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  • AmDTuning collect further points at Silverstone

    AmDTuning Audi S3 Silverstone - BTCC 2016Silverstone hosted the penultimate round the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship last weekend with the championship still wide open and important points up for grabs. There are still 8 drivers in with a chance of taking the championship which led to a weekend of fantastic racing all the way down the field with the weather conditions during qualifying mixing up the grid nicely for the first BTCC race of the day. Support for Ollie Jackson and the Cobra Sport / AmDTuning.com race team was demonstrated by the ever growing display of official team wear and t-shirts worn in the packed Silverstone grandstands.

    The team headed it Silverstone on the back of a highly successful weekend at Rockingham where technical improvements to the car moved the Audi S3 up the field running firmly on the back of the leading pack in amongst the championship contenders.

    Race weekend started well with Ollie recording the 13th fastest time in free practice and entering the qualifying session in a positive mood. The program of testing and development of the S3 throughout the season continued at Silverstone. Unfortunately the changes applied before qualifying lead to handling issues during the session leading to Ollie recording a time only 1 second off pole but down in 24th place for race one showing the competitiveness of the 2016 BTCC line up.

    With the handling issues ironed out overnight, an aggressive start off the line saw Ollie battling his way forwards through the pack; dicing with the works Subarus and title-leading BMWs in a train of cars fighting for the points scoring positions.

    AmDTuning Garage - Silverstone 2016Having taken the flag in 16th, Ollie was then promoted to 14th position post-race when both MG drivers were excluded from the results due to a rear wing infringement. Scrutineering of all other cars on the grid was carried out during the afternoon by TOCA officials.

    Race two again showed the improved pace from the Audi S3 with Ollie Jackson running much higher up the grid keeping up with and attacking the leading group of cars. Having made his was up to and maintaining a position for a second points finish of the day, a forceful final lap move from championship contender Matt Neal desperate to collect all possible points moved Ollie down to P16 outside of the points places. Inspection of the car back in the garage showed one of the tyres to be heavily worn suggesting further the pace possible from the Audi once the setup has been further perfected to protect the tyres.

    Early contact from the Honda of Jeff Smith in race three which resulted in a post race verbal warning for Smith, ended Ollie’s hopes of more points in race three. A recovery and fightback up through the pack during the race showed the improved pace in the S3 enabling Ollie to take the chequered flag in P17.

    BTCC AmDTuning Audi S3 - Cobra Sport“It’s almost good to be disappointed that we only got one points finish from the weekend, as we certainly could have scored in all three,” he said. “A lot of it came down to qualifying where we were lower than we should have been, but we fought back well on Sunday and made the most of the strong race pace in the car.

    “Race one went well and it looked like we could add to the points in race two until the closing laps when we just missed out. In the final race, there were certainly points to be had before Jeff Smith tried to use me as a brake at the end of the straight and dropped me right down the order. The fact that I fought back to 17th with a damaged car, and was able to lap as quick as the front-runners, showed what might have been.

    Team boss Shaun Hollamby said he was pleased with the performance on track, although he shared in Ollie’s disappointment at the missed points.

    “The pace in the car has been good once again this weekend and we certainly could have taken more than a single points finish,” he said. “Ollie race day performance has been strong and it’s only because of the driving of others that we haven’t been able to score in all three races; particular in the final one where he was as quick as the guys at the front.

    “Having shown our improvement in the past two meetings, hopefully we can now continue to build on it and go to Brands Hatch in a few weeks and end the season on a high.”

    The BTCC season finale takes place around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit over the weekend of the 1st & 2nd of October.

    Top image courtesy of: Marc Waller Photography

  • Season's best for AmDTuning with double score at Rockingham

    BTCC Grid - Rockingham 2016Cobra Sport and guests were in the AmDTuning garage on Sunday at Rockingham supporting the AmDTuning team and driver Ollie Jackson in the Cobra Sport sponsored Audi S3. The team enjoyed its best weekend of the year scoring points in both races 2 and 3 on an exciting day of Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship racing at the spectator friendly  Rockingham Motor Speedway.

    The team went into the Rockingham race weekend looking to improve on the previous incident packed rounds at Snetterton and Knockhill. Qualifying took place in a torrential downpour and a quick early lap put Ollie in the top half of the field before the conditions forced the session to be stopped half way to allow the circuit to drain. Clearing conditions after the disruption meant having to settle for 20th on the grid for race one.

    AmDTuning BTCC Rockingham 2016Electing to run the hard compound Dunlop tyre in the opening race, Ollie made up places with a fantastic drive to finish the race in 17th place just outside the points positions. From 17th place on the grid for race 2, a strong start to race two saw Ollie quickly make up four positions on the first lap avoiding collisions with a number of other drivers including Colin Turkington who span on the first banked corner. Staying out of trouble and pushing hard throughout the race including some spectacular overtaking moves, Ollie climbed up to 11th place with two laps remaining chasing the Honda Civic Type R of Gordon Shedden. Pushing for a place in the top 10 and a chance in the reverse grid draw, Ollie made a move around the outside of the defensive Shedden only to be forced wide slipping back by the end of the race but still securing an impressive points finish in 13th place.

    The AmDTuning team were keen to build on the success of the weekend in the final race of the day at Rockingham. Driving the third race in amongst the big names towards the front of the grid provided spectacular entertainment with the Cobra Sport sponsored Audi S3 really standing out amongst the works teams and top independants. Ollie diced for position with famous names chasing down the Subaru of Jason Plato and held off the advancing Andrew Jordan for a number laps. At the end of the race Ollie brought the Audi home for his best result of the season so far in an incredible 11th place and the second points finish of the day.

    AmDTuning Jackons, Plato& Jordan Rockingham 2016“It’s been the best weekend of the year by a long way,” said Ollie. “We made some changes to the car between Knockhill and here and it has transformed things, so it is great to prove what we can do; it certainly puts the previous two weekends firmly behind us.

    “We had a good car in free practice but in qualifying we didn’t quite have the set-up that we needed. We were further back than we could have been on the grid, but it didn’t make too much difference on race day as we fought hard and made up the places on merit. The car was brilliant and the team has done a fantastic job; I’m so glad that we’ve finally been able to pick up some results that we deserve after a difficult spell.

    “We have made a big step forwards this weekend but I don’t think we are finished yet with the car and I don’t think the performance we have seen this weekend is a one-off. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do at Silverstone.”

    Ollie Jackson BTCC - Rockingham BTCC 2016Team boss Shaun Hollamby was understandably delighted with the results from the weekend, which provide a boost in confidence going into the final meetings of the campaign at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.

    “We always knew that we had a car that was capable of fighting for points and that could challenge towards the top ten, and this is the weekend that we have been able to show it,” he said. “After Knockhill, we looked at what we could do to make improvements, and have reaped the rewards of that work with a performance that is easily the best we have had this season.

    “Ollie has driven really well this weekend and has shown some of his critics what he can do, and the results he has picked up have been on merit and not because others have simply fallen off or had problems.

    “Whilst we might have a small budget compared to other teams on the grid, the fact we have gone out there and raced wheel to wheel with people like Gordon Shedden, Andrew Jordan and Jason Plato shows what are capable of.

    "Thanks to Rob Tickner, Keith Cheetham and the whole AmD team, plus Ollie's mega job behind the wheel, we are now starting to unlock the Audi's potential. The next two rounds can't come fast enough!"

    Photos courtesy of: Marc Waller Photography

  • AmDTuning.com rue qualifying misfortune at Knockhill

    AmDTuning / Cobra Sport BTCC Knockhill

    The Cobra Sport sponsored AmDTuning.com BTCC team were left to rue a mistake in qualifying following a challenging race day as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship made the annual trip up to Knockhill for the seventh round of the year.

    The team travelled to Scotland with hopes of bouncing back from an action packed race weekend at Snetterton, where Ollie became involved in two large scale accidents in races 2 and 3. A mammoth effort from the team back at base meant the Audi S3 was fully rebuilt in time for the race weekend at Knockhill, which began well with the Audi S3 showing good pace in practice.However, Ollie’s hopes of converting the speed into a high grid position were ended by a trip into the gravel at the Arnold Clark Chicane. Unable to get out of the gravel and regain entry to the track, Ollie found himself down in last place on the extended grid starting right on the exit of Taylor’s hairpin.

    With overtaking incredibly difficult around the tight and twisty Knockhill circuit, Ollie worked his way forwards from 31st on the grid to take the flag in 23rd place and was hopeful of building on that in race two before being forced to retire when exhaust gases started to enter the cockpit. Overcome by fumes, Ollie was forced to retire the car on safety grounds, leaving him to again start from the back with the plan to make his way through the field in race 3. With the issue fixed for race three and a series of revisions made to the car, the Audi was at its most competitive and, avoiding some chaos around him, Ollie fought his way forwards into the top 20 but was left to wonder what might have been after missing out on a potential points finish.

    Ollie Jackson AmDTuning - BTCC Knockhill 2016“I have to hold my hands up in qualifying as I made a stupid mistake and have been kicking myself for it ever since,” he said. “I’ve never gone off in qualifying before but I was just pushing too hard on cold tyres, and I felt so bad for the team after the work they had put in in recent weeks. “Ultimately, that played a big part in how race day panned out and having made up places in race one, I was hoping to do the same in race two until I was forced to retire.

    Unfortunately it meant we were too far back to really make the most of the improvements we found for race three, when the car was at its best and we had some good pace. “That’s reflected in the fact that we came from the back to finish inside the top 20 but unfortunately, it’s a weekend where we’ve not been able to secure the end result we deserved.”

    Team boss Shaun Hollamby was also left disappointed with the end result and said he was hopeful of an upturn in fortune in the remaining rounds of the season. “Unfortunately we were out of luck again this weekend and it’s the second meeting in a row where we have failed to score when we could have done,” he said.

    “Sadly, this is one of those circuits where it is difficult when you find yourself at the back of the grid and while Ollie has shown the pace in the car to come through the grid more than once, we've come away empty handed.

    “Without doubt, we have a package that is better than our points tally suggests, and hopefully we can put that right in the events that are still to come.”

    The Cobra Sport team are looking forward to attending the next round at Rockingham in two weeks time where the AmD Tuning team will look to make the most of the remainder of the BTCC season.

  • AmDTuning.com in the wars at Snetterton in the BTCC

    BTCC Ollie Jackson Cobra Sport Audi S3 at SnettertonThe Cobra Sport sponsored AmDTuning.com BTCC team were left licking its wounds after a dramatic weekend at Snetterton which saw the battle for the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship resume after the summer break.

    Ollie Jackson entered the weekend of racing on a high after a successful Dunlop tyre test session at the circuit only a couple of weeks earlier. During the testing weekend, the AmDTuning.com Audi S3 was within the top 10 laptimes for the session with Ollie setting fantasic laptimes after alterations for the team paid off.

    Qualifying also proved to be a success with the pace carried into the qualifying session. With a lap time of only one second off the leaders over the long Snetterton circuit, the Audi was to begin the first race of the day in a confident mood and managed to secure a 19th place finish in race one.

    A quick start in race two saw Ollie making places up off the line and found himself running in 12th halfway through the first lap. The charge towards the points would however end in dramatic fashion half way through the opening lap after he was forced wide onto the grass heading onto the Bentley Straight.

    Cobra Sport / AmDTuning British Touring CarsContact to the rear of the Audi sent Ollie spinning into the barriers on the inside of the circuit where he was collected by the Chevrolet of Hunter Abbott, who was trying to take avoiding action.

    Despite severe damage to the front of the car, hard work from the team allowed Ollie to take his place on the grid for race three, but contact ahead at the start saw him forced to take to the grass to try and avoid a collision.

    Unfortunately, Abbott’s Chevrolet was tipped into a roll in front of the Audi and with nowhere to go, contact between the pair again put Ollie into retirement.

    “I can’t put into words how disappointed I feel with how this weekend has panned out, and there is no way that the team has deserved what has happened to us on track,” Ollie reflected. “We came to Snetterton in confident mood following the test at the end of June, and there was clearly potential in the car that we haven’t been able to realise through no fault of our own.

    IMG_5265“Having stayed out of trouble in race one, I got a really good start in race two and was making up places, but going onto the back straight, Dan Welch forced me wide onto the grass when he had room on the inside and we touched. The next thing I know is that I’ve been hit in the rear and the car suddenly turns right. Hunter had nowhere to go but into me, and it did a lot of damage.

    “The boys did an outstanding job to get the car fixed for race three so for it to end before we’d even got to the start line was just devastating, although the important thing is that no-one was injured.

    Team boss Shaun Hollamby shared in Ollie’s disappointment and vowed that the team would work hard to recover from the toughest weekend of the year to date.

    “It’s a cliché to say that motorsport is full of highs and lows, but this weekend was certainly a low,” he said. “We’ve seen more glimpses of the potential in the car, which show we are moving in the right direction, but we have paid a heavy price for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    AmDTuning BTCC Grid at Snetterton“After race one, we looked in a good position to challenge for points in race two, especially when Ollie got away so well at the start. What happened next is something I felt was a racing incident that simply had an unfortunate outcome, and it was disappointing that Ollie was deemed to have been at fault, as we don’t feel that to be the case. Having appealed the initial decision, the fine he had been given was halved and a grid penalty was removed, which is some justice.

    “In race three, there was nothing Ollie could have done to avoid the incident ahead and it was a real kick in the teeth after the work that had gone in to getting the car repaired – not just for us but for others on the grid as well. These things historically happen on the start-finish straight at Snetterton, but drivers need have better awareness of cars around them to prevent these accidents from taking place. Maybe this type of driving will only be dealt with severely when someone gets hurt, but I very much hope I’m wrong.

    “We will put this one behind us and make sure we come out fighting at Knockhill.”

    Photo credit: Marc Waller Photography

  • Pace and Points for AmDTuning in the BTCC at Croft

    Cobra Sport AmD Tuning BTCC Car Croft 2016The Cobra Sport team and guests enjoyed a fantastic day of racing at Croft on Sunday witnessing a great day of touring car racing at the half-way stage of the BTCC season. Ollie Jackson and the Cobra Sport sponsored AmdTuning team went into the weekend hoping to add to their points tally for the season on a track which would suit the set up of the Audi S3 Saloon. It was great to see so many Cobra Sport hoodies, caps and polo shirts in the crowd at Croft on Sunday. Official Cobra Sport / AmDTuning team wear and merchandise will be available at all of the BTCC races this year from the Motorsports Photography Stall along with our own website >. The stall will also have body panels from the Audi S3 car signed by Ollie Jackson available for sale for those looking for a unique gift or souvenir!

    The West Thurrock based team made the long trip to North Yorkshire keen to build on the pace displayed by its Audi S3 at Oulton Park two weeks earlier, where an unfortunate clash on-track in race three was all that prevented driver Ollie Jackson from a well deserved points finish.

    AmDTuning BTCC Garage - Croft 2016Throughout practice the Audi showed good pace with Ollie lapping just a second away from the leaders. Putting together an excellent qualifying lap in difficult on track conditions Ollie was able to secure 22nd place on the grid for race one after a tightly-fought qualifying session that saw nearly the full field covered by just two seconds.

    Electing to run Dunlop’s hard compound tyre at the first opportunity, the first race proved to be a great spectacle with plenty of on track action and no fewer than 3 safety car periods. By the end of the race Ollie had fought his way up the field but slipped back to 19th position by the finish of the race.

    Switching back to soft tyres for race two allowed Ollie Jackson in the AmDTuning car to battle his way up through the field from 19th on the grid to take the finish in 15th place and secure a well-earned point. It was great to see the Audi S3 showing that it was able to compete much further up the field fending off many of the big names in the process and setting lap times comparable to the leaders.

    The arrival of rain in the run-up to race three left teams in a quandary over which way to go with their tyres, with the team electing to stay on slicks in the hope that the shower would pass. Unfortunately, worsening conditions left Ollie with little option but to pit to change tyres, dropping him off the lead lap and resulting in a 26th place finish.

    Ollie Jackson BTCC Croft 2016 AmDTuningDespite the end however, Ollie declared himself pleased with the weekend as a whole.

    “Overall, I think that was the best race day we have had so far this season,” he said. “We made a transformational change to the car overnight which I’m delighted about as it transformed how it performed on track and I think that will benefit us for the remainder of the season.

    “To score a points finish this weekend having raced our way into the top 15 was really pleasing and I think it was certainly worth us taking the gamble in race three as the end result would have been spectacular if it had gone our way. I’ve never been frightened of racing a car in damp conditions on slick tyres and we are only racing for individual results rather than a championship, so we took the decision to go for it.

    “Unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worse but at least we gave it a go. Despite that, it was a good way to go into the summer break and I can’t wait for Snetterton.”

    Team boss Shaun Hollamby was also pleased with Ollie’s performance on-track, which provided a boost for the Audi squad going into the summer break.

    “We wanted to pick up a points finish this weekend going into the break, so it’s great that we managed to achieve our aim,” he said. “This is a circuit where the racing is always close and we knew it wouldn’t be easy, but Ollie produced his best drive of the season in race two and he was rewarded for it.

    “To score points in this championship is one thing, but to score them on merit in that way is particularly pleasing and its unfortunate that we made the wrong call on tyres for the final race. Had the rain eased off as we thought it was going to, there is no doubt we’d have been on for a fantastic result but sadly it didn’t go our way.

    “However, this weekend has seen us make more progress and I think we’re in good shape for the second half of the year.”

     

  • Pace unrewarded for AmDTuning at Oulton Park BTCC Event

    AmDTuning Ollie Jackson Oulton Park BTCCThe Cobra Sport team enjoyed attending another exciting weekend of racing when the British Touring Car Championship headed to Oulton Park in Cheshire this weekend. The AmDTuning.com BTCC team were left with a feeling of what could have been after missing the opportunity to continue their points scoring form from the previous round at Thruxton.

    Oulton Park is a notoriously difficult track to overtake making qualifying well highly important. Despite producing one of his most competitive qualifying laps of the season at just 1.2 seconds away from pole, the highly competitive nature of the British Touring Car Championships meant that Ollie Jackson started in 26th place on the grid in the Audi S3 Saloon for the first race of the day. Ollie would end the opening race in the same position he started, with damage to the front of his car from contact on track not helping his chances of progressing up the order towards the end.

    Race two however would see Ollie able to work his way forwards through the field as he stayed out of trouble; lapping quickly and consistently to take the chequered flag in 20th place and leave him well placed to push for a points scoring finish in race three.

    AmD Tuning Grip Oulton ParkRunning on the softer compound Dunlop tyre, Ollie was able to make up three places on the opening lap but his chances of adding to his Thruxton score would end on lap three when the bonnet on the Audi suddenly flew up across the windscreen – a legacy of contact earlier on that had broken the pins holding the bonnet in place.

    Forced into the pits to allow the team to tape the bonnet down, Ollie returned to action at the back of the field just ahead of the leaders but – having allowed the factory Hondas of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden through – he was then able to produce some of his quickest laps of the weekend as followed the leaders to the finish, with his pace being a match for a number of drivers inside the top ten.

    “Race three was a case of what might have been with the pace we had showed, and it’s a shame we weren’t in that position earlier in the weekend,” Ollie said. “Qualifying where we did, it was always going to be difficult on race day given how tough it is to overtake around Oulton Park but by the end of race two, we were in a position where it looked like points were possible.

    AmD Oulton Park Ollie Jackson Damage“The strides forwards we have taken this weekend aren’t reflected in the end results and we still have work to do, but there are positives to take out of the weekend as we head for Croft and the last meeting before the summer break.”

    Team boss Shaun Hollamby shared in Ollie’s disappointment at the missed opportunity to score points but vowed that the team would come back stronger.

    “The final race showed the kind of pace that we have in the car and that is something we have to look to build on through the remainder of the season,” he said. “Even though it is hard to pass at Oulton Park when you qualify in the pack, there were definitely points to be had this weekend so it’s a little frustrating that we come away from the weekend without any to our name.

    Throughout the weekend we once again had a full range of Cobra Sport Hoodies and Official AmDTuning team wear available for sale from the Motorsport Photography stall. Our merchandise range will be available at all of the BTCC races this year and look forward to seeing the caps, t-shirts and hoodies in the crowd at Croft in 2 weeks time.

    Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography & Marc Waller

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