Motorbase Performance celebrated Michael Caine’s return to the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship with a solid points-scoring performance on Silverstone’s National circuit last weekend (September 28/29).
The 50-year-old’s late call-up to the Motorbase Performance squad for the penultimate BTCC meeting of the year was rewarded with a strong showing for the Pro-Alloy-backed Focus – with Caine securing P12 in Sunday’s second contest.
The Newmarket-based racer showed consistently strong pace in the #44 Focus RS. Despite only getting behind the wheel of the Ford for the first time during Saturday morning’s free practice sessions, and carrying 45kg of late entry ballast on-board, Caine went on to claim 16th place in qualifying – an impressive mid-way spot on the capacity 30-car grid.
Up against the much lighter pack, Caine put up a sterling resistance in tricky racing conditions to take P20 at the flag in the opening race of the weekend.
Free of the weight, and running on the more favourable soft-compound tyre in race two, the former British GT champion was finally able to showcase his race-craft with a superb drive from 20th to P12 – opening his points tally and securing the highest finish of the season for the third Motorbase-run Focus.
Just missing out on the reversed grid draw for race three, Caine made an excellent start off the line on the greasy track and quickly made his way into the top-ten before an early safety car appearance. As the rain descended once more, the grid was split evenly with the front-runners opting to stick with slicks, whilst most of the back half of the grid pitted to switch over to wets.
Following the restart on lap 7, slicks initially looked to be the right choice, with the #44 Focus running as high as 7th before the threatened heavy downpour arrived. With the wet-tyre runners coming into play as the rain fell, Caine did well to stay on track in very tricky conditions and brought the Ford home unscathed in P18.
#44 Michael Caine
“It has certainly been a baptism of fire, but I loved every minute of it. I can’t thank David and everyone at Motorbase enough. Last year was emotional, but in the wrong way, so to just come back and have such a great weekend has re-ignited my desire to come back and do it again!
“The weekend felt like a homecoming. Motorbase is just where I want to be. The guys have done a brilliant job on the car. They had to do a lot of work to get it ready for me this weekend. I’m glad to have been able to pick up some points for them with all the hard work they’ve put in, not just his week, but all year. I’m really looking forward to Brands, and seeing if we can go even better.”
Caine returns to the BTCC grid in two weeks’ time when the Motorbase Performance squad heads to its home circuit, Brands Hatch, for the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season finale on October 12/13.