Reigning champion Ash Sutton has signed for the Motorbase Performance-run NAPA Racing outfit for the 2022 British Touring Car Championship, partnering Dan Cammish at the Ford team.
Sutton has raced for the past two seasons with the Laser Tools Racing outfit in an Infiniti, winning the title twice to take his tally of crowns up to three.
The 27-year-old has now been confirmed as switching to Motorbase for next season, marking a sensational switch for the BTCC’s hottest talent.
It marks the first time since 2016 that Sutton will race in front-wheel drive machinery, having raced rear-wheel drive Subarus between 2017 and 2019 and the Infiniti in 2020 and 2021.
“I’m buzzing to have signed a multi-year deal with NAPA Racing and Motorbase Performance,” said Sutton, who has won all of his BTCC titles in rear-wheel drive equipment.
“This feels like the start of something very exciting and I am ready for the challenge that lies ahead, they are all a great group of people and just pure racers at heart.
“Having got to know Pete Osborne more over the last year, I saw the hunger he has to win and his ambition to drive Motorbase in that direction. This is something I love, a new challenge set out with the same goals I personally have.
“The deal was made a little sweeter by securing NAPA Racing as a sponsor, for such an iconic brand in motorsport to be hitting the BTCC grid in 2022 and becoming a part of that was a big draw to me.
“Motorbase haven’t just made me feel welcome they have also welcomed onboard the car crew I have worked with over the past three years. They are all now part of the Motorbase family which means we have all the key elements to go out and retain that title together.
“Jumping back into front-wheel drive is going to be interesting, but something I am looking forward to. I can’t wait to get stuck into the Ford Focus package with my engineer Antonio Carrozza.
“With a solid pre-season testing plan, and a team mate like Dan Cammish, allows us to fast track a lot of development required to hit the ground running in the new hybrid era.
“Lining up with someone who has a pedigree like Dan really is an exciting prospect. I am sure we will be pushing each other’s limits and unlocking more potential within ourselves.
“I’m incredibly proud to be representing NAPA Racing, to go out and secure not just my fourth title but also the Teams and Constructors Championship with this newly formed partnership would be fantastic. This brings me one step closer to my goal of becoming the most successful driver ever in the BTCC.”
Motorbase Team Principal Pete Osborne says the calibre of Motorbase’s driver line-up for 2022 shows that they are intent on battling for the title – with the team having never previously won a BTCC drivers’ crown.
“Wow…isn’t this just the icing on the cake,” said Osborne. “Ash is the kind of driver who is on everyone’s radar.
“This will be a different challenge for him compared with recent years, swapping from RWD to FWD, it was quite a decision for him to make but I’m really glad he did!
“So, to have secured his signature to Motorbase alongside Dan, Ollie [Jackson] and Sam [Osborne] is a really big deal. Joining NAPA Racing at such an exciting time probably helped clinch the deal.
“I really couldn’t ask for a better driver line-up. I think we’ve got a few people’s attention; this is an indication of our intent to challenge for the BTCC title in 2022 and beyond.
“Let’s face it, we’re not aiming for anything but success with these guys in the driving seat. The team is as strong behind the scenes as it is at the forefront and it’s simply buzzing in the workshop.
“There’s a lot of hard work still to do, and we’re not underestimating that, but I’m pretty sure the right ingredients are in the pot!”