Dunlop MSA BTCC Airwaves BMW - Brands Hatch GP - race report rounds 7/8/9 A fantastic day for the Airwaves BMW team as they secure a double podium in the last race at Brands Hatch's celebrated GP circuit and retain both the HiQ Teams and ...
Dunlop MSA BTCC Airwaves BMW - Brands Hatch GP - race report rounds 7/8/9
A fantastic day for the Airwaves BMW team as they secure a double podium in the last race at Brands Hatch's celebrated GP circuit and retain both the HiQ Teams and Independent Championship top spots.
Jackson and Kane began the first race in 13th and 14th position after a tough qualifying session, and with torrential rain the order of the day the pair fought off rigorous oversteer to keep their BMWs' noses in line.
Despite continual appearances from the safety car and the predictable bunching that eschewed, the Airwaves duo did well to hang in there, and benefitted from the over exuberance of other drivers on the grid. With Nash, Jordan and Pinkney all finding their way into the gravel traps, Jackson held his nerve, moving up three places over the extended 18 laps to 10th position - he secured a point for his efforts.
Kane, who struggled with traction issues and started in 14th, managed to gain three places and finished the race in 11th, just outside of the points.
The heavens continued to vent their rage as the day's second race got underway, and starting from 10th and 11th on the grid both Jackson and Kane needed to make up places.
From the off Jackson proved how effective the rear-wheel drive layout can be; as the flag dropped he gained five places down the Brabham straight on the approach to Paddock.
He then continued to demonstrate why he is such a popular figure on the BTCC grid with a display of impressive overtaking that was sinfully blighted by the constant appearance of the safety car.
Regardless, fifth soon became fourth and when Onslow-Cole ran wide on lap 12 Jackson found himself in second spot.
On lap sixteen Jackson was tapped and lost the battle with his rear end, putting a stop to what would surely have become an HiQ Champagne Moment. He, as disappointed as anyone, would eventually finish 12th.
Kane, who began the race in 11th, said he was driving virtually 'unsighted' with the torrential rainfall; he did well to keep the car safe and ended the race in 8th spot.
Incredibly, Chilton, who won his second race of the day, was pulled into the scrutineers bay and subsequently disqualified with a technical issue.
The luck of the Irish has never seemed more true as Kane, who should have started race three in 8th position, now moves to 7th. Thanks to a reverse grid he started the day's last race in pole position and earns 4 points!
Fortune favours the brave, and apparently also those in seventh place, as Steven Kane lined up in pole position for the day's final race. Jackson who was not so lucky began the race in 11th - with both drivers opting for wet tyres despite the drying track.
It was a decision that would reverse the fortunes of the Airwaves BMW team.
Kane, from pole position, diced with Boardman but when Jackson appeared in 3rd from a lowly 11th the pressure was too much, and Boardman slid down the order to 3rd. Jackson then took the lead from his team-mate on lap five.
Despite the safety car's reappearance both drivers, clearly buoyed on by the fervent home support, stuck to the task at hand: to look after their tyres and keep the competition at arms length.
It was a task the pair stuck to diligently and both deserve the highest praise for their commitment. Although pressured by Collard for the final few laps, Kane was not going to kiss his 4th podium this season goodbye. As his tyres lost vital grip, on the very last lap, Neal stormed through to nick the second spot, but Kane can be happy with 3rd place.
The 'Fans' Favourite' Jackson showed his class and was untroubled for the duration of the race; he will collect 16 and Kane a further 10 points.
This double podium puts Airwaves BMW in a cracking position just under a third of the way through the season. With 110 points they find themselves 1st in the HiQ Drivers Championship and 1st in the Independents standings.
Kane lies in 3rd in the BTCC Driver's Championship with 59 points, Jackson in fifth with 53. The two are also ranked 2nd and 3rd in the Independents Trophy. Now that's how you kick up a gear!
Airwaves BMW Team driver Mat Jackson said:
"A great end to a difficult weekend, I'm very happy with the result. We struggled this morning and had to make some radical changes, but to end the day with the fastest car on wet tyres is a huge bonus for me and the team. I'm looking forward to Oulton Park, and I hope we can get even more from Dunlop's new tyres "
Airwaves BMW Team driver Steven Kane said:
"Fantastic, after the tough start to the weekend another fine result. I can't believe I'm on the podium three weekends in a row. We struggled with pace in the first two races, but testament to the team and my engineer Richard, and my mechanics Rob and Alex, everyone gave their all and they have worked wonders. In the last race today the car was fantastic, we made the right tyre choice and it all worked out, with the exception of the safety car it all went as I'd hoped."
Airwaves BMW Team Oliver Collins said:
"We've had a very tough weekend, but this is the perfect ending to repay everyone's efforts in the team. Both Mat and Steven drove a fantastic race today in very difficult conditions. Great to have such a good result in front of a lot of our sponsors and supporters with it being our local round."
-source: airwaves bmw