NAPA Racing UK has confirmed an expanded four-car team for the 2023 British Touring Car Championship, signing Daniel Rowbottom to join the Motorbase Performance-run team.
Last year, NAPA backed two cars for then reigning champion Ash Sutton and Dan Cammish, with Sutton again proving to be a title contender, ending the year second overall, whilst Cammish finished eighth in the drivers’ standings. NAPA Racing UK also won the overall Team’s championship.
This year, the automotive parts company is expanding its backing of Kent-based Motorbase to include all four Ford Focus ST cars.
That means not only will NAPA colours now adorn Sam Osborne’s car, but the team has signed former Team Dynamics racer Daniel Rowbottom as the final part of its line-up. Rowbottom brings his own backer, Cataclean, to the team.
“We’re absolutely delighted to announce the four-car line up with NAPA this year,” said Team Manager Oly Collins. “I’m really looking forward to seeing all four cars line up on the grid for the first time.
“Since NAPA Racing UK started this journey with us, it has been non-stop excitement and evolution. Together, we have brought a new approach to the championship and shown exactly how to maximise opportunities wherever possible.
“Every area of the team behind this have pushed boundaries both on and off track, so we’re really looking forward to our second season as NAPA Racing UK.
“To continue the journey with the continuity of Dan [Cammish] and Ash is fantastic. But, to now have the opportunity to further improve our driver line up with Dan [Rowbottom] joining us alongside Sam is outstanding.
“At the end of last season, we did look into other options of base car model for the 2023 season, but ultimately with a car and team which won the Teams’ championship outright last year, we decided to continue for another season with the Focus ST.
“We have a lot of knowledge in the Focus and have invested over the winter to further improve the package in an aim to get the number 1 back on one of our cars as soon as possible.”
Sutton was the team’s best-placed driver in 2022, ending the year just 12 points shy of eventual champion Tom Ingram. The 29-year-old hopes pre-season testing will help to continue the momentum from a strong end to the 2022 season.
“2023 is shaping up to be an awesome season,” said the three-time champion. “Everyone at NAPA Racing UK and Motorbase have been hard at work over the winter months with the development to the Focus, so I can’t wait to see how that translates to the track.
“The addition of having Dan Rowbottom and Sam Osborne now a part of the NAPA outfit is a statement for the brand.
“I personally love the new livery, it’s really going to look the part on track and especially with all four cars lining up on the grid.
“We have a solid testing plan in place, so it gives us a great opportunity to work our way through some setup changes that we didn’t visit in the season last year. The aim is to come out stronger than where we ended up last year!”
Cammish endured a challenging start to his 2022 campaign, but by the end of the year he was regularly finishing inside the top ten – including a win and a podium at Thruxton in August.
“I am really looking forward to the upcoming BTCC season,” said Cammish. “The second half of last season was really strong and I am confident we will start this year in even better shape.
“The NAPA Racing UK team have put in a lot of work over the winter to ensure we are in the best place possible when the lights go out at Donington for the season opener.
“The addition of Dan Rowbottom to the team along with Cataclean is further proof of the hard work that has gone on in the background this winter.
“I look forward to working with Dan, Ash and Sam to keep NAPA Racing UK at the front of the BTCC grid.”
Rowbottom joins Motorbase after two seasons in Team Dynamics Honda machinery. The 34-year-old is entering in to his fourth full season in the BTCC.
“To say I’m excited is an understatement,” added Rowbottom. “The opportunity for not only myself, but for my long-term title partners Cataclean is superb.
“I’ve always been a NASCAR fan, so when NAPA joined BTCC, on a personal level that struck a chord for me, so to be able to continue the next steps of my career with NAPA Racing UK and Cataclean is an enormous privilege and something that words can’t quantify.
“I have no doubt that we can get on with the job and challenge for race wins in the 2023 season and cement ourselves as BTCC front runners once more.”
Osborne was 25th overall in last year’s standings, scoring one point, and will be targeting winning the Jack Sears Trophy for drivers yet to score an outright podium finish in the coming season.
“Super excited to join NAPA Racing UK for the upcoming season,” said Osborne, son of Team Owner Pete. “I feel privileged to represent such an incredible brand.
“We have been working hard with the team to get the car ready for the season. I have been working on my fitness and on the simulator and can’t wait to get started.
“Looking forward to Dan Rowbottom joining the team!”