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Record-breaking weekend for Motorbase at Silverstone

September 27th 2015

Record-breaking weekend for Motorbase at Silverstone

Motorbase Performance claimed its second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship win of the season during an impressive record-breaking weekend on the Silverstone National circuit (September 26/27).

Having claimed a second consecutive qualifying pole and new lap record on Saturday, the Kent-based squad went on to secure pole for all three of Sunday's races for the first time in the team's history with Mat Jackson adding yet another new race lap record and outright win in the #4 mountune-powered Ford Focus ST.  A career-best finish for James Cole rounded off the weekend for Motorbase, with the 26-year-old securing two top ten finishes in the #44 Focus ST.

Mat Jackson claimed his 2nd outright race win of 2015 at Silverstone

Jackson started off race-day in perfect style for the Ford duo, collecting his second lights to flag victory of the season in race one, smashing the previous lap record in the process with a best time of 58.464s. Meanwhile Cole had a challenge battling back from 19th on the grid, but the Drivecool-backed racer made the most of the new race two grid rules, posting a superb 58.615s lap to claim a seventh place start for the second race of the day.

It was a case of what could have been for Jackson in race two. After a strong start from pole and in spite of the 34-year-old's best defensive efforts, Priaulx's lighter BMW eventually won out and the WSR man snatched the lead from the Ford. Despite having the full 75kg of ballast on-board, Jackson continued to push, keeping the pressure on the BMW before disaster struck in lap 15 with the #4 Focus picking up a puncture, forcing Jackson into the pits and ending his podium challenge.

James Cole enjoyed a career-best ninth and tenth place finish this weekend

Cole enjoyed his own on-track battles during the frenetic race, jostling for position with the WSR BMW's of Collard and Tordoff before bringing the #44 Focus across the line in 10th place to record his career-best finish to date.

With the #44 Focus slotted into pole from the reversed grid draw, race three marked another new first for Motorbase, with David Bartrum's squad starting from pole in all three races for the first time in its BTCC history.

Taking 9kg of success ballast into the race for the first time this season, Cole was inevitably beaten off the line by Collard's fast-starting BMW and the 27-year old bravely held on to a top four position as the opening laps unfolded. An early safety car deployment calmed the field, regrettably allowing the pack to catch the front-runners before Cole was punted out of fourth by a typically aggressive move by Plato. Remarkably the Liverpudlian managed to recover well, fighting his way back to claim a new career-best finish of ninth.

Jackson smashed the lap record with a stunning opening race performanceA blistering performance from Jackson in the #4 Focus saw the Motorbase-man deliver arguably the best drive of the weekend. Starting from 23rd on the grid, Jackson had managed to work his way up into the top ten by lap eight before chasing down the race leaders in another of his trademark comeback drives, eventually bringing the Focus home in seventh place overall, along with another fastest lap accolade to add to the weekend's successes.

The team now has a short two week break before heading to its home circuit, Brands Hatch, for the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season finale on October 10/11.

Motorbase Performance Team Manager Oly Collins;
"Another pretty good weekend for us! Mat was unstoppable on Saturday and with the exception of a puncture today he was on fire again. James had a bit of a breakthrough today with two top ten finishes proving he can mix it with the front runners, even if Plato did his best to ruin his race three - maybe the pressure is getting to him?

"Once again the Motorbase crew were outstanding, and we thoroughly enjoyed some great team results this weekend."

#4 Mat Jackson;
"The car was awesome in race one. With no weight on-board we were able to control the race and the gap to the guys behind us, and it was great to get another race win under our belts. Having the maximum ballast for race two made the car a bit more of a handful but we got a good start and managed to lead a few laps until Priaulx came through. Even then we were holding on right up until the tyre failed, which was really frustrating.

"Race three was mega though; to come through from the back of the grid to seventh was a strong finish to the weekend and it was another good result for Motorbase with both cars ending up in the top ten. I think Brands will be another interesting weekend, the Focus is in the window and consistently performing well, so more of the same would be great."

#44 James Cole; 
"I'm really happy to have scored two top ten finishes and my first BTCC pole; I'm just disappointed that I didn't get the chance to make the most of that through no fault of my own.  Considering we started the day in 19th, to come away with two top finishes is great and we can go into Brands with confidence now.

"I'm kicking myself slightly as we had the opportunity for a podium finish but I'm chuffed to come away with a tenth and ninth from the weekend. Maybe we would have had a top six if it wasn't for Plato's move in race three but that's touring cars. We keep moving forward in every race and I'm really happy for the team that we managed to get both cars into the top ten this weekend."