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Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO rues run of bad luck at Silverstone

September 18th 2017

Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO rues run of bad luck at Silverstone

Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO endured a tough weekend at the 'Home of British Motorsport', Silverstone during rounds 25, 26 and 27 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship over the weekend (16/17 September). 

Despite showing impressive race pace, the Kent-based team suffered an incredible run of bad luck, recording two DNF's during Sunday's action, with Mat Jackson collecting the squad's highest score of the weekend with a P10 finish in race 3.

Changeable weather conditions made for a less than ideal qualifying session on Saturday. A historic session ended with the entire field of 32 BTCC cars all within 1 second of each other. The close nature of the timings however, meant that in spite of being under 4 tenths off pole, Rory Butcher was the best placed Focus in P14, with team-mates Jackson and Martin Depper in P17 and P23 respectively.

Early hopes of a podium finish in race 1 were sadly short-lived. An outstanding start from Jackson on the opening lap saw the #3 Focus leap up into P9 by the end of the first tour of the circuit. Setting his sights on the lead pack, the 36-year-old continued his charge through the pack to take 5th off Turkington on lap 7 before catching Neal's Honda on lap 8. With a podium shot in range, Jackson challenged the works-Honda for fourth; unfortunately heavy contact resulted in a puncture forcing him off track and into the pits. Jackson re-joined the race, albeit a lap down and eventually crossed the line in 24th.

Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO rues run of bad luck at SilverstoneButcher's steep BTCC learning curve continued with the #6 Focus ST picking up extensive damage in the mid-field and the Scotsman had to nurse the battle-scarred Ford home in P20. Team-mate Depper also struggled to find the pace running on the hard option tyre, and did well to hold on to take P22 at the flag.

Jackson's woes were compounded in race 2 after his impressive start and move up into 14th by lap 5 was cut-short by a heavy shunt from behind just two laps later. The race-ending result came just as Jackson had set the fastest lap of the race so far and looked sure to break into the top ten for hopes of a race 3 reverse grid result. With the #3 Focus stricken at the side of the track with broken suspension, Jackson was forced to watch the remainder of the race from the garages.

Butcher and Depper endured their own encounters, with early contact dropping the #6 Focus down to P24. The team-mates worked hard together out on track, managing to end the race in P20 and P19.

Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO rues run of bad luck at SilverstoneThe final race of the day brought mixed fortunes for the Motorbase-run squad. With Jackson starting from the back of the grid, the Warwickshire-man delivered yet another overtaking masterclass. Carving his way through the field, the #3 Focus ended race 3 in P10, collecting some vital championship points along the way.

Depper almost secured another points finish for team, just losing a place on the final lap to end in P16 in the #30 Focus. Unfortunately Butcher's day ended prematurely with the #6 Focus picking up steering damage on lap 12 and the 30-year-old was unable to re-join the race.

Having dropped down to third in the Independent Teams' Championship standings, all eyes now turn to the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season finale at Brands Hatch in two weeks' time. With 60 points on offer over the weekend (Sept 30/Oct 1) the Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO squad will be looking to make amends from a tough Silverstone weekend and hold on to its Independent Teams' Championship Title.

Team Principal David Bartrum: 
"Unfortunately this weekend just didn't go our way at all. In spite of some very questionable driving out on track today, there was also some great close racing. Mat had the pace all day and was on fire, sadly some of the others out on track didn't allow him the chance to get the results he deserved.

"Martin drove brilliantly this weekend and managed to avoid a lot of on track incidents and unfortunately Rory was a bit hard done by and got beaten up on track yet again. It's very frustrating for everyone in the team, especially at one of our strongest circuits. We have a bit of a mountain to climb now at Brands Hatch but hopefully our luck will turn and we can end, what has been a tough season, on a high."

Mat Jackson #3: 
"Looking at the positives, we've had the pace and that's what makes it even more frustrating. We've come through in all three races and the Focus has been fantastic - but you just can't do anything about being taken out.

"The driving standards this weekend have been appalling. Unfortunately when you get punted off in all 3 races there's not a lot you can do, and with the exception of race 1, they are just stupid incidents that didn't need to happen. It's frustrating, there's a huge amount of effort that goes in to race at this level, what should be the pinnacle of British saloon car racing, and honestly the standards have been shocking.

"We'll go to Brands hungry for wins as we always do, but at the moment it feels like a privilege to be able to finish on the track.”

Rory Butcher #6: 
Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO rues run of bad luck at Silverstone"I'm disappointed in how the weekend has turned out. But looking back we have a lot of positive to take from Silverstone. We had our best qualifying result in P14 and were so close to the front but because of certain moves; we've had a really tough day. With the pace we had we should have been inside the top 12 in every race.

"I really felt on top of the car today and I feel I've learnt so much again this weekend. Hopefully I can piece together Knockhill, Rockingham and Silverstone and go to Brands and pull out a result out for the team."

Martin Depper #30:
"We really struggled with grip on the hard tyre in race 1 and that held us back unfortunately. We managed to move up a couple of positions in race 2 and avoid a lot of the trouble out on track and then race 3 started well. Rory and I managed to work well together and started to make our way up before the safety car but then it turned a bit aggressive and we got knocked back quite a few places.

"Sadly, what should have been entertaining, close racing has been spoilt a bit this weekend by some of the new drivers coming into the championship and they really do need to get it under control."

Silverstone results at a glance: 
Qualifying: Mat Jackson: P17, Rory Butcher P14, Martin Depper P23
Round 25: Mat Jackson: P24, Rory Butcher P20, Martin Depper P22
Round 26: Mat Jackson: DNF, Rory Butcher P19, Martin Depper P20
Round 27: Mat Jackson: P10, Rory Butcher DNF, Martin Depper P16