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Jack Clarke joins BTCC grid with Crabbie’s

Jack Clarke is the latest driver to add his name to the 2014 British Touring Car Championship, as he joins Motorbase Performance in an NGTC Ford Focus sponsored by Crabbie’s.

Despite 2014 marking his debut in the series, Clarke, stepson of ex-Formula One and BTCC driver Julian Bailey, has previously enjoyed success in single-seater racing, competing in various steps on the racing ladder including Formula Two, where he claimed one victory and six podiums between 2009 and 2011.

After testing alongside new recruit Fabrizio Giovanardi at Brands Hatch and Snetterton, the 26-year-old impressed the outfit with the speed at which he was able to adapt to an entirely different machine.

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Clarke will now undertake further test runs before the series’ official test day at Donington Park on the 18th March, and was delighted at the opportunity to race alongside some of the country’s finest competitors.

“I’m delighted to be joining the BTCC and I’m thankful to both Crabbie’s and Motorbase for the opportunity,” said Clarke. “The BTCC continues to go from strength-to-strength, and I’m excited to be racing in Britain’s premier championship.

“The calibre and quality of the field is very high and it’ll be my first year in touring cars, so I’m under no illusions as to how tough it’s going to be. Testing has gone very well and I obviously have confidence in my own ability, so I cannot wait to take on this exciting challenge with Crabbie’s Racing.”

Crabbie’s, which is famous for its Ginger Beer brand, has taken up title sponsorship of the car, which will be run as a satellite machine to the Airwaves Racing squad, in the same way that Liam Griffin’s s2000 entry in 2013 was.

The Halewood group, parent company to Crabbie’s, were equally delighted as Clarke to be joining the series, as they look to increase their involvement throughout the world of motorsport.

“Crabbie’s is delighted to be supporting Jack Clarke in the British Touring Car Championship this year,” said Peter Eaton Snr, Deputy Chairman of Halewood International. “Motor sport is vibrant and exciting, and the demographic and popularity around the BTCC is a perfect partnership for Crabbie’s and our UK and international ambitions.

“The brand is already enjoying considerable success in the USA, Canada and Australia and is the number one bottled ale in the UK and from a company perspective, we are looking forward to an exciting season and a strong presence in the paddock.”

Clarke’s deal means that just two drivers – the second seats for Airwaves Racing and Rob Austin Racing – are to be announced before the opening round of the season at Brands Hatch on the 29th/30th March.

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