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News 2011: Airwaves Racing hoping to reclaim glory at Rockingham

September 15th

Caine set to make his BTCC debut at Rockingham

Independent Championship leaders Airwaves Racing are aiming to make amends to their Championship challenge and close the gap at the top of the leader board as round 8 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship gets underway at Northamptonshire's Rockingham Motor Speedway circuit this coming weekend.

It was a case of a weekend to forget for the Airwaves Racing team in Scotland two weeks ago, which was marred by bad-luck in all three races and resulted in the Motorbase-run team conceding their overall championship lead to Gordon Shedden and the Honda Racing team. However, with the Independent team and drivers leads still intact, they now head to Rockingham with a renewed focus looking to reclaim their place back at the top of the overall standings.

Following the announcement earlier this week that the highly anticipated third Mountune-powered Ford Focus ST would be making its debut, all eyes are now on Motorbase stalwart Michael Caine as he takes to the BTCC grid for the first time to support team-mates Mat Jackson and Liam Griffin for the final rounds of the 2011 season.

Griffin chases the pack at KnockhillThe Airwaves Ford Focus has yet to run at Rockingham's unique oval circuit; however Motorbase, Mat Jackson and Michael Caine have all sampled the sweet taste of success here, and following a successful test at Brands Hatch last week, have high hopes of picking up some additional silverware come race day.

Round 8 of the BTCC featuring races 22, 23 and 24 take place at Rockingham Motor Speedway on Sunday 18th September. Live coverage of Sunday's events will be shown on ITV4, and also in HD from 11.30am – 6pm; with featuring live streaming online of Saturday's qualifying session between 3 and 3.30 pm.

Airwaves Racing Team Manager Oly Collins said:
"We've been pretty busy since Knockhill getting a third car ready for Michael along with a test at Brands Hatch last Friday. There was a fair bit of damage on Mat's car to sort out as well as normal re-prep of Liam's. We've also been buying more Focus parts on Ebay to help the budget and increase the stock for three cars so the past couple of weeks have passed in a blur!"

Jackson at Knockhill"Despite the horrendous weekend at Knockhill, we were really pleased with how Mat's car was running and happy to have qualified in seventh with full ballast on board. We've never been worried about race pace but at times we have struggled to string that one lap wonder together but Mat's capable and so is the car so there is no reason why we can't challenge for pole this weekend. The only thing is that small matter of success ballast, but we've carried that pretty much all year."

 Airwaves Racing driver Mat Jackson said:
"Knockhill was tough but we have to look at the positives and the car was on fire all weekend so it has given us a big boost looking forward to the Rockingham round where hopefully we can get our championship back on track."

"This will be the first time that we will have been to Rockingham with the Airwaves Focus so it's a bit of an unknown but I'm buzzing about it! The Hondas have a great car so we expect them to be quick, all we can do is be quicker and out race them over the three races on the Sunday! The big question is will Shedden be allowed to keep his championship position within Dynamics, or will we see Oulton Park all over again? >From our side the gloves are off; we need to get back to the front and real those Hondas back in... I can't wait!"

Airwaves Racing driver Liam Griffin said:
"It's great to have Michael in the BTCC and I'm really pleased for him to get this opportunity. It would be great for the team if he is able to get on the pace and help Mat in the Championship, but failing that I just really hope for his sake that I don't beat him!"

"Rockingham gets a lot of bad press but I actually like it. Turn one around the wall is unique in our calendar and combined with a twisty infield and you have an interesting circuit that has swings and roundabouts for each of the different cars. I have not had much luck recently so I'm hoping that changes this weekend!"

Airwaves Racing driver Michael Caine said:
"I'm feeling pretty chilled in the run up to my debut this weekend.  Possibly when I see the timing sheets after qualifying on Saturday, I might change my mind! To be fair, no matter what I was feeling, I know that the Motorbase boys will do an awesome job and give me a great car to work with. It doesn't feel any different to any other race weekend; I just want to make sure I'm doing my best for the team."

"I have to finish in the top 10 in all three races – that's what I'm aiming for. Qualifying will be interesting, wherever I am I'm sure that someone will try and knock me off, hopefully we can just make sure that Mat qualifies at the front to give him a good start for the first race. As for Rockingham, I like it, I've won a couple of races there, came second in the Porsche Carrera Cup and I'm also unbeaten round there in a touring car!"

Event Information:
Rockingham Motor Speedway circuit length: 1.94 miles
Laps: 16
Race distance: 31.04 miles
Mitchell Road, Corby, Northamptonshire, NN17 5AF
Tel: 01383 723337