Clio Cup racer Jade Edwards completed her first British Touring Car Championship test at Snetterton yesterday (12 November) as she got behind the wheel of one of Motorbase Performance’s Ford Focus cars.
Edwards was given the chance at the test day after catching the eye of team owner David Bartrum in her efforts in the BTCC-supporting Clio Cup.
The 28-year-old was given advice by Michael Caine during the test, in the car raced by both Nicolas Hamilton and Caine during the 2019 campaign.
“Today has been an amazing opportunity,” said Jade, the daughter of former BTCC racer Jim Edwards Jnr. “The BTCC is always where I’ve set my sights, even from a young age when I used to watch my Dad compete in the championship.
“To be given a chance to have a proper go in one ahead of 2020 is something I’ll never forget. I can’t thank David and the Motorbase team enough.
“My career in the Clio Cup was positive but tough at times. It’s refreshing to know that the right people see through the struggles and just pay attention to important factors.
“I’ve driven similar cars in the past, but without doubt, the NGTC Focus has been a career high-point for me so far. Michael and the team were a great help today and made sure that I got the best out of the test.
“For sure, today has just spurred me on, even more, to push harder than ever to make it to the BTCC grid.”
Bartrum was full of praise for Edwards’ work ethic and he hopes the test will help in her quest to join the touring car grid.
“Motorbase tries to support drivers looking to break into the BTCC, and as part of the Dunlop prize test we run each year we try to open up opportunities to emerging talent,” said Bartrum.
“Jade is quite unique on the TOCA package, being a female driver. There has been a lot of focus on the W Series this year, but I have been impressed with the way that Jade is carving her own path.
“Hopefully today’s test will help her along the way of realising her dream and reaching the BTCC grid.”
Edwards is hoping to be able to raise enough funds to compete in the BTCC next year, although she admits that the jump in sponsorship required compared to the Clio Cup will be a challenge.
“Next season is still an unknown for me at the moment,” added Edwards. “I’ve had an unbelievable response over the years with my 9For9 initiative and I’ve managed to secure some of the most amazing, loyal sponsors imaginable.
“But we all know the BTCC is big money, so I’ll have to come up with something new to make it to the grid next year.
“Exposure like this is priceless and Motorbase have shown if you have a ‘never give up’ attitude, you will get rewarded.”