After what Team Manager Oliver Collins described as a “hugely disappointing” 2017 British Touring Car Championship season, Motorbase Performance are aiming to win outright next season.
The Wrotham-based squad came into the season as the Independent Drivers and Teams champions, but were unable to hold onto their title after a season that did not live up to expectations.
“It’s been a hugely disappointing year,” said Collins. “We know that the first half of the season we were compromised and there was absolutely nothing that we as a team could do about it.
“The second half has been a lot better – not quite there but a lot better.
“We feel sure that for 2018 we’ll go back to normal.”
Despite running at the front towards the end of season, the team’s best result came on an emotional weekend in June at Yorkshire’s Croft circuit.
Motorbase stalwart Mat Jackson scored the team’s sole win of the season in race three, the day after teammate Luke Davenport was hospitalised following a heavy accident during qualifying.
Collins said: “I’ve been in touring cars for 20 years now and I’ve never seen an accident that caused that much damage.
“Luke was in an induced coma for the best part of two weeks and I don’t think people realise just how serious it really was and the fact that he is genuinely lucky to be alive.”
Davenport is now making a full recovery after he was left with a broken left tibia, pelvis, collarbone and part of his pubic bone as well as punctured lungs and bent ribs after being involved in an 11-car pile up.
“One of the most bizarre things was that the incident was on the Saturday,” Collins recalls. “So we all had to go back to work and do our jobs the next day.
“And it turned out to be our most successful day in terms of silverware, ironically.
“It was the most extreme high and low in very close proximity.”
After a more competitive second half of the year, Motorbase are aiming to win the championship outright next season.
Collins said: “It’s always the aim, but it does sound a bit blasé to just say it.
“But if you look at our performances in 2015 and 2016, we know we are capable of multiple race wins and challenging for the championship as long as everything is equal.
“But we need that parity.”
The team will return to the British Touring Car Championship next season and is currently considering another programme to go alongside their BTCC campaign.
“We are looking at TCR – we’d be foolish not to,” said Collins. “We’re also looking back at GT programmes.
“We will be doing more than just touring cars next year but there’s a variety of different projects that we’re looking at.”
Featured image: Credit to Matt Sayle Photography