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News 2008: End of Year Thanks

I think I might start crying…

We've had a brilliant season in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship, but competing at the top of British motor racing isn't easy and we've been incredibly fortunate to have the support and help of an army people and companies.

Motorbase Performance TeamSo, this is going to be my equivalent of an Oscar's acceptance speech. I'm going to try and not burst into tears before I get to the end of the list, but believe me, the gratitude I feel to everyone who backed us this year is very real.

I guess I should start with my long-suffering partner Barbara. She's a key part of Motorbase Performance and puts up with me. I'm not sure why, but probably best not to question that one too much.

Now, very importantly, I need to thank the engineers and technicians who work on the cars, the 'magnificent men at Motorbase'. This is tough work, and Sunday's at BTCC events are all-pressure, but I'm lucky to have a great team around me.

They are Tim Hull, Charlie Bailey, Alex Steele, 'Clint' van Dueran, Patrick de Groot, Marc Giannone, John Beard, Davey Nicholas, Ants Waller, Jamie Waller, Lance Cornwell, Stuart Heath, Andy Palmer, Graeme Dean, Geoff Forty, Graeme Cleland, Zach Rigby, Daniel Knellar and Martin Jarvis.

George at Geo Graphics has worked far beyond the call of duty to keep us in liveries and stickers. We couldn't have done it without him. Other people who helped us greatly through the season include Tony Weaver and Martin Douglas at BMW Parts, Steve at Grand Prix Racewear, Tim at Circuit Supplies, Daniel at Teng Tools, Colin at Corbeau Seats, Joe at Screentek for the glass, Simon Butler at Autosmart, Micky and all the crew at Dunlop. Then there are Dave, Toby and Jules at Aurok for the dampers and Coronation Garage for looking after the vehicle fleet and Peter at GP Promowear for the team clothing. I think I'd better stop and have a drink of water as I've got a lump in my throat.

I've got to thank our drivers, Steven and Rob, for doing a great job this season. But it wouldn't be the BTCC if there weren't times when they came back with a bit less car than we sent them out with. A whole raft of specialist companies play a vital role in keeping the BMWs ready for the races, so that the drivers can smash them up again and start the process all over again!

They include Bobby at Hextable Accident Repair, Wayne 'the boss' Darwell at Mechspray and Andrew at Spit 'N Polish, who all played a vital role in getting things back together after some hectic race weekends.

When that happened, we had a great team of people on the case, including Jeff at Artizan and Tim at Brise, the fabrication companies, and Carbon Carl and the dogs. Richard Townsend was another fabricator who was vital in helping fix the bits that got broken in the heat of the combat zone that is a BTCC race.

Now on to another subject close to my heart, the catering. Thanks go to all the team at Spires of Oxford, particularly Gary, Lee and Adam, as well as John Rist, head of access control. As well as the caterers, I want to thank the grid girls, who brightened everything up with more than a dash of glamour, including Sarah, Ellie, Holly and Carol-Ann, as well as Sam who looked after front of house.

Then there is Tony Onodi, operative in charge of engine logistics, who had ample opportunity to further develop his intimate knowledge of German motorways this season. That also links to saying thank you to Charly Lamm and the team at Schnitzer for their support. Peter and the boys at TRL were a huge help and the team at Inside Line did their stuff, too.

Peter Still, our team photographer did an awful lot for us, much of it above and beyond the call of duty, while Jeff Bloxham also worked with us on the photography front. Meanwhile, Tony Murray helped with all sorts of things, including being Tony Murray!

Now, I'm getting near to the finish, so please stay with me. Motorbase Performance would not be complete without those two dashing men about the paddock, Gary and Andy Britnell. Gary has truly been my right-hand man this season, being there and doing anything that needed doing. He took on the role of minding the grid girls with particular enthusiasm and professionalism. Then, Andy was executive in charge of bullshit, another role carried out exceptionally well.

Of course, it would be no fun without some other teams to race against, so thanks to all of them for the competition, even the ones that beat us. But in particular, Team Dynamics and WSR both helped out enormously when the fertilizer hit the air conditioning.

Finally, and because we want to come back next year, I've got to thank Alan Gow, Dan Mayo and all the team at TOCA for running the best show in British motor racing. I also need to thank all the fans and supporters who made it all worthwhile, by cheering us on and giving the race weekends a really buzz and atmosphere.

Right, I'm off to blow my nose and compose myself a bit.

David Bartrum

1 October 2008