James Cole will return to the Motorbase Performance outfit for the 2018 British Touring Car Championship season, partnering Tom Chilton and Sam Tordoff in the Shredded Wheat-backed team.
Cole takes the seat which was recently vacated by Mat Jackson, and returns to the team with whom he last raced in the second half of the 2015 season, having spent the past two seasons with Subaru and Team BMR.
“It’s fantastic to be back as part of the Motorbase line-up this year,” said Cole. “I’ve never felt happier and more excited going into a new BTCC season. Thanks to David Bartrum for having the faith to welcome me back.
“I’m coming back into the team as a race winner now, and I have another two years’ of BTCC experience under my belt which should put me in good stead to have a proper crack this year. It’s also great to be back working with James Mundy, my engineer from Formula Ford, it’s been 10 years since we last worked together so it feels like a homecoming!”
The Liverpudlian racer is entering his sixth season in the BTCC and his fourth full campaign, with Motorbase Team Principal David Bartrum believing that Cole has unfinished business with the team after only competing with them in the second half of 2015.
“It’s great to welcome James back into the team,” added Bartrum. “James was with us in 2015 for half a season, he came in during a very difficult year for us as we only got to run half a season so he has unfinished business with Motorbase.
“James has done a very good job in the Subaru in the time he’s been away. He’s been on pole and won a race and has clearly raised his game and coming back to FWD may well suit him.
“He has a big task coming into the team late but we’ve got an excellent infrastructure around him and he has a very strong team-mate in Tom Chilton so I know he’ll be able to equip himself well and get up to speed quickly. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do in the car this year.”
Cole joined the Motorbase team for pre-season testing in Spain last week, taking to the wheel of the Ford Focus RS at the Parcmotor Castellolí.
“It was like putting back on an old pair of gloves at the test last week,” added the 29-year-old. “I thought it might take a while to get to grips with FWD again, but I managed to get up to speed very quickly.
“The new RS gives me a lot more confidence to push early on and considering I haven’t been in FWD for a couple of years, I managed to get on the pace within a day which shows how much the car has moved on from the old ST.”