Knockhill Circuit in Scotland hosts the stars and cars of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship this coming weekend, 30th/31st July, where Motorbase Performance aims to make the best possible start to the second half of the 2022 season – especially after topping the recent Goodyear tyre test.
Fresh from a very positive and highly competitive two-day BTCC test outing at Snetterton 300 Circuit just under a couple of weeks ago, the Wrotham team is feeling buoyed for the 450-mile plus journey north to Fife and is fully focused on achieving the best results possible across its four car squad.
Ash Sutton is presently the highest placed Motorbase driver in the championship, fourth position and just 24 points shy of the top of the standings. With six podiums thus far in his NAPA Racing UK liveried Ford Focus ST, three second places and a trio of thirds, more silverware is the aim for the reigning BTCC Champion at Knockhill.
Sutton heads north of the border to the unique 1.27-mile track, one of his favourite challenges on the calendar, feeling positive after concluding the tyre test quickest of all and working on some valuable changes to the car.
Team-mate Dan Cammish was also very impressive at the Snetterton tyre test, ending the two days second fastest to Sutton a mere 0.015 seconds shy but, importantly and notably, utilising the regular Goodyear race tyre on his NAPA Racing UK car as opposed to the soft ‘option’ compound which Sutton was running on day two. Cammish was also a terrific third overall on the opening day.
In terms of the season to-date, of course, Cammish has experienced some outrageous misfortune which has impacted his championship challenge. Currently just four points outside the top 10 in the title battle, he does have two podiums to his credit and is absolutely determined to turn the page on the largely luckless first half of the campaign.
While the timing screens at the test didn’t especially light-up for the Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan drivers, both Sam Osborne and Ollie Jackson concentrated on a wide range of set-up changes where they made great progress. Each of them carries heightened confidence to Knockhill.
Jackson has accrued four outright points finishes so far in 2022 and is 22nd in the championship standings, while Osborne is three places further back with one overall points result to his credit from Thruxton earlier in the year. In the Jack Sears Trophy, contested by drivers yet to make a podium visit, Osborne is fourth in the points table with one second in class finish and one third place.
Oly Collins – Motorbase Performance Team Manager:
“We had a really strong test a few weeks ago so we head into the second half of the season in a confident mood. After a really busy May and June, the break from racing has been a good opportunity for us to concentrate on the details. While the two-day Goodyear tyre test meant it hasn’t been much of a break for the crew behind the scenes, we do feel that’s been put to good use. Knockhill is such a great yet unique circuit for all the teams, it’s always a challenge the drivers love so we’re looking forward to the weekend and aiming for a return to the top step.”
Ash Sutton – NAPA Racing UK, No.1:
“Knockhill is a fantastic track, it’s always been one of my favourites – it’s such a unique circuit and really does require an attacking style and a lot of commitment. I love the challenge it provides and it is the sort of place where a driver can make a difference. We’re heading to Scotland with some good data under our belts from the tyre test and the whole NAPA Racing UK team is feeling positive we’ve made some good steps forward. None of us know what to truly expect from Knockhill, but we’ll all be working as hard as ever to deliver the best weekend we can.”
Dan Cammish – NAPA Racing UK, No.9:
“After all of the misfortune we had during the first half of the season, the Snetterton tyre test came at the perfect time for us and we enjoyed a couple of fantastic days. I really felt we made good progress with the car, trying a variety of set-up changes and being right on the pace on both days which was fantastic. All of the guys at the team are working so hard and I really do think we go into the second half of the season, starting at Knockhill, in good shape. It’s a one-of-a-kind track but I’m hopeful we can start as we mean to go on there.”
Ollie Jackson – Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, No.48:
“It’s certainly been a challenging season for us up until now but at the tyre test it did feel as though we may have turned a corner with the car, certainly in terms of understanding it more and unlocking some things which should prove beneficial for the remainder of the season. Knockhill is a track on its own, unlike anywhere else we visit in the BTCC, but one I really enjoy driving. With a bit of luck on our side, I’m confident that we will be able to build on the work undertaken during the break to make the best start possible to the second half of the season.”
Sam Osborne – Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, No.77:
“The two-day test was good for us and it’s given me more positivity for Knockhill. It was awesome working with Nick Tandy at Snetterton, he gave me a lot to think about going forward and did a mega job helping with the feedback with the changes we made throughout the test. I feel confident we are going in the direction we need to so I am hoping we can show some progress at Knockhill, although it is a very unique track so who knows what will happen until we get there!”
Opening free practice at Knockhill will get underway at 09.50 on Saturday, 30th July, with session two following at 12.15 and qualifying at 15.30 – the latter will be streamed live online at the www.itv.com/btcc website. On Sunday, 31st July, round 16 of the season will begin at 12.08, round 17 at 14.15 and round 18 at 17.10. Races one and two will be live on ITV with race three on ITV4 – all three will also be streamed live online.
2022 BTCC Drivers Championship
4th Ash Sutton, 171pts; 11th Dan Cammish, 86pts; 22nd Ollie Jackson, 9pts; 25th Sam Osborne, 1pt
2022 BTCC Manufacturers/Constructors Championship
3rd Motorbase Performance/Ford, 346pts
2022 BTCC Teams Championship
2nd NAPA Racing UK, 259pts; 13th Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, 14pts
2022 Jack Sears Trophy
4th Sam Osborne, 164pts