Motorbase Performance have announced a third entry for the opening round of the 2015 Avon Tyres British GT Championship with Mat Jackson getting behind the wheel of an Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
Jackson, who will make his first start in British GT after mainly focussing on the British Touring Car Championship for the last eight years, will join up with Phil Dryburgh for the Oulton Park opener.
After Motorbase announced their BTCC programme would be missing a number of rounds for this year, Jackson is pleased that this opportunity came along so quickly.
He said: “I got the call from David Bartrum on the same day as the touring car programme news broke, so it was great that another door opened up for me to go racing this year and I’m delighted to be staying with the team.
“The Aston is a completely different animal to the NGTC machine. It’s obviously got a lot more horsepower and you’re running an aero package so the braking distances are a lot different, but it’s a really good fun car to drive.”
For Dryburgh, his re-entry into British GT with Motorbase cements links made with the team years ago after he introduced Jonny Adam to the squad’s BTCC team in 2009.
“I’ve known David for a long time and I saw how quick the Motorbase Aston was in the second half of last season so it’s the perfect fit for me really,” Dryburgh revealed. “Mat’s obviously a great driver and I’m sure that the extra challenge of ‘carrying’ an Am driver will make up for any lack of hustle and bustle he’ll miss from BTCC! I’ve watched him since his days back at SEATs where he was Jonny’s [Adam] nemesis so it’s quite ironic that he’s now making his British GT debut co-driving alongside me.
“I adore Oulton Park as a track and I have a lot of happy memories from there. We got a fourth and fifth there in the Aston last year, so all that’s missing is a podium!”
Although he praised Jackson, Team Principal David Bartrum was quick to remind everyone that going from BTCC to British GT isn’t the easiest move: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to put this deal together and to get the third Aston on the grid for the first round. It’s something that has only really come together in the last week or so, but I’m really pleased to have another great driver pairing in a Motorbase car.
“Mat’s been with us a long time now, and we know what he’s capable of. The Aston is new to him but he’s a talented driver and I feel sure that he’ll get to grips with the car and GT format in no time. I just hope that he remembers it’s not elbows-out like the BTCC and brings the car back in one piece!
The first round of the championship takes place at Oulton Park on Easter Weekend from April 4 to 6.