW team secured two superb top-ten spots on the grid at home circuit Brands Hatch after Qualifying for the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Rob Collard pulled off his best qualifying result of the season to put the Motorbase Performance BMW 320si on row four of the grid in seventh place.  The Hampshire-based driver left it until late in the session to find his quickest time, but then leapt from outside the top-ten to secure his spot just behind the Team RAC BMW of Colin Turkington.

Team-mate Steven Kane placed just one row behind Collard in ninth.  While not quite able to match his fine sixth-place starting spot in the last round at Silverstone, the Northern Irishman will be confident he can produce another of his lightning starts when the lights go green in tomorrow's (Sunday) first race.  He will have to be on his toes though, with title arch-rivals Jason Plato and Fabrizio Giovanardi directly behind him in 10th and 11th.

The short Brands Hatch Indy circuit meant no car could build a dominant advantage, and the top 17 competitiors in the 19-car grid were separated by less than a second in Qualifying.  Motorbase Performance BMW team principal David Bartrum was delighted with the performance of his cars in Qualifying, having targeted top-ten slots before the race.  The Wrotham-based squad now has a great opportunity to fight at the front of the pack from the first race of the day.

With such a tight field and titles still to be decided, an action-packed finale to the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship is in prospect tomorrow (Sunday).

Motorbase Performance Team Principal David Bartrum said:
"I'm really, really pleased with our qualifying result.  I'm particularly happy for Rob because that is his best qualifying result of the season and that lays another ghost to rest for him this year.  Top ten is where we want to be, and while we were not quite as quick as the other BMWs today we're ahead of the two title challengers Giovanardi and Plato which is nice.  We're usually quicker in races than qualifying so this should give us a good platform to attack from."

Motorbase Performance Team Driver Steven Kane said:
"After qualifying so well in the last round at Silverstone I was hoping to be right up there again, so I'm a little disappointed with ninth.  I was struggling with the car a bit under braking so we'll have to look at that, but a top ten start is still a good result.  With both cars in the top half of the grid it gives us a good chance of scoring some serious points in the first race."

Motorbase Performance Team Driver Rob Collard said:
"I'm delighted for the team to have got such a good result.  We wanted top ten and it's nice to have such an upbeat feeling after qualifying for a change.  We put a lot of fuel into my car because we felt the track would come to us the more laps we did, and towards the end it became very driveable and gave me the confidence to pick up some time.  Both of the Motorbase cars have been quick in practice and qualifying today but there is so little margin between the top half of the field.  It's a good position to be in though, and if we can make a good start off the line as usual then we should have a great race."

Motorbase Performance Practice/Qualifying Times

First Practice:
Rob Collard        00.49.450 – P10
Steven Kane       00.49.794 – P13

Second Practice:
Steven Kane      00.49.582 – P6
Rob Collard       00.49.963 – P12

Qualifying:
Rob Collard        00.49.498 – P7
Steven Kane       00.49.570 – P9