Arguably one of the most spectacular tracks on the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship calendar, Oulton Park Island Circuit provides the next opportunity for Motorbase Performance to strive for its first race victory of 2022 this coming weekend, 11th/12th June.
Ahead of rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the campaign, NAPA Racing UK driver Ash Sutton – the reigning BTCC Champion – is second in the title race after a successful outing at ultra-fast Thruxton little over a week ago where he delivered three superb race drives.
Charging to a clean sweep of third place podium finishes, adding to the podium he achieved during the opening event of the season at Donington Park National Circuit, Sutton is proving the old adage consistency is key, and especially so in a category as hotly contested as the BTCC.
Team-mate Dan Cammish has endured some shocking misfortune so far this season, but his pace and winning potential is clear and Oulton Park is the kind of circuit where a driver of his quality can make all the difference.
Following a major car-fire in qualifying at Donington back in April, Cammish’s season couldn’t have started in a more vexing fashion but he hit back at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit with a brace of podiums and was extremely close to claiming NAPA Racing UK’s first win. Last time out at Thruxton, though, misfortune returned when he was the victim of unnecessary contact in two of the three races.
In the Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan camp, Ollie Jackson – much like Cammish – will be targeting a turnaround in fortunes after a troublesome Thruxton weekend. With an unusual power issue forcing race one retirement, an engine change was then required which ruled him out of most of race two as well. In the third contest, though, he gained 10 places from the back of the grid with a great drive.
Sam Osborne achieved his first outright points finish of 2022 during the last of the Thruxton races, a very pleasing drive into the top 15 from 23rd on the grid, and is aiming to add to that at Oulton Park a few days from now. Osborne is looking forward to the visit to Cheshire much more so than he did the trip to Thruxton, so that bodes well for the coming weekend’s action.
In the BTCC Manufacturers/Constructors Championship, Motorbase Performance/Ford continue to hold second position in the standings on 222 points – just 25 points shy of the top. NAPA Racing UK is third in the BTCC Teams Championship, Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan is in 12th place.
Oly Collins – Motorbase Performance Team Manager:
“We’re back to it this weekend at Oulton with the same targets in place. With Ash sitting P2 in the championship fight it will be interesting to see just how much effect the Hybrid penalty will be for him and the other front runners. I think Hybrid used correctly could be strong at Oulton, so it will be about managing that early in the weekend and coming away with a strong points haul.
“Dan will be going into the weekend more aggressively as he needs to get back on the podium. He has a full complement of Hybrid in qualifying and has shown great pace everywhere so far, especially in qualifying. It’s the same for Ollie and Sam, they’ve both proved the pace is there and that it’s getting a consistent weekend strung together that rewards you. Both have run well at Oulton in the past as well, so let’s see what we can do.”
Ash Sutton – NAPA Racing UK, No.1:
“I’m looking forward to Oulton Park, it’s a circuit you’ve got to really attack which certainly suits my style! We’re heading into the weekend with a bit of momentum after scoring a podium finish in each race at Thruxton so the aim has to be to continue that and score more big points. We’ve made a good step forward with the car, if we can get dialled-in and hit the ground running then hopefully we’re in for a good weekend.”
Dan Cammish – NAPA Racing UK, No.9:
“Our season starts here really, we’ve got to hit the ground running at Oulton and take away three very strong and consistent results. It’s been a frustrating beginning to the championship for us, apart from the podiums at Brands of course, and I really was in disbelief after Thruxton. Through no fault of our own we got caught-up in other people’s incidents and the weekend became a write-off. I’m more determined than ever now to show what we’re made of and get back on that podium.”
Ollie Jackson – Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, No.48:
“More than anything I’m aiming for consistency this weekend at Oulton, especially after the difficulties we faced at Thruxton – although the team did a fantastic job to get the engine changed between races one and two. Oulton is a fantastic track, a great challenge for any driver and a circuit where you really have to be committed. I’m looking forward to it and aiming for some good points.”
Sam Osborne – Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, No.77:
“It was obviously good to get my first overall point of the season at Thruxton, it was a tough weekend and we had to work really hard but we made some progress. I much prefer Oulton, it’s a great track and I hope we can make a strong start in practice and then build from there. Qualifying will be important, so I’m aiming for the top 15 and see what we can do from there.”
Opening free practice at Oulton Park on Saturday, 11th June, will get underway at 09.45 with the second session starting at 12.25 and qualifying – which will be streamed live online at the www.itv.com/btcc website – following at 15.30.
On Sunday, 12th June, round 10 will begin at 12.20, round 11 will follow at 14.25 and round 12 will start at 17.10. Races one and two will be screened live on the main ITV channel with race three live on ITV4. All three contests will also be streamed live online.
2022 BTCC Drivers Championship
2nd Ash Sutton, 116pts; 13th Dan Cammish, 41pts; 20th Ollie Jackson, 6pts; 23rd Sam Osborne, 1pt
2022 BTCC Manufacturers/Constructors Championship
2nd Motorbase Performance/Ford, 222pts
2022 BTCC Teams Championship
3rd NAPA Racing UK, 158pts; 12th Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, 10pts
2022 Jack Sears Trophy
4th Sam Osborne, 105pts