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Unit 1, Arrow Park, Brackley, Northamptonshire


One Motorsport with Starline Racing scooped armfuls of silverware at the fourth meeting of the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship rounds at Thruxton last weekend in an event which underlined the team’s progress towards the summit of the category.
Josh Cook scored two third-place finishes in the opening two rounds at the super-fast Hampshire speedbowl to consolidate his advantage at the head of the Independents’ Trophy points table while team-mate Aiden Moffat also scaled the rostrum in the final race of the weekend and he too claimed the coveted Independents Trophy glory. That victory for the Scotsman has pushed him up to second place in the Independents’ standings behind Cook.
Will Powell continued his learning journey with the team and has paid tribute to the squad for rebuilding his Honda Civic Type R after he was forced into the barriers during the second race of the weekend. It was a cruel twist as he had been showing solid pace in the opening event and he was optimistic of breaking into the points-paying positions.
The Independents Trophy lock-out of victories has pushed the One Motorsport with Starline Racing squad to the head of the teams’ competition too as the campaign approaches the halfway point. One Motorsport with Starline Racing has claimed the crews’ award for five out of the last six races.
Cook lined up in third place for the opening race of the meeting. The Bath racer praised the dedication of the team, which had worked long into the night after qualifying to refine the chassis and unlock the final few fractions of a second from the two-litre turbocharged car.
After two third-place finishes in races one and two, he backed that up with an 11th spot – and third in the Independents’ class – in the reversed grid finale. He said he had been blown away by the efforts of the Brackley-based crew over the course of the weekend.
“The team has done and incredible job and shown its resolve in spades,” he says. “Everyone was working flat-out to find these little gains and improvements that we could make and there was progress in the car over the course of the three races. 
“Ultimately, the fact I was disappointed with two third places and an 11th – and two Independents wins – shows that we set the standard high at One Motorsport with Starline. The car is improving all the time and we need to keep the momentum going. 
“Given the steps we made forward at Thruxton, it will give us hope going into the rest of the rounds this year.”
Moffat’s first podium of the season in race three came as a result of a weekend of resilience. The Scotsman says he was delighted with the chassis over the qualifying period but felt like he had not performed at his best during the 30-minute timed period on Saturday.
“I made life difficult for us all in qualifying,” he admits frankly. “The car was great, but I was unable to make the most of it. I don’t think we showed my pace or the car’s pace because I will hold my hands up: I made a couple of little mistakes which were down to me.”
Moffat climbed from 17th into the points with 14th in race one, and then battled further up the order in race two to 10th. That gave him a front-row starting slot for race three and he powered to his maiden podium of the season after a high-pressure 16 laps.
“The confidence was there to come through the pack across the opening two races and I knew I could give myself a shot at a great finish for the reversed-grid race three to capitalise,” he explains. “To come away with my first podium for the team has made me so happy, and it has given me a real boost ahead of the rest of the season.”
Powell says that there were some positives to take from the weekend as a whole, despite being the innocent victim of the high-speed accident in race two.
“It was not the best of days in terms of results for me,” he says. “But I have to take my hat off to the boys and girls in the team. They did such a fantastic job to get the car back out on circuit at the end of the day because they had had to rebuild the entire front end of the Honda.
“We were moving forward in race two before the contact happened. That seems to be the pattern at the moment when one thing or another disrupts the weekend. The signs are there that it is coming together, and we will look ahead to the next rounds at Oulton Park now.”
Team owner Steve Dudman says that no stone would be unturned in One Motorsport with Starline Racing’s quest to reach the top this season, and he was pleased with the showing at Thruxton. He says the performance would provide the building blocks to move forward.
“What a fantastic weekend for everybody at One Motorsport with Starline Racing,” says Dudman. “We had some senior guests from Starline with us, which was an honour, and we were able to put on a great show to give them some memories to take away and put some smiles on their faces.
“We have had some little niggles with the car that we couldn’t quite put our finger on and so we will go back to base and we will investigate thoroughly. You can never question the commitment or pace from Josh though, he was extracting the maximum from the word go. He was able to come away with a bunch of trophies, so that was positive.
“Aiden was super-consistent, and I hope that he is starting to reap the rewards of that. His drive during race three was fantastic and he held off pressure from four-time champion Colin Turkington all the way through. That has given him the momentum to go forward. You could see it in his body language, and we are very much looking ahead to what is to come for him.
“There were some encouraging signs in terms of pace for Will, and he was unlucky to be tagged into the wall by someone else – but the result was that the team performed miracles to get the car back out there. 
“We might not have had the overall results we wanted but the improvement is there, and we will go to Oulton Park looking to build even further.”
The next rounds of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship take place at the picturesque Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire on June 17/18, and all three races will be shown live on ITV4.