Hawthorns Motorsport's Porsche at the 2011 Britcar season finale at Brands Hatch (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Hawthorns Motorsport's Porsche at the 2011 Britcar season finale at Brands Hatch (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Hawthorns Motorsport – Britcar GT champions in 2008 – are close to returning to the series now known as the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship (BEC)

The team had long run a Porsche 997 prepared by Neil Garner Motorsport but after driver Jan Persson's semi-retirement during last season co-drivers Rod Barrett and Jay Shepherd initially decided to follow him out of the championship rather than search for a replacement driver.

Now, with Barrett as owner/driver and Diane Barrett as owner/manager Hawthorns Motorsport look ready to combine with Team Holden Racing in fielding a fearsome 6.2 litre TVR Sagaris built by Andy Holden's team.

“We're delighted to combine forces with Hawthorns,” enthused Holden. “We've all been great friends for years and whilst we've talked about doing some racing together for some time, the circumstances have never been right.  We're now able to combine the endurance experience of Rod, Jay and Jan with an exciting and fast addition to Britcar, in a package which we expect to be very competitive.”

The Holden/Hawthorns combination will create a 'team of two couples' with the Holden team being run by Yvonne Holden.

The new car has run without major problems during a development program in AMOC Super GT and the Dutch Supercar Challenge and the team are now ready to set their sights on the challenge of the longer endurance races of the BEC.

“We enjoyed the reliability of the Porsche but running costs in an endurance format were high and Jan's retirement prompted us to reconsider our approach to racing,” said Rod Barrett. “Having tested the TVR we were immediately impressed at the pace and driveability of the car.  We had some fabulous times in the Tuscan Challenge and it's great to be back in a TVR again.”

Holden and Barrett are due to be the squad's two main drivers in a team that will likely be run in close co-operation with the Neil Garner Motorsport squad. Further linking back to Hawthorn's past entries Jay Shepherd is likely to contest some races as third driver.

The team is to enter a limited number of events in 2012, starting with the next BEC round on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on June 2.