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Motorbase confirm Mat Jackson, Liam Griffin and Áron Smith

Motorbase Performance have confirmed that Mat Jackson and Liam Griffin are to remain with the team in 2012 and will be joined by young Irishman Áron Smith.

The team are to field three cars for the entire season, making it the Kent-based outfits most ambitious campaign in the British Touring Car Championship to-date. Having come so close to taking the overall title last season with Jackson, Motorbase are hoping to be able to fight for the title once again in 2012. They have also confirmed that they will continue to run the Ford Focus ST’s that they ran last season, despite having listed them as for sale earlier in the winter.

“We’re very excited about this year,” said Team Principal David Bartrum. “We will be continuing with the same cars from last year which we learnt a lot from in our first season with them in 2011. We have been busy further improving over the winter, so to also keep the continuity of Mat and Liam as well is very important for us moving forward this year, and to welcome Aron to the team is fantastic.

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“Aron has settled straight in to the team and has impressed us all in testing. I’m sure he will be competitive very quickly this year. Liam has had a year in the BTCC under his belt now so knows what to expect this year so we’re looking forward to him hitting the ground running come round one. And with Mat, he will be starting in a car he knows well which has been further improved so there is no reason why we can’t mount a serious championship challenge as we did last year, but hope for some better luck in 2012!”

Jackson took four wins with the team last season on his way to fourth in the championship. A run of bad luck in the second half of the season scuppered his title aspirations and he is hoping for a stronger season this year.

“2012 looks to be an exciting year in the BTCC,” added Jackson. “With the New NGTC regulations being adopted by many of the front running teams, the season could prove to be very interesting indeed.  We showed last year that we have the car and skills in place to compete against the ‘big boys’ and hopefully the other teams will experience some teething problems that we can capitalise on!

“It’s fantastic to be back driving with Motorbase for the third year in a row – it feels like home now!  We have the same core personnel in place for this season, which I believe is key to our challenge for the outright driver’s title.”

Griffin returns to the BTCC for his second season and his fourth with Motorbase. The Addison Lee Managing Director is hoping that he can improve his form and consistency from last season, in which he took a best finish of ninth at Donington Park.

“Having finished consistently at the end of last season I feel I have given myself something to build on,” said Griffin. “Half the battle is not feeling out of your depth, the other half is actually not being out of your depth. I certainly feel like I have completed the first part but have to now see if we can turn that into being a bit more competitive.”

Finally, the team’s newest recruit, Áron Smith, returns to the BTCC having made a one-off appearance at Knockhill last season.

“I couldn’t be more excited about this season; the past two years have literally been building up to this moment,” said Smith. “Motorbase Performance is the type of team I know I’ll feel right at home in, this all feels like a dream come true and I can’t wait for the racing to begin!”

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