Podium success wasn’t just the preserve of Motorbase Performance’s Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship team over the weekend, 27th/28th August, there was also much to celebrate within the Motorbase Driver Academy with silverware for kart racers Alfie Garford and Bryn Calder.
In round four of the Wera Tools British Karting Championship at Whilton Mill in Northamptonshire, Garford – returning to the circuit which gave him his first ever race victory during his formative years in Cadets – was runner-up after a fantastic weekend of racing.
Finishing Heat One in second place and Heat Two in fourth, having led each of them, he achieved pole position for the Final. Holding the lead, he pulled away from the pack along with the second placed driver but a Full Course Yellow cautionary period was called with three minutes to go.
Closing everyone up ahead of a two lap sprint to the flag, Garford was shuffled back to fourth but managed to fight his way back into second before the conclusion – continuing his fantastic recent run of podium results.
At Llandow in South Wales, Bryn Calder enjoyed a great weekend during round five of the Daniel Ricciardo Series capped off with a third place finish in the Final. Starting off well in practice on old tyres, Calder was caught-up badly by traffic in qualifying but still secured the sixth fastest time.
Contact in Heat One dropped him all the way down to 16th place, but Calder recovered impressively to seventh position. He then improved to fifth in the Pre-Final after another enforced recovery, more contact dropping Calder down to 12th position before a great fightback. Lining-up eighth for the Final, he made a clean getaway and made fantastic progress to take the chequered flag in third.
Alongside the BTCC at Thruxton, the Ginetta Juniors were in action and Harri Reynolds experienced one of his most frustrating outings of the 2022 season. Things looked very promising after qualifying, taking second on the grid for race one and then claiming pole position for race two.
Having to settle for seventh place in the first of the three races at the Hampshire track, the Assetto Motorsport driver was in the front-running battle throughout the second contest but into the chicane on the final lap, while running second, contact led to a spin and an eventual finish of 12th.
In race three, Reynolds again showed what might have been by surging through into the top six on lap one from 12th on the grid. More contact, though, dropped him to the tail of the field but he fought back impressively to 11th before a penalty for an incorrect starting position led to 15th spot.
NAPA Racing UK backed driver Hugo Ellis started the first of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB races from fourth in Pro-Am, 15th overall, after having two laps times disallowed in qualifying. While race one ended with retirement on lap nine, in the second contest the JTR driver raced through to the Pro-Am podium in third place, 15th overall, having started 18th on the grid.
On Bank Holiday Monday, 29th August, the TCR UK Championship resumed at Donington Park in Leicestershire where Matt Wilson experienced a mixed outing with JWB Motorsport. Qualifying 11th fastest for the race one grid, Wilson took his Cupra Leon to ninth position in a strong race.
Starting the ‘reverse grid’ second race from the front row of the grid, although dropping to fifth after a sluggish start a good finish was still in prospect. Unfortunately, though, the race unraveled and after slipping back to 10th on lap four an incident two laps later meant Wilson plummeted to last and he eventually finished in 15th position.
Pete Osborne – Motorbase Performance Team Owner and Team Principal:
“On such a successful weekend for our BTCC squad, it was great to also see the Motorbase Driver Academy delivering some strong results with Alfie and Bryn both impressing. It’s fantastic Alfie kept his podium momentum going in the British Karting Championship and Bryn thoroughly deserved his podium in DRS with a great performance.
“Harri proved his pace in the Ginetta Juniors, the races just didn’t go his way unfortunately, but Hugo bounced back well from race one disappointment in Porsche GB to get onto the Pro-Am podium in race two. Matt was unlucky the way things turned out in TCR UK, but there are positives for him to take from the first race and his overall performance.”