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News 2008: Motorbase Save the Best Until Last

HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship - Round Ten, Finals Day
Brands Hatch, September 21, 2008
Rounds 28/29/30 Race Report

Motorbase Performance BMW enjoyed its best-ever weekend by collecting five trophies from the last round of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship 2008 at Brands Hatch.

Rob Collard, Steven KaneMotorbase Performance BMW enjoyed its best-ever weekend by collecting five trophies from the last round of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship 2008 at Brands Hatch.

It was a dream race meeting for team principal David Bartrum – who lives only a few miles from the Kent circuit – as he took home trophies for two second places, one third place, an Independent win and Team of the Day.  His squad also snatched third place in the Independents Team Trophy standings due to their superb haul of points on the final day of the season.

From start to finish the weekend proved to be a successful one for Motorbase.  An improved performance in qualifying saw both drivers start in the top ten, with Rob Collard in seventh and Steven Kane in ninth on the grid.  This gave the duo the perfect platform for an attack on the podiums positions.

Race one saw Collard and Kane once again use the tremendous starting power of the BMW 320si to pick up places from the start, and the Motorbase men had muscled into fourth and fifth positions by lap seven.  On lap 16 Kane moved ahead of his teammate and began to chase down the SEAT of Darren Turner in second place.  It didn't take him long and the Northern Irishman sailed past the diesel-powered Leon just a few laps later.  Collard then joined Kane in the podium positions when he went past Turner and settled into third.  That was where they finished - producing a first double-podium finish for the Motorbase Performance BMW team.

That superb start set the tone for the day, and with the Motorbase Performance cars starting second and third on the grid in Race Two they had a great chance of repeating their podium finishes.  Despite a pacy start the heavy success ballast carried by the Motorbase cars began to tell as the race wore on, and Collard and Kane were forced to settle for solid points in fourth and fifth.

The reverse grid draw for Race Three saw the Kane start from fourth and team-mate Collard from fifth respectively.  Kane launched into third place off the line while Collard settled into fifth in the opening laps.  The safety car then had to come out after John George was involved in a major accident, and the race did not resume until lap 11.  When it did Kane set off in pursuit of Tom Onslow-Cole ahead of him in second place, while Rob Collard tried to force his way past Andy Jordan in fourth.

Everything changed in the last few laps when a number of cars were slid off the track after skating across a trail off oil left by the Astra of Erkut Kizilirmak.  Steven Kane benefitted as Onslow-Cole had an off and moved up to second.  However, Rob Collard was less lucky and lost his hard-won fourth after a major slide on the oil slick.  He used all of his experience to control it and managed to bring home the BMW 320si in a very respectable sixth place.

With three podium finishes and six points finishes from the days three races it was the perfect end to an outstanding season for Motorbase Performance BMW.

Motorbase Performance Team Principal David Bartrum said:
"I'm absolutely ecstatic.  I really am so proud of what we have achieved today and through the whole season.  We started the year with a new car and new drivers and we have managed to improve steadily over the year to the point where we are now in contention for a podium in most races.   It was a tremendous start to the day at our home circuit to take the first double podium for Motorbase in the BTCC.  The drivers did a fantastic job in race two to score another double points finish, even with heavy success ballast.  To top it off with yet another podium and a top ten finish in the last race was really just the icing on the cake.  I have to thank my whole team, they have done an unbelievable job.  Hopefully we will now be able to attract the financial to come back again next season and set our sights on a title from the start."

Motorbase Performance Team Driver Steven Kane said:
"What a weekend, it's been absolutely mega!  The team gave me a great car in every race this weekend and I'm delighted to have been able to pay them back with two second places.  We've had our ups and downs this year, but it has all come good in the second half of the season and this weekend has just shown what we are capable of.  I want to thank everyone in the team and especially David Bartrum, he has really put his heart and soul into this team and it's great to race knowing you have so much support.  If it all goes well in the close season and we come back able to compete financially with the other teams then we will be even stronger next year.  I've loved my first season in the BTCC and this is where I want to be.  We didn't quite manage a win but I will definitely want to put that right next season."

Motorbase Performance Team Driver Rob Collard said:
"This weekend has just been a fantastic end to the year.  The whole Motorbase team has worked so hard to get to this point and after everything that's happened today it's a lot to take in.  Brands Hatch is such a fabulous circuit and to finish the season on a high here is perfect.  We've proved today that we can consistently compete at the front in all three races over a weekend, whether we have ballast on or not, which not everybody believed we could.  For both Steven and I to be on the podium together at the team's home track was everything we could have hoped for.  It's been great for me to back in the BTCC after a year out and for it to end this way has just been awesome."