2008 Britcar champions Hawthorns Motorsport are set to return for a full season of the newly renamed MSA British Endurance Championship in 2011 after the title winning drivers sat out most of the 2010 campaign.

Rod Barrett, Jan Persson and Jay Shepherd used 2010 as a sabbatical year, owing to the business commitments of the individual drivers, as well as the team's search for a new car to replace their Porsche 996 – a search that has come to an end with the recent purchase of a Porsche 997.

“We missed our racing in 2010 but business commitments forced our hand and when all is said and done, without the business side, racing would be virtually impossible to fund especially in the current difficult economic climate,” explained Barrett, driver and team owner.

The trio ran only one race in 2010, joining with the Neil Garner Motorsports run Azteca Motorsport team at October's Britcar 24 Hours, where they helped the team to third overall and the Class 3 victory.

The new car will also be run via Neil Garner Motorsports and slot into the GT Class 3 in the 2011 season, the team aiming for class honours, while hopeful of repeating the kind of overall result they were part of at Silverstone.

“Britcar GT is a very level playing field that allows cars from any class to challenge for the overall title,” says Barrett. “We have done it once in our old 996 so we’ll try again in our new 997.”

“The new car will be a challenge but overall it should be a less physical proposition with the sequential gearbox compared with our old H box 996,” adds Persson. “We will add blip control and ABS together with sat nav so Rod knows where he is going given his experience in the 24hr race where at one time he was convinced he was in Silverstone village such where the appalling weather conditions he drove in during his late night early morning stint,” he jokes.

The new car will feature a brand new livery, which the team are putting the finishing touches to, Barrett confident it should be well received when it is revealed.