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Airwaves Racing target title glory at Brands Hatch

Thursday, September 15 2011

With just three rounds of the 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship remaining, Wrotham-based Airwaves Racing have stepped up their efforts to help driver Mat Jackson lift the crown by adding a third car to their squad.

Joining title challenger Mat Jackson and team mate Liam Griffin will be Michael Caine from their sister Porsche Carrera Cup team, Motorbase. Caine is aiming to compete in the final three events, which includes the penultimate round on the legendary Brands Hatch GP circuit next month (1/2 October).

Caine has raced with the team for six seasons in the Porsche championship, finishing as runner-up in 2008 and 2010.  Prior to that he has raced in the British GT series and at Le Mans.

Airwaves Racing had been rumoured to be fielding a third car for much of the season and Caine's bid for the drive gathered momentum after a demonstration run in the BTCC car against the world's fastest ice cream van at Snetterton early last month. A test at Brands Hatch last week paved the way for his debut in the series this weekend at Rockingham, and he will play an important part in the team's challenge on local soil at Brands Hatch.

"It's an opportunity that I thought would never ever arise and I'm delighted," Caine said.  "I just hope that I can deliver the results that the team deserve and support Mat with his challenge for the Championship, and in my little way, hopefully enjoy it!

"If there's a place I'd choose to drive a BTCC car then it's got to be either Oulton Park or the Brands Grand Prix circuit," he continued. "It's a fantastic track and a local venue for the team, so we'll have loads of support. If I can get three finishes at Rockingham this weekend then we'll see what else we can do next month."

Airwaves and Mat Jackson face stiff competition from the Honda and Chevrolet teams that field champions Matt Neal and Jason Plato respectively. However lead driver Jackson is a regular winner in the series and his Ford Focus a proven package. Last year's Brands Hatch Grand Prix rounds were claimed by Jackson, then racing a BMW, and the Focus cars of Tom Chilton and Tom Onslow-Cole. Victory here would set up the team for the title showdown later in October.

Meanwhile the BTCC-supporting Air Asia Renault Clio Cup final rounds take place at Brands Hatch and Maidstone's James Dixon remains in contention for the title but he'll have to overcome Banstead's Paul Rivett. The profile of the series for touring car hopefuls has been boosted by the inclusion of F1 champion Lewis Hamilton's brother Nicolas, who is competing in his debut season of racing.

There's also likely to be local success for Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup contenders Jake Hill from Goudhurst and South Godstone's Jody Fannin. Both race in the G50 class and Jody has a good chance of taking the lead in the standings at Brands Hatch.

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch are available from £25, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information, call 0843 453 9000 or click here.