Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent will host the second event of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season this weekend, 14th/15th May, where local team Motorbase Performance is determined to build on strong pace and competitiveness from the season-opener two weeks ago.
Achieving a podium finish with NAPA Racing UK driver Ash Sutton at Donington Park on the reigning champion’s maiden race weekend with the team, the target now for the Motorbase prepared squad is to mount a sustained challenge for trophies on home ground just a few days from now.
Based in Wrotham, less than four miles door-to-door from Brands Hatch, the team has already shown the potency of its quartet of hybrid powered Ford Focus ST cars with one-lap qualifying pace particularly noteworthy.
Since Donington, work has been ongoing to unlock more pace from race set-ups and to also prolong the performance from the Goodyear tyres and the team is quietly confident of a step forward at the 1.2-mile Indy Circuit.
Sutton goes into the second event of the season third in the overall championship after a very good start to the defence of his third BTCC title, his first season back in front-wheel drive since his BTCC debut back in 2016. Fourth in round one and then sixth in round two, he wrapped-up the Donington weekend with second place in the final contest.
Dan Cammish, of course, experienced wildly contrasting fortunes to those of team-mate Sutton during the curtain-raiser. Having shown strong pace in practice, a dramatic fire in qualifying – caused by a split fuel line – threatened to end his involvement there and then. Outstanding work overnight by the Motorbase mechanics got Cammish on track for raceday, where he took a best of 13th place.
Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan driver Sam Osborne will be hoping to replicate the terrific qualifying performance he delivered at Donington, where he lapped within 0.7 seconds of pole and only 0.2 seconds shy of the top 10. Racing to a best finish of 17th, his weekend impacted by throttle issues, Osborne is aiming higher this coming Sunday.
Team-mate Ollie Jackson is determined to bounce back as well as possible from a frustrating opening weekend where two non-finishes, the result of a software glitch impacting the throttle system, cost potential points results. In race three Jackson did post a finish in 19th but, let’s not forget, he is a former podium finisher at Brands.
Rounds four and six this coming Sunday will be broadcast live on ITV4 as usual, with online streaming at the www.itv.com/btcc website, while round five will be screened live on the flagship ITV channel.
Oly Collins – Motorbase Performance Team Manager:
“We love coming to Brands, it’ basically racing in our back yard! Being our home circuit, we know the track really well and it’s the first circuit we tested the 2022 car on this year so everything is familiar. Unfortunately, this won’t give us an advantage as much as we would like it to. Expectation is high in the camp this year, but so is the competition! As expected, Donington was a tightly fought weekend and it will continue to be all year as usual. Ash is sitting in a nice position in P3 in the championship but, let’s face it, that’s two spots away from where we want to be this year.
“All four drivers came away from round one with a bunch of positives but some weren’t transferred into results through no fault of their own. Now we aim to build on those positives this weekend and get some more silverware in the cabinet. Brands is a very different circuit to Donington, certainly with regard to Hybrid deployment, and we’ll also get to see the effects of the Hybrid restrictions in qualifying for the first time, it will be interesting to see how that plays out this weekend.”
Ash Sutton – NAPA Racing UK, No.1:
“Donington Park was very much a weekend of learning and to come away with a podium at the end of it was a real reward for the team and a step in the right direction. Heading to Brands Hatch we’ve been able to dig into the data and hopefully we can unlock even more from the pace. I always enjoy driving Brands, it’s a mega circuit and always produces great racing. It’s going to be interesting to see how the hybrid deployment plays its part in qualifying – I’m looking forward to getting there!”
Dan Cammish – NAPA Racing UK, No.9:
“Our season starts here really, after the dramas of Donington! I’ve got to say again what an incredible job everybody at NAPA Racing UK and Motorbase did to get me on the grid after the qualifying fire, it really was an amazing effort. I’ve enjoyed a lot of success at Brands in the past and I know the team has been working double-hard to extract as much as we can from the Ford Focus, so I’m really looking forward to being back there and, hopefully, challenging for our first podiums.”
Ollie Jackson – Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, No.48:
“I always love racing at Brands, it’s a great challenge and is obviously my home track and also the team’s home venue so I’m looking forward to a strong weekend. Donington was a tough start to the year for us with the software issue, just one of those things unfortunately, but all of the boys worked so hard. I’m hoping to reward them with some good results on Sunday, we’ll be pushing hard to get some good points in the Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan car.”
Sam Osborne – Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, No.77:
“Brands can’t come soon enough to be honest, I’m really excited for the weekend and taking a lot of positivity forward after we showed such good pace in qualifying and the races at Donington. In terms of the results there we didn’t come away with what we wanted, but the overall performance was strong and so we’ve got a lot to build on at the weekend. If we can qualify as well again, I’m sure we can put together three strong races.”
Free practice at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit will start at 09.30 on Saturday, 14th May, with session two following at 12.05 ahead of qualifying – which will be streamed live online at the www.itv.com/btcc website – at 15.50. On Sunday, 15th May, round four is set to commence at 11.30, round five will start at 14.10 and round six will begin at 16.15.
2022 BTCC Drivers Championship
3rd Ash Sutton, 40pts; 17th Dan Cammish, 3pts; Ollie Jackson/Sam Osborne, 0pts
2022 BTCC Manufacturers/Constructors Championship
2nd Motorbase Performance/Ford, 69pts
2022 BTCC Teams Championship
4th NAPA Racing UK, 44pts; Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, 0pts
2022 Jack Sears Trophy
5th Sam Osborne, 35pts