Ollie Jackson will race for Motorbase Performance in the 2019 British Touring Car Championship, partnering Tom Chilton in a Ford focus at the Kent-based team.
Jackson is entering his eighth consecutive season in the BTCC and makes the switch from AmD Tuning to Motorbase Performance, as he lines up alongside Chilton, who is starting his second successive season with the team.
34-year-old Jackson previously raced with Motorbase during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, when the team ran him in the BTCC-supporting Porsche Carrera Cup series. Jackson went on to clinch the Pro-Am 1 title.
He will partner Chilton, who is in his third season back in the BTCC and his second with Motorbase. The 33-year-old ended last season third overall in the driver’s championship standings.
“I’m delighted with our line-up this year,” said Team Principal David Bartrum. “As a team, we made some good steps forward last year, and Tom showed us his character and work ethic which make him the racer he is.
“He’s very much a ‘Motorbase’ driver and I’m looking forward to seeing just how far we can go this year. We have high hopes.
“I’m also really pleased to welcome back a Motorbase original in Ollie. We first ran him in the Porsche Carrera Cup and we’ve remained friends ever since. He won a Championship with us in Porsche and has shown in previous seasons that he is a very capable BTCC driver, and a chance test at the end of last season showed us just how good he is.
“He has the experience in the BTCC needed to get results, and I’m anticipating great things from both Tom and Ollie this season.”
Jackson returns to Motorbase having finished the 2018 season 23rd overall in the drivers’ standings, after scoring two top ten finishes and a podium.
The BTCC regular is hoping that he can achieve even stronger results with the ‘more competitive’ Ford Focus RS.
“I had a lot of success with David and the team back in 2009 and 2010,” said Jackson. “I won the Carrera Cup Pro-Am Championship with them, and have a lot of happy memories from my time with Motorbase so I’m really excited about being back with them again this season.
“Having had the relationship with David [Bartrum], I was lucky enough to test the Focus at the end of last season, and being in a more competitive car proved that I was ready to make the step-up into a race winning team with a proven track record of success.
“It was a little bit of good fortune that got me that first podium last year, but I think with the extra that everyone puts in at Motorbase, including myself, we should be pushing for more regular podiums this year and hopefully even chasing down that maiden race win.
“I get on really well with Tom [Chilton] and I’m looking forward to working with him this year. He’s a bit of a legend in touring cars so I’m going to be looking to absorb as much as I can from him and making the most of what I’m sure is going to be a really good, constructive, environment this year.”
Reigate racer Chilton is hoping that an extensive pre-season testing programme and the consistency gained in staying with the team for a second straight season will pay dividends in 2019.
“Looking back, when I started at Sébastien Loeb racing in the World Touring Cars, in my first year I thought I’d done the best that I could possibly do,” said Chilton. “It was my first year in the team, first year in the car and we could only finish second in the Independents Championship.
“I needed to stay there for the second year to actually get the best out of the car and the team where I thrived and went on to win my Championship and class.
“Comparing that to the BTCC, I’ve just ended my first season with Motorbase coming third overall and second in the Independents, so I like the idea that we can develop and work even closer this year.
“I absolutely love the guys at Motorbase, they are such hard workers and I really genuinely believe that we can go on to take the title from where we started in our first year together.
“I think that people forget what it’s like coming into a team for the first year. You have to learn not just every single thing about the car from scratch with all the little key changes, but also everyone in the team, and it’s such a big learning curve in that first season.
“I’m very excited to have some consistency going into 2019 and I believe that we can go in for the title fight, especially with the developments we’ve made to the RS.
“It’s nice to have our next-door neighbour as a team-mate this season! Ollie is a great guy, we’ve had one test together already, which went really well and I’m looking forward to working with him.
“He’s been in the BTCC for a while now. He’s been clicking the gears and learning a lot, and now it’s time for him to have an upgrade and play with the big boys!”