BTCC

Motorbase Performance: The Story and the Stats

The Story

Motorbase Performance dominated the Independent’s championship this season, but there performance in the overall championship was a little more mixed. It was a rare occasion that both drivers managed a good race, but the team normally had one driver at the sharp end of the field.

Both Mat Jackson and Andy Jordan were back at the Wrotham-based team, Jackson backed by DUO and Jordan by Pirtek. The pair got off to a steady start in Brands Hatch, one of the more equal weekends for the team, but the fourth place best wouldn’t be something Motorbase would really look back on as a highlight of the season.

The team’s highlights would kick off at Donington Park, when Jackson took the first win of the season. Right from the start, it looked like it was going to be a strong weekend for the team with stunning performances in free practice. The drivers brought that performance into qualifying, but a technical infringement would force Jordan to start back in twenty fifth whilst his team mate took third.

Jackson took the lead of the race off of the line and, despite MG’s Josh Cook challenging hard for the win, was able to keep the place to the chequered flag. Things would be a little harder in race two with success ballast on board, but Jackson kept the lead of the race until the closing laps. He wasn’t able to keep Rob Collard behind him and would eventually cross the line in second.

Soft tyres scuppered the weekend in the final race as both Jackson and Jordan struggled, but both finished inside the points.

Compared to his team mate’s, it might have been a disappointing weekend for Jordan, but he bounced back at Thruxton, which was definitely a weekend the Motorbase team will look back fondly on.

Despite a difficult qualifying session, Jordan bounced back in the race, slowly making his way up through the field. The Pirtek backed driver was one of those to benefit from the multicar crash that ended the race. Though he’d been making places up through the race, those ahead of him retiring in the accident promoted him to third, his first podium of the season.

The result gave him a more favourable starting position for the second race of the weekend, an advantage that he didn’t throw away. Jordan moved into second before the first corner. He stuck close to the race leader, waiting for the perfect moment to make his move, eventually taking the lead of the race on the penultimate lap. The win would be his first since 2014, and his first since joining the team.

The final race of the weekend would belong to Jackson. The DUO backed driver had had a difficult weekend so far, but the reverse grid draw put him on the front row of the grid for race three. Jackson snatched the lead of the race on the opening lap, and refused to give it up through the twelve laps. A puncture put an end to Jordan’s battle to move forward, and he would eventually cross the line in twenty first.

Motorbase wouldn’t see another podium for a while. It would be unfair to say Oulton Park and Croft were races to forget for the team, but they weren’t spectacular either. Fifth would be the best either driver would manage over the two weekends. Jackson took his first retirement of the season in the final race at Croft, which would drop him back to eighth in the standings. Jordan suffered a little better, taking top ten finishes in all six races and climbing to fourth in the standings, but both had already proven there was more to the team than that.

By the time BTCC returned from the summer break, Motorbase were hungry for more podiums. Jackson was the first to deliver on that in a weekend of two halves for the team. Whilst Jackson was taking his third win of the season, Jordan was recovering from a steering failure that had ruined his qualifying. The best he would manage would be a fifth in the final race of the weekend.

It wouldn’t be the perfect weekend for Jackson, though. The DUO driver managed to dodge the opening lap drama that forced a second race start, but his Ford Focus lost power on the third lap and he was forced to retire.

Knockhill would see another race win for Jackson, before both drivers took second place finishes at Rockingham. Silverstone was almost a repeat of Thruxton earlier in the season, with a second and a win for Jordan in the opening two races, before Jackson took over in the final race to take a second place finish. It wasn’t quite the perfect weekend, but it was a weekend Jordan needed to keep him in the championship fight.

Going into the final weekend of the season, both drivers had a chance at the title, though Jackson’s was a little better than Jordan. Not only that, but the drivers were fighting between themselves over the Independent’s title. Though Jackson was ahead of his team mate in the overall standings, Jordan had a thirty four point lead in the independents battle.

Like many of the championship contenders, qualifying was difficult for the Motorbase pairing, with neither starting inside the top ten. Jordan’s opening race recovery ended abruptly when contact with another driver forced him to take his first retirement of the season. Jackson was a little more successful, picking his way up through the field to take eleventh.

Both drivers faired a little better in the second race, but the reverse grid draw would bring the team’s highlight of the weekend, putting Jackson on pole. The DUO backed driver wouldn’t let the position go all race, taking his fifth and final win of the season and securing third place in the overall standings, the highest placed Independent driver.

It wouldn’t be enough to take the Independent’s title though. An eleventh place in the final race put Jordan just three points ahead of his team mate in that category, meaning he would take the Independent’s crown.

The Stats

motorbase-stats

Qualifying Positions

Qualifying Positions

Finishing Positions

Finishing Positions

Position changes

Position changes

Image Credit: Caroline Rhea

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