Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO’s mid-summer activity continued in earnest last week, with the Motorbase-run squad clocking up over 1,000 km during the annual two-day Dunlop tyre test at Snetterton (July 5/6).
Sharing the track with many of this year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship contenders, Mat Jackson took an early lead on the first day – topping the timing screens as the squad worked through its test programme.
“To get the chance to have a two day test at the next circuit on the calendar is an opportunity which we cannot afford to miss;” commented Team Manager Oly Collins. “Add in the fact that all our competitors are also present means that you have a perfect testing situation.
“Whilst our competitors are there, we tend to concentrate on our own test program, but you always have half an eye on the time sheets to see where you are. It was nice to be quickest in the first morning session with Mat when everyone had set representative times. It was a good marker.”
Much of the two-day session was run under perfect summer conditions, with Wednesday’s track temperature reaching over 36°C before heavy rain accompanied by thunder and lightning descended on the circuit on Thursday afternoon – bringing the Motorbase team’s running to an end.
“The programme is a great chance to try things which normally you don’t get to try in 2 x 40 minute practice sessions on a race weekend;” added Collins. “A lot of them don’t make the car go faster, but often that’s as valuable as finding the things which do work.”
“We covered over 1,000 km over the two days and ran in wet and dry conditions so it was ideal for data. The work now continues back at Motorbase where we’ll analyse all of the data and start preparing for the race meeting in a few weeks’ time.”
Martin Depper joined Jackson for the first day of running, with former Motorbase GT squad driver Rory Butcher standing in for day two with Depper absent due to business commitments. The 30-year-old Scot made an impressive debut in the Focus ST, breaking into the top 10 by the end of the morning session.
“It was fantastic to get my hands on the Focus for the first time at Snetterton and it didn’t disappoint” enthused Butcher. “It certainly kept me on my toes as I learned how to combat a FWD car. It was a new challenge but I enjoyed the learning curve and everyone was really supportive including Mat and Martin.
“Working with Motorbase guys once again was really cool. It just felt right!”
Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO has a short break now before the second half of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season gets underway at Snetterton for rounds 15, 16 and 17 on 29/30 July.
“The summer break may well be a break from racing, but there is very little rest for the people behind the scenes in the team;” concluded Collins. “We are constantly developing the cars and pushing everything to try and gain an edge over our rivals.”