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Motorbase Performance returns to winning ways at Donington Park

April 17th 2016

Motorbase Performance returned to winning ways at Donington Park

Motorbase Performance celebrated a return to the rostrum at Donington Park this weekend securing its maiden race win of the season and a second placed podium during the second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting of 2016 (April 16/17).

The Leicestershire track supplied non-stop racing drama over the weekend with Mat Jackson emerging as a serious title contender following a stunning opening race win, 2nd podium and points finishes in all three of Sunday's races.

Under changing and very challenging qualifying conditions, the Motorbase Performance-run duo of Mat Jackson and Andrew Jordan looked to be set for a strong start to the weekend as both drivers topped the timing screens early on in the session. Unfortunately a technical infringement penalty for the #77 Focus meant that despite his best efforts to set another fast lap, Jordan could only manage a P25 start for race 1. Mat fared better and despite an off-track excursion in the closing minutes, the DUO-backed driver secured an impressive 3rd place grid spot.

Starting behind the manufacturer-backed MG's for race 1, Jackson stormed off the line to steal the lead in the #7 Focus. Under relentless pressure from a charging Cook, Jackson delivered a defensive masterclass holding off the competition to claim Motorbase's first outright win of the season along with fastest lap honours. Jordan made excellent progress through the packed field with 39kg on-board the #77 Focus.  Managing to make up an incredible 11 places as he piloted the Pirtek Racing machine up to fourteenth and into the points before the red flag abruptly ended his charge and the race with two laps still left to run.

Jackson celebrates his first race win of the 2016 seasonWith maximum 75kg ballast on-board, Jackson had a tough task ahead of him holding off the lighter following pack and an opening lap safety car did little to help the DUO-backed driver. Another faultless drive from Jackson saw him maintain the lead until Collard's charging BMW pushed through to take the lead in the closing laps with the #7 Focus crossing the line in 2nd, securing the Independent race win. Unfortunately for  Jordan, damage sustained to the #77 Focus following contact in the opening lap hampered the Red Bull athlete's advance and he battled his way to a hard fought P12 finish.

Race three was a more subdued affair. With both Motorbase Focus STs running the softer tyre compound and Jordan trialling a new set-up for weekend's final race, both drivers got off to a strong start with the #77 ballast-free Focus working its way up through the order  as the laps unfolded. With low track temperatures playing a part, the advantage of the medium compound tyre soon became obvious and severe tyre degradation in the closing laps hindered Jordan and Jackson's progress and the pair did well to salvage P10 and P14 finishes respectively and achieve a 100% points scoring record from the weekend.

Motorbase Performance leads the Independent Team standings' and sits third in the overall championship, with Jackson and Jordan currently 2nd and 3rd in the Independent Drivers' standings. The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship now has a three week break before heading to the fastest circuit on the calendar, Thruxton in Hampshire for rounds 7, 8 and 9 on May 7/8.

Quotes: 
A tough weekend for Jordan in the Pirtek Racing FocusTeam Manager Oly Collins: 
"It's been a great weekend for Mat and the team.  He's been on the top of his game all weekend and getting Motorbase's first win of the year is a fantastic reward for the whole team. Unfortunately Andrew hasn't had the best weekend but that happens sometimes. He was unfortunate in qualifying when the circuit dried and he made a mistake prematurely ending his qualifying, so starting out of position he did well to get 3 points finishes.

"We'll go to Thruxton in a buoyant mood confident of securing some more strong results. We're leading the way in the Independent Teams and 3rd behind two manufacturer teams in the overall standings so I would say that it's been a pretty good start to the year!"

Jackson leads race 1 after taking the MG's off the start#7 Mat Jackson:
"The weekend started really well for us. The car felt really strong in free practice and then we carried that through into qualifying where, despite our little mishap, we still managed to grab P3 which was a great result. We got a great jump on the MG's in race 1 and managed to control the race all the way through. It's always a good feeling to get that first win of the season under your belt and it's encouraging that the car performed really well in race 2 again even with full ballast on-board.

"Race 3 was tough. It started well but the combination of the ballast and soft tyre wasn't ideal so it was a bit of a frustrating end to a great weekend, but the car has been on the pace all weekend and we've managed to challenge for wins. The Motorbase have done a fantastic job once again and we feel upbeat heading to Thruxton."

#77 Andrew Jordan:  
"Qualifying really put us on the back foot heading into today, but we also haven't been able to attack as much in the races as I would have thought we would, but in a funny way I'm going away happy from today knowing that the changes we made for race 3 have seen a massive leap forward in how the car feels. The soft tyre really dropped off fast in the last race which we expected but for the first 8 laps or so we made great progress.

"I'm obviously very disappointed with the results but I think we're moving in the right direction and I'm really looking forward to going to Thruxton. We absolutely need to get three strong finishes there to make up the lost ground from this weekend."