Motorbase Performance team boss David Bartrum has admitted that he would love nothing more than to see his team secure its maiden HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship win on home soil during Finals Day at Brands Hatch.
In its first season with the BMW 320si, the team has been one of the revelations of the 2008 campaign, bouncing back from a difficult run in the early stages of the year to become regular top six contenders – with Steven Kane and Rob Collard having both taken to the podium since the summer break.
However, Bartrum admits that for a while this season it looked like the bad luck that dogged the team during 2007 would continue.
"We came off the back of a very hard year in 2007 and came in with a new car, starting from scratch with no data and no real budget for a lot of testing,” he reflected. “We had to hold off sorting out the drivers until quite late for a variety of reasons, but picking Rob Collard and Steven Kane turned out to be a very good call. We took a bit of a chance on Rob because he'd been out of it in 2007 and he'd got a bit of a reputation, which he clearly doesn't deserve. Steven had been with us in Carrera Cup and we wanted to take him to the next level.
"We came to Brands for the first round and Steven had good speed but they both had crashes and Steven had quite a bit of damage. Then, they went to Rockingham and it rained and it wasn't a great weekend. "Rob had a bad weekend at Donington and had lots of damage and at that point I was thinking: 'here we go again, our luck's not going to change'."
Having enjoyed a solid weekend at Croft ahead of the summer break, the team hit the ground running when racing resumed at Snetterton with Kane taking to the podium, and Bartrum admitted that it would be vital to carry that form into the final three races of the year.
"We came back to Croft with a different attitude and we turned a corner,” he said. “From Croft onwards we have shown speed and the podium at Snetterton really did rejuvenate everyone. That day was really special for me. It didn't matter where it was on the podium; it was like a win for us. Then we were on the podium in Scotland with Rob and he'd really earned it, just like Steven had at Snetterton.
"I'd love to get a win at Brands on home soil. That's the Holy Grail for all of us, but everyone will be going out for glory at Brands on the last day of the season. Racing Touring Cars is not easy; it's been very, very hard work but there is a lot of satisfaction when you achieve. You've also got to find the funding and that's way it is important for us to finish the season on a high and help find a budget for 2009 that will take us to the next level."