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Bassett returns to where it all began

Spoox Motorsport driver Chris Bassett heads to his home circuit Brands Hatch, for rounds 13 and 14 of the BARC SE Tin Tops on 27 October.

 It’s been three seasons since Chris competed in the Tin Top Championship following his switch to the Track Attack Tricolore Trophy – a championship dedicated to French cars, but as the championship ended at the end of September, the opportunity to race at the end of the season Tin Top races was too good to turn down.

Bassett returns to where it all began

“I’m looking forward to returning to the championship where it all began for us nearly seven years ago. The biggest challenge will again be the Honda Civic’s we were competing against three years ago – who are still the front runners in the championship. We know the circuit well and are still hopeful of mixing it at the sharp end and are targeting some strong podium finishes,” said Chris.

Over the past three seasons, the blue Peugeot 205 GTi has undergone an extensive development programme which has seen some impressive results. “The balance and power seems strong and we appear to be capable of mixing it with most cars so we are hopeful, with some reliability, we should achieve some good results this weekend.

“One thing is for certain – the team and I will be going flat out to do the best job we can and I’m looking forward to returning to where it all began.”

Our 2018 race partners are:

Etesia UK

Fusion Media

Spoox Motorsport

Tom Motorsport

Rock Oil

Sygnature Workwear

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Bassett hopeful ahead of iconic Donington Park visit

Bassett hopeful ahead of iconic Donington Park visit. Chris Bassett is preparing for a busy weekend of racing at one of the UK’s most iconic circuits – Donington Park in Derbyshire, which will see a conclusion to the Track Attack Tricolore Trophy Championship for 2018.  

The Spoox Motorsport Peugeot 205 GTi will arrive at Donington Park this weekend (29 September) following a double podium and two class wins last time out at Mallory Park at the beginning of September.

Bassett hopeful ahead of iconic Donington Park visit

It’s another new track for Chris, having never raced there before: “Donington Park will be challenging. It has some long straights and winding corners, so the Peugeot will have a full workout compared to some of the other circuits we race at. Donington is a track that I’ve always wanted to race at having witnessed Ayrton Senna’s stunning victory in challenging conditions back in 1993 and I’m certainly looking forward to signing off the Tricolore Trophy Championship in style with a strong showing.”

Chris will be hoping that Donington Park will not be the final race of 2018 and is currently looking at some options – full details will be announced shortly!

Our 2018 race partners are:

Etesia UK

Fusion Media

Spoox Motorsport

Tom Motorsport

Rock Oil

Sygnature Workwear

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Wet Masterclass at Silverstone

Chris Bassett had a testing race weekend at the washed-out Silverstone Track Attack round, but ended with another two class wins, along with a second and ninth overall.

Following one of the driest summers for nearly 30 years, it felt like a year’s worth of rain had dropped itself in Northamptonshire at Silverstone for rounds nine and ten of the Track Attack Championship. It was another new track to learn, but we came away from qualifying in ninth place overall – which was pleasing enough after still learning the circuit in extremely wet conditions with alot of standing water across many parts of the track.

Wet Masterclass at Silverstone

Race one begun with a good start off the line making up two places going into the first corner and up into seventh place. Over the next five laps we clawed our way through the pack and up into second place overal and in pursuit of Will Di Claudio’s very rapid Peugeot 106 GTi. 

I’ve always enjoyed racing in wet conditions since my karting days all those years ago and it’s these conditions that myself and the Peugeot package really excel in. Over the next five laps we closed the gap to Di Claudio down from what was over six seconds at one point to less than a second with just two laps remaining. With time running out, I made my move around the outside of Becketts. Unfortunately for us, Di Claudio understeered straight into me and as we entered Club Straight, I did a complete 360 degree spin. By the time that I had recovered, I found myself nearly four seconds behind. I tried in vain to claw back the gap, but with only one lap now remaining, time was too short – although we did get fastest lap by almost a clear two seconds which was very pleasing.

wet masterclass at Silverstone

We started the second race in second position, but too a gamble with our choice of tires. The circuit was still damp, but drying. It looked as though we might have another downpour, so I opted to go for an intermediate set-up which is something between wet and dry – with the hope that if it rained we would be perfectly placed to take full advantage of everyone else who opted for a dry set-up.

Unfortunately, the rain never came and we gradually slipped back through the grid and down to ninth place overall, which is where we finished. Ironically, the rain came just as our race had finished – had it came just ten minutes earlier, we probably would have been able to claw our way back up the standings.

Still, another two class wins, a second overall and fastest lap capped another good race weekend ahead of the trip to Snetterton in Norfolk and rounds eleven and twelve.

Our 2018 race partners are:

Etesia UK

Fusion Media

Spoox Motorsport

Tom Motorsport

Rock Oil

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Three wins as racing heads for summer break

Two tracks, two different championships, a fourth, third & second overall and three class wins capped a fantastic weekend of racing for Chris Bassett before the summer break.

As well as competing in rounds seven and eight of the Tricolore Championship at Rockingham Speedway in Northamptonshire on the Saturday, the team packed up and headed back to local track Brands Hatch for round three of the Time Attack Event on the Sunday.

Both days proved to be a scorcher in more ways than one. Having never visited Rockingham before, Chris was pleased to have qualified in fifth position overall and first in class, albeit slightly further behind time wise with the front runners than he would have liked.

After a great start off the line, Chris briefly moved up into 4th place before the Super charged Renault Clio of James Breeze powered past. Following the retirements of Will De Claudio and Nick Gwinett – both to broken driveshafts, Chris moved up into third place overall, albeit around 3 seconds behind Tony Hunter (Clio) and Breeze. Don Hughes then moved ahead of Chris and started to chase down Hunter, until the two tripped up while lapping back markers, which dropped Hughes down the pecking order and Hunter back into the clutches of Breeze and Bassett. And that’s how race one finished, with all three cars never being more than four seconds apart. Another podium finish overall and first in class for the Peugeot 205 GTi.

“Unfortunately, Rockingham has one of the longest straights of the season and that really isn’t our strong point. We are around 70-100bhp down on the front running cars so need to make the most of the twisty section. Unfortunately for us, there aren’t enough twisty bits at Rockingham and cars just power past us on the straights each lap. It’s a game of cat and mouse to then try and pass them in the corners, but that’s been the story of the season.”

Race two began in similar fashion starting third overall, until lap two when Don Hughes drove past as the cars crossed the start finish line. Nick Gwinett had a storming race and move up to third overall with a train of 6 cars never more than a few seconds apart for the whole race. Bassett was battling with Bob Buckland (Renault Clio) for the whole race for fourth overall and first in class.

A fantastic race, with many spectators commenting that it was the best race of the year to watch, ended with Chris in fourth overall and first in class behind Tony Hunter, Don Hughes and Nick Gwinett. The team now packed up and headed South to Brands Hatch the following day.

“It’s always nice to return to Brands Hatch with it being our local track and one that I only get to race at once a year these days. However, we wasn’t going racing in the normal sense. It’s Time Attack, which sees drivers competing against each other to try and set the fastest lap time of the session. We competed at this event last year, but unfortunately, we had reliability issues so didn’t really do ourselves justice.”

Introduced in 2006, the UK Time Attack Championship has grown into the largest and most professional Time Attack events in the world. Multiple classes are employed to give relevance and purpose to a wide variety of cars and drivers, from entry level street classes to Pro classes. Events take place at major race circuits in the UK with official timing supplied by TSL Timing, the race industry standard.

“I enjoyed the event last year and it is something different to what I am used to. We were competing against, on paper, much faster and more powerful cars than the 205, but I know Brands Hatch well so we thought we would put on a good show.”

Warm-up went well with Chris heading the times overall and by nearly nine tenths of a second from his nearest class competitor. However, times were expected to be quicker once the business side of things got underway.

Final practice was next up before Qualifying and the final. To everyone’s surprise, Chris also ended this session in first place. When you look at the other cars in this event, it puts it into perspective what a good drive it was – with some other cars nearly 200 BHP up on the Peugeot 205 GTI. A glance at the split section times and speeds made the overall position even more impressive – the Spoox Motorsport Peugeot was 20mph down on the quickest car in that section across the start finish line.

The qualifying session was next up and people were starting to take notice of the ‘little blue car’ which was outperforming Mitsubishi Evo’s! Unfortunately, this session ended with Chris coming in third position overall, but still first in class.

As the cars headed out to the final, Chris and the team were optimistic of another strong showing. The car had attracted some interest over the course of the day and lots of TV coverage – which always goes down well with sponsors. The session was a tight battle between Chris and the white Mitsubishi with just two tenths of a second ever between them as the times tumbled.

And so the weekend of racing finished, with a second position overall and a first in class – by almost two seconds.

“It was a fantastic weekend of racing. I was disappointed with my overall lap time at Brands Hatch, as it was around a second slower than my lap record. However, we have to run a controlled Pirelli tyre in the Time Attack Championship whereas we normally run with Kumho and it was the hottest day of the year with track temperatures over 30 degrees. At the end of the day, everyone was struggling with temperatures and I guess the most important thing is where you finish, so to get another class win rounded off the weekend in a great way. The car round faultlessly all weekend and a massive thank you to Tom Burgess and Ian Deasy for keeping the car running.”

Chris’ next race is at Silverstone – another new track on 29 July.

Our 2018 race partners are:

Etesia UK

Fusion Media

Spoox Motorsport

Tom Motorsport

Rock Oil

Sygnature Workwear

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Weekend of Motorsport for Chris Bassett

Weekend of Motorsport for Chris Bassett. As well as competing in rounds seven and eight of the Tricolore Championship which heads to Rockingham in Northamptonshire on 23 June, Chris will be competing in round three of the Time Attack Event at Brands Hatch on 24 June.

 

Weekend of Motorsport for Chris BassettFollowing four class wins and three overall podiums in the Track Attack Tricolore Championship, Chris is looking forward to learning another new track and getting back out racing in what seems a long break since the April event at Pembrey.

“I’m really looking forward to get out racing again and to try a new track. Rockingham is famous for the banking so it will certainly be interesting. I’ll be hoping for another strong showing from the Peugeot and hopefully some more podiums, although it’s always a tough ask at somewhere new.

“It is all about learning more about the car and what it’s capabilities are. We’ve had a decent start to the season which is pleasing. Now I want to really push on and continue those results.”

Weekend of Motorsport for Chris BassettThe next day the team will head to local track Brands Hatch for round three of the Time Attack event, which is the biggest and most popular event of the year and combines Tunerfest.

Tunerfest South celebrates high-end performance and style, when extreme styling, tuning and modification will be the stars of the show. On-track entertainment is headlined by the spectacular Time Attack Championship, where competitors battle to set the fastest lap of the day.

Other on-track entertainment includes drifting and a Formula One demonstration. Off track there is the PAAA Performance Tuning Event, trade stands, karting and a huge range of car clubs where you will be able to see the best in modified machinery. You will also be able to take your own car on to the circuit during public track sessions.

Chris will be competing along with 2017 UK Time Attack Classic & Retro Champion and fellow Team Spoox Motorsport driver Andy York in the Classic & Retro class. Also competing at the Brands Hatch will be Spoox Motorsport owner Darren Spooner in his very special Peugeot 205.

It promises to be a fantastic weekend of motorsport!

Our 2018 race partners are:

Etesia UK

Fusion Media

Spoox Motorsport

Tom Motorsport

Rock Oil

Sygnature Workwear

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Bassett Hopeful of More Podiums at Prembrey

Bassett Hopeful of More Podiums at Prembrey. Chris Bassett is optimistic that his Peugeot 205 GTi will have the tools to fight for more points and podiums in Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2018 Track Attack Tricolore Championship at Prembrey in Wales on 21 April.

Chris arrives in Wales off the back of another stellar performance at Brands Hatch in March, where he added two podiums and two class wins to his growing tally with a supreme drive at his local circuit in Kent

Bassett Hopeful of More Podiums at Prembrey

The home of Welsh motorsport, Prembrey is another new circuit to learn for Chris. Pembrey circuit is one of the most challenging tracks in the UK with high speed corners and a reputation as a real drivers circuit.

Some new upgrades have been made to the Peugeot 205 GTi following some fuel surge problems at the last round and Chris is confident of another strong showing.

“After the success of Brands Hatch I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of my Peugeot at another new Circuit. Prembrey looks a quick circuit, so I hope we will be able to keep up with the quicker cars – the fast-flowing corners should suit my driving style and also the Peugeot chassis. I’m really looking forward to this weekend.”

Our 2018 race partners are:

Etesia UK

Fusion Media

Spoox Motorsport

Tom Motorsport

Rock Oil

Sygnature Workwear

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Double Podium at first Tricolore round

Two podiums and close racing for Bassett’s first race weekend of 2018

Chris Bassett had a strong first weekend in the new Track Attack Tricolore 2018 championship, scoring two podium finishes and two class wins at Brands Hatch in his Peugeot 205 GTi.

Double Podium at first Tricolore round

Chris hit the ground running in qualifying at his local circuit in Kent, putting his Spoox Motorsport prepared Peugeot fourth on the grid for the opening race of the weekend, following some issues in qualifying.

He then got the jump on Nick Gwinett’s Renault Clio to move into third at the start, where he followed the two Renault Clio’s of Tony Bell and Russ Thompson closely throughout the race, waiting for an opportunity to pounce. That opportunity arose when the leading trio came up behind back backers and Chris moved up into second place (first in class). The remaining ten laps were at a relentless pace with the top three being no more than two seconds apart for the entire race. And so it finished, with Chris coming second less than 5 tenths of a second behind Thompson and setting a new personal best along the way.

For the second race, Chris qualified second following the previous race finishing position.

Double Podium at first Tricolore round

From there, He made a good start and was fighting with Thompson and Hunter throughout the race – again being no more than two seconds apart for the entire race. Again, a very fast-paced race ensured another action packed round of the Tricolore Championship. Another personal best was also set.

Chris left his local circuit in good spirits after a double podium finish and two class wins, with the Tricolore championship looking set to be one of the closest in years.

Chris Bassett said:

“It’s been a great start to the year. It was a very good first two rounds and alot of hard work by Spoox Motorsport has paid off.

“It’s always nice to have a good start to the race season and also with it being at my local circuit. Our pace was good throughout and we look forward to visiting Prembrey on 21 April where we will hope to have another strong race.”

Our 2018 race partners are:

Etesia UK

Fusion Media

Spoox Motorsport

Tom Motorsport

Rock Oil

Sygnature Workwear

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A Win to End the Year on a High

A win to End the Year on a High. As the Track Attack Tricolore Trophy Championship ended at the end of September and with the car running well, we decided that we didn’t want the season to end and so entered the final round of the Classic Sports Car Club Open Championship at Brands Hatch in early November and a new race format – a one off 30 minute pitstop race.

We know the track so well, living less than two miles away, so we always class any race at Brands Hatch as out ‘home’ track. The car went into Tom Motorsport after the last race at Mallory Park for a ‘spanner and fluid check’ ahead of the race along with a set of new tyres.

The Saturday race morning began with a downpour which meant that qualifying would be wet along with the likelyhood of the race also being wet. Tom Motorsport set about making set-up changes to the car from a dry setup to wet setup and we headed out for qualifying.

I’ve always enjoyed racing in the wet since my karting days and I certainly know Brands Hatch well, so it was great to end the qualifying session in third place overall and first in class, ahead of some very quick cars, which in dry conditions we wouldn’t stand a chance against.

When we arrived back in parc ferme it turned out that three competitors had complained about the tyres we were using. We use Kuhmo tyres, following the recommendation to switch from Toyo by Spoox Motorsport last year. We have different compounds that we use depending on track conditions from medium, soft and super soft in very wet conditions. All this meant that we had to start the race on our dry tyres, which hadn’t been ‘scrubbed in’ and at the back of the grid in 24th position – yet more racing politics to deal with!

A Win to End the Year on a High

We’ve become accustomed to politics since we’ve been winning races and it’s all part of the fun  – turning up in our ‘little old Peugeot’, ruffling some feathers and beating some much quicker cars (on paper) and this was no different. While it wasn’t ideal starting on brand new tyres which hadn’t gone through a heat cycle or weren’t ideal for wet weather, I was still confident on having a strong finish in the race, having seen how much quicker we were in qualifying than the other cars in our class.

I was looking forward to a new race format in the one off 30 minute pitstop race and so we started the ‘rolling grid’ in 24th and last position. By the end of the second lap, we had managed to get up to 14th place and first in class, without really pushing too hard. By the time the race had reached the half way mark, we had managed to progress through the field and into 10th place overall before the mandatory pitstop. As it was only me driving the car, this involved driving into the pits, getting out of the car, closing the door and getting back into the car and strapped back in before being able to leave for the track.

A slick pitstop by Tom and Terry enabled me to make up another place in the pits. Over the remaining ten minutes of the race, we managed to get up to 6th place overall while maintaining class lead – in fact I managed to lap everyone else in class by at least two laps!

And so the racing season finished on a high with a win. After all the problems we suffered throughout this year, it’s always nice to return ‘home’ with another win which gives everyone a lift going into the winter ahead of the 2018 season.

A massive thanks to my race sponsors and in particular to Tom Burgess of Tom Motorsport, who without help and assitance from, racing would not be possible along with Spoox Motorsport.

2018 will once again see us complete in the Tricolore Trophy along with some appearances in the CSCC Open Series.

Our 2017 race partners are:

Etesia UK

Fusion Media

Spoox Motorsport

Tom Motorsport

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Double Podium at Final Round of Tricolore

Double Podium at Final Round of Tricolore. Two second place finishes saw a succesful end to the first year in the Track Attack Tricolore Trophy Championship.

After the previous debacle at the Oulton Park Round when we never even turned a wheel due to mechanical issues with a misfire and a broken exhaust manifold, which wasn’t spotted following our crash earlier in the year at Castle Combe, we headed to the Mallory Park Circuit in Leicestershire for the final two rounds of of the Track Attack Tricolore Trophy.

Double Podium at Final Round

While not exactly a challenging circuit, it was another new circuit to learn – plenty of watching YouTube clips of other drivers in the lead up it was then! The car itself went back to Spoox Motorsport (also based in Leicester) for some much needed love and attention, tweeks and set-up changes. This included a complete new exhaust system from manifold to rear silencer – custom made by Spoox, suspension upgrades, corner weighting, new injectors and fuel rail system and a complete engine re-map by the team at Spoox. This event also saw Darren and Jay from Spoox run the car at Mallory Park and give some much needed tips to get the best out of the car.

We finished qualifying in 10th position overall and 2nd in class, but struggled to get a clear lap and was getting quicker as the session ended, once we got to grips with the new set-up and the new circuit.

Double Podium at Final Round

As the race started, we made a poor start and dropped back to 13th place. Over the next few laps, we picked our way through the field while still learning the feel of the new car, to end on the back of the leading group of cars and into 6th position overall and 2nd in class – it’s much easier to learn a circuit when you have quick cars to follow!

Final set-up changes were made to the Peugeot by Darren and Jay ahead of the final round and mount an assualt on the podium.

Double Podium at Final Round

As the race started, we made another bad start (I really need to pracice quicker get aways over the winter!) and dropped back to 10th. Over the next 6 laps I made my way back up to 5th place by some brave outbraking of other cars around the outside of Shaws Hairpin which then gave me the inside line going into Devils Elbow. Following a lunge by Nick Gwinett in his Renault Clio on Robert Buckland’s Clio on the inside of Shaws Hairpin, we moved up into 2nd place behind Tony Hunter (also a Clio).

We were glued nose to tail for the next three laps before coming up to Shaws Hairpin (there’s a theme going on here!) and was fully committed to the outside, when Tony moved towards the left and squeezed me onto the grass and up into the air. By the time I regained the track, we slipped back down to 4th and 2nd in class behind Tony, Dave Clark (Renault 5 GT Turbo) and Andy Mitchell (also a Peugeot 205 GTi), which is where we finished the race.

Double Podium at Final Round

A great deal has been learned while racing with the Tricolore guys in 2017 and some great new circuits visited. While we had some reliability issues this year and didn’t manage to reach the top step of the podium, which is always our aim, it was a great season, with plenty of new friends made. The decision to switch series and all of the politics from the BARC SE Tin Tops over the past three years was the right decision to make – we will be back for 2018 and raring to go!

Our 2017 race partners are:

Etesia UK

Fusion Media

Spoox Motorsport

Tom Motorsport

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Podium Finish for Team Rebellion

Podium Finish for Team Rebellion. Team Rebellion were delighted to finish in 3rd position and on the podium in only their second Citreon 2CV 24 hour race.

The 2017 Citreon 2CV 24 Hours delivered just as much drama as it’s always done, this time at the return to the MSV Snetterton circuit in Norfolk.

Podium Finish for Team Rebellion

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” The preparation for this year’s 2cv 24 hour race had started before the 2016 race had even ended and continued until the starting lights went out with last minute engine changes and preparations.

The whole event is a real show of team effort with the people behind the scenes playing vital roles that enable us the drivers to race in the car for 24 hours with very minor problems. The paddock during the race was the usual mix of team members asking other competitors for spares to keep the cars going following unforeseen incidents, usually foam air-filters catching fire.

The great thing about an event like this is that anything can happen. But at the end of the day its all about good preparation and a fair dose of lady luck along the way.

Podium Finish for Team Rebellion

Luck always has a large part to play in motorsport, some teams had three engines changes, some teams even more and some less, always good to better your odds and prep is the key – and that is exactly what Team Rebellion had done over the past twelve months to ensure that reliability was there to last the whole 24 hours.

This race also has the invited Mini Grand 24 cars, which are 998cc classic Mini’s. These have been racing at the 2CV 24HR event since 2012 and lap within a second of the 2CV’s and certainly it makes for a fantastic spectacle of classic cars competing over 24 hours. This years race had the Mini’s completing 680 laps whilst the wining 2CV completed 673 laps. The fastest Mini lap time was 1:49.365 compared to the fastest 2CV lap time of 1:50.832 and that’s not bad considering the 2CV’s only have a little 602cc engine.

After a frantic qualifying sesssion, we finished well placed in 3rd position within the 2CV section – a good effort by all of the team and a decent starting position considering this was only our second ever 2CV event.

Podium Finish for Team Rebellion

The evening saw final preparations made before hte race start the following day including an engine and gearbox change (and back to the original one!) and set-up changes.

Come race day, the race started and immediately, we moved up into second position and on the tail of the leading 2CV and mini’s. Dratfing is key in 2CV racing – this alone can gain you up to four seconds a lap! We sat behind the leader, regular exchanging passes with the Mini’s up until mid-way through the first 1.5 hour stint, when we slipped back to 3rd going into Brundle when someone came down the inside. I held on round the outside, knowing that I would then have the inside going into Nelson. Coming out of Nelson, still side by side, the lead car got caught up behind a back-marker, and while still side-by side, and touching wing mirrors, we made a move for the lead down the inside of the Bomb Hole. We managed to keep the lead for the next forty minutes, up until the first round of pitstops.

While we thought we had been doing well leading the race in only our second 24hr event, others had been conserving fuel and using the draft behind us, which meant that they were able to run for slightly longer – a tatic that we would learn for later in the race!

Podium Finish for Team Rebellion

Racing through the rest of the afternoon and evening, we slipped down to our lowest position of the race in tenth. A sterling effort by our other drivers Tom Burgess, Phil Jose and guest driver, along with myself meant that we found ourselves in 3rd position overall when my final stint of the race was approaching.

Over the last hour of the race, it was all about getting home – we had no real chance, baring mechanical failure to catch the two cars ahead of us, and in turn, unless we had any issues with our car, we would not be caught for the final podium position.

Despite some apprehensive looking faces on the pitwall for the final hour, as we were still setting some impressive lap times, we finished in third position – a great team effort by all.

Our 2017 race partners were:

Chappell Coachworks

Fusion Media

Powder Works

Tom Motorsport

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Chris Bassett