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News 2012: Commanding British GT return for Motorbase Performance

April 10th

Oulton Park

Motorbase Performance returned to the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Oulton Park for the first time since 2005 last weekend (6-9 April), where its pair of Porsche 911 GT3Rs performed strongly in wet conditions.

After confirming the duo of Michael Caine and Daniele Perfetti earlier this year, the team struck a late deal to run a second car at the picturesque Cheshire circuit, for former Carrera Cup racer Steve Parish and Porsche expert Nick Tandy.

There were mixed fortunes in qualifying, as Caine and Perfetti secured a brace of top ten starts for the #11 Porsche while Tandy was unable to set a lap time after Parish went off during the first qualifying session. This meant the #10 car was forced to start the two races from 20th and 23rd respectively.

Difficulties in qualifying session and heavy rain failed to dampen spirits, however, when the first hour-long race of the 2012 season got underway on Easter Monday. Perfetti and Parish made solid starts on their British GT debut,  the Italian holding 7th place during his stint while his British counterpart rose to 15th before the pit stop window opened.

After Perfetti and Parish handed over cleanly to their more experienced team-mates, it was down to Caine and Tandy to demonstrate their skills in the rain. Caine held his cool while cars in front suffered setbacks to snatch a creditable sixth position. Tandy, meanwhile, was unable to show his full potential due to heavy traffic, but still gained several positions – thanks to manoeuvres including an impressive overtake round the outside going into Old Hall – to finish tantalisingly close to the top ten in eleventh place.

The rain began to fall even more heavily ahead of race two, with Tandy facing the challenge of scything his way through the field to join Caine at the sharp end of the grid. A soggy track proved no obstacle for the experienced Porsche racer, who rose to 13th position within the first handful of laps, before notching up a few more places to hand the car over to Parish in ninth. Caine also enjoyed a strong first stint, making a commanding move into Old Hall to put the car in fifth position by the driver changeover.

Despite it being their first British GT weekend and weather conditions being less than perfect, Perfetti and Parish showed fantastic pace and control during the closing stages of race two. Both drivers lapped the wet circuit quicker than the drivers in front of them, reeling in their rivals and avoiding drama to take fourth and sixth respectively; a result to be proud of.

"A good solid start was made by all the team at Oulton Park," said Team Principal David Batrum. "I think the drivers were great in terrible conditions, bringing the cars home in one piece, and Steve made a sterling effort considering he only saw the car for the first time in free practice. The whole team, did a great hob and from here we can build on our good foundations and become a GT team to be reckoned with."

After a confident start to the season, Motorbase Performance is now preparing for the second round of the 2012 British GT Championship at Germany's Nurburgring on 17-19 May. Caine and Perfetti will be hoping to build on their solid results with further points finishes, while it is yet to be confirmed who will partner Parish at the famous German circuit.