Motorbase Performance have confirmed that Mat Jackson and Aron Smith will rejoin the team for the 2013 British Touring Car Championship. Both will drive in one of the team’s new NGTC Ford Focus STs.

The coming season will be the first full campaign for Motorbase as a constructor after it introduced the NGTC Focus ST halfway through 2012, driven by Mat Jackson.

Team principal of Motorbase, David Bartrum, said: “We’re incredibly excited about this season. It’s great to be starting the year with two drivers that know the team so well and I believe we have one of the strongest driver pairings on the grid.

Jackson will be entering his seventh season as a BTCC driver and his fourth with the Kent-based Motorbase squad. Of 2012, he said: “[It] was a season of two halves for us, with the latter part focused on developing and testing the new car with the view that 2013 would be a key year for the team and myself.” Indeed, team principal Bartrum added that he expected Jackson to be competing for the title in 2013.

Smith will be entering his second season in the BTCC after he impressed in 2012. The latter stages of the year were particularly fruitful for the Irishman, and he finally took his maiden win at the season finale at Brands Hatch. He said: “The best part about last season was being with Motorbase; everyone made me feel right at home and helped me to develop into a touring car driver. To return for a second season is what I always wanted so fingers crossed I can give them the points they deserve.

Jackson also spoke of his awe of the team’s work ethic: “We knew how much more the NGTC could give and the Motorbase boys have worked incredibly hard over the winter to improve the car further. I believe that together with the passion within the team, we have a car to challenge for the title in 2013.

Bartrum added: “The NGTC exceeded everyone’s expectations last year, and with the work and developments we’ve made over the winter I’m confident that we will be serious title contenders in 2013. Roll on [season opener] Brands Hatch!