Wednesday, February 13 2013
Wrotham-based Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship challenger Motorbase has retained its winning combination of Mat Jackson and Aron Smith for a second season as it gears up for a title assault with a pair of NGTC Focus racers.
The team, which raced under the Redstone Racing banner in 2012, sacrificed a shot of the title to develop a brand new car, their first as a constructor. Developed in secret and unveiled midway through the season at Snetterton, it scored points in its debut outing and Jackson delivered its first win at Silverstone just two months later.
The team have confirmed a second NGTC Focus for 23-year-old Irishman Aron Smith, who completed his first full season of the championship with a victory at Brands Hatch in the older car. With up-to-date machinery and two race winners in the line-up, the team is tipped to be a title contender from the opening round at Brands Hatch next month (30/31 March).
Team Principal David Bartrum confirmed the pundits' view: "We're incredibly excited about this season. It's great to be starting the season with two drivers that know the team so well; consistency is key at such an important time with our own car, and it means we can get straight to work.
"With Mat [Jackson] and Aron [Smith] both back on board, I believe we have one of the strongest driver pairings on the grid. Mat has shown his BTCC pedigree over past few years and it's also great to have Aron back in the Motorbase family. The NGTC exceeded everyone's expectations last year, roll on Brands Hatch!"
"2012 was a season of two halves for us, with the view that 2013 would be a key year for the team and myself" commented Jackson. "The NGTC programme has been an exciting project to be involved with and what we achieved in 2012 was epic. The Motorbase boys have worked incredibly hard over the winter to improve the car further and I believe that together with the passion within the team, we have a car that can challenge for the main title in 2013"
Smith added: "To return to for a second season with Motorbase is what I always wanted so fingers crossed I can give them the results that they deserve. I think this season will be a great one to be part of as all the major teams have converted to the NGTC regulations which can only mean one thing - some great racing! Before Christmas I got my first taster of the NGTC focus and was blown away by it. Since then the team have been flat out developing it even further so I can't wait to start testing once again."
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship visits Brands Hatch on 30/31 March, Oulton Park on 8/9 June and Snetterton on 3/4 August, before the final round on the Brands Hatch GP circuit on 12/13 October. Tickets are available from £26, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click the links.