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Victory for Motorbase on landmark BTCC weekend

July 31st 2016

Victory for Motorbase on landmark BTCC weekend

Motorbase Performance celebrated a victorious weekend at Snetterton during rounds 16, 17 & 18 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship taking its fourth win of the season at the Norfolk track.

The man of the weekend – Mat Jackson – was unstoppable during Sunday's opening two races, piloting the #7 Focus to an outright race win, two independent race wins and a further third placed podium helping to extend the Kent-based squad's lead at the top of the Independent's Standings to 77 points.

It was a tale of two halves for the Motorbase squad with Andrew Jordan suffering a challenging weekend.  Power steering failure on the #77 Focus prevented the Red Bull Athlete from setting a time during Saturday's afternoon qualifying session - an incident that the Pirtek-backed racer struggled to recover from during Sunday's subsequent races.

Starting from P5 on the grid with 21kg of ballast on-board Jackson got off to a blistering start in the #7 Focus; moving past Ingram and Morgan to steal into 3rd as the lead pack headed into the first corner. Picking up slight damage in the opening lap, Jackson held off a charging Sutton before challenging Shedden for P2 in the final stages. Jackson eventually crossed the line in 3rd, commemorating the Motorbase squad's 300th BTCC race with a memorable podium and Independent win and moving the NGTC Ford past the 1000 points mark.  

Victory for Motorbase on landmark BTCC weekendA battling drive from the back of the grid saw Jordan work the #77 Focus through the incident-packed 12 lap race, overcoming an opening lap detour across the grass to bring the Pirtek Ford home in a points scoring P14.

Jacksons' heroics continued into race 2 with the 35-year-old flying past race leaders Turkington and Shedden to take P1 as the pair headed into turn 1. A subsequent red flag on the opening lap resulted in a restart for the grid and remarkably Jackson did the double. Making an almost identical move as the pack stormed off the line for the second time, Jackson wowed the crowd, taking the race lead in #7 Focus where he remained untroubled for the remainder of the shortened 10 lap race to take his 3rd race win of the season.

Jordan had another battle on his hands trying to move his Pirtek Focus through the mid-pack.  An impressive move up the inside past Hill, Austin and Scott in lap 2 was sadly short lived when contact in the following lap forced the #77 off track and back down the order into 14th.

Victory for Motorbase on landmark BTCC weekendLong delays to Sunday's final race following a major on-track incident resulted in the second restart of the day. As racing resumed Jackson was unstoppable once more, moving the #7 Focus into P2 from 8thon the grid. Despite running with maximum ballast of 75kg on-board, Jackson made light work of the field and looked strong for challenging for a third rostrum visit of the weekend. Unfortunately as the race entered the third lap, the Focus suddenly lost power and Jackson was forced to return to the pits - recording a DNF.

Finally free of the BTCC back-markers, Jordan's last race of the day was rewarded with a P5 finish, with the Pirtek-racer finally managing to stretch his legs and cleanly race his way through to chase down the leading pack.

The weekend's results have strengthened the Motorbase squad's championship position in the Independent Standings and also helped to close the gap in the Overall Teams Championship. Despite a challenging weekend, Jordan still leads the Independent Drivers' standings with Mat Jackson closely behind in third.  

The BTCC now has a short break before heading to Knockhill, Fife for rounds 19, 20 & 21 in two weeks' time (August 13/14) where the Motorbase Performance squad will be looking to close the gap even further on the Championship leaders.


Oly Collins Motorbase Performance Team Manager: 
"That was a weekend of two halves, an absolutely outstanding day for Mat until his unfortunate electrical issue in race 3 and a really unfortunate weekend for Andrew which obviously stemmed from the sudden power steering failure in qualifying.

"Both cars have been on the pace all weekend, which was very reassuring and we head to Knockhill hoping for more. The Championship still has more twists and turns to come I'm sure and it's still so close at the top. With all the big incidents from the weekend we're obviously pleased to hear that everyone escaped relatively unhurt."

#7 Driver Mat Jackson: 
"It's been a good weekend from the word go really. The pace has been in the car from FP1 all the way though. Obviously, it's been a big weekend for us with our 300th race so it was great to take a win and a third and a fantastic effort from everyone involved in the team. 

"Race 3 was unfortunate, but that's motorsport. There are highs and lows and you just have to accept them and move on from them. We'll put it right and come back fighting at Knockhill."

#77 Driver Andrew Jordan:
"This weekend has been a missed opportunity really that all stems from qualifying. I really feel that if we would have qualified near the front as Mat did then that's where we would have been racing all day instead of being back in the danger zone surrounded by loose cannons. We've been on the receiving end of it today unfortunately and that's disappointing, but the championship's not over yet.

"Race 3 was good. It was nice to be able to race people that give you a bit of room on track and respect I really enjoyed the racing – it was hard, but clean and we'll just crack on and bounce back from here at Knockhill. I've been in the game long enough to know you have some bad weekends as well as good ones but tomorrow's a new day as they say."