Motorbase Performance has confirmed it will return to British Touring Car Championship action at Snetterton, having been forced to sit out the opening half of the season.
The Wrotham-based team missed the first five rounds of the campaign due to budget issues, following the withdrawal of title sponsor Airwaves at the end of the 2014 season.
But with drivers Mat Jackson and James Cole having extensively tested the team’s Ford Focus and it’s new Mountune EcoBoost engine during its absence, the outfit is set to join the championship’s official tyre test at the Norfolk circuit later this week, before making its competitive return in three weeks’ time.
“We’re all really looking forward to coming back to the championship at Snetterton,” said Team Principal David Bartrum. “It’s been a long winter for us but we’ve been far from resting on our laurels. The development work with the new mountune engine has gone really well and it’s exciting to be re-joining the BTCC and to see where we are compared to the rest of the grid.
“It will be an exciting challenge for Mat, James and the whole team. A lot of hard work has gone into this project and l hope we can go out there and get some decent results as a reward. Obviously we can’t win the championship in the second half of the season, but we can go out there to win races and podiums and we’re up for the challenge.
“It will be more of a test than it’s ever been before. We’re going all out for results, but having watched the first half of the season it’s very clear that touring cars and the teams have moved on in many different ways. We’ve just got to hope that what we’ve been doing away from the track is enough to keep up with them. That is going to be the major battle that we have to face.
“In one respect, it’s good to be able to take a step back and watch from outside of the glass bowl, instead of being in it. Motorbase’s return will be very interesting for everyone I think.”
Both Jackson and Cole were eager to return to action after encouraging testing performances.
“The car has performed well in testing so it will be interesting to see how we compare against the Hondas, VW’s and BMW’s at the Dunlop test later this week,” said Jackson. “That aside, it’s great to be finally preparing for our come back next month.
“Everyone in the team has worked really hard behind the scenes to make this happen, and with new mountune engine and the chassis improvements I feel sure we have a very competitive package on our hands. We’re not here to make up the numbers, we’ll definitely up for the challenge and we’ll be going all out for race wins come Snetterton.
“We’re all really looking forward to getting back to the BTCC grid,” added Cole. “It’s been interesting watching from the side-lines this year and some would argue that we may have learnt more than if we’d been racing, but we’ll see!
“We had a great test at Brands recently; mine and Mat’s driving style is very similar so we’ve been able to share data and set ups between us which should help us move forward quickly once we get back out on track. Even with the small amount of time that I’ve had in the Focus, everything is already there for me. There’s good data and it’s great to be in the team with Mat who knows the car inside out. I’ve just got to grab what’s already there and put it into practice.”