No.7 Mat Jackson – No.66 Liam Griffin
S2000 chassis, NGTC engine
Before Tom Onslow-Cole put on an AmD firesuit Motorbase's switch from BMW to Ford was the big shock change of the off-season.
Keeping the Airwaves sponsorship and name, though the BMW is obviously dropped from the 2010 nomenclature, the team has picked up the Focuses Team Aon used in 2010.
Though the nothing-but-trouble LPG turbo has been consigned to a particularly well-appointed scrapheap a NGTC spec unit replaces it.
A third car that team boss Dave Bartrum had promised would materialise has failed to appear, but in Mat Jackson – back for a second year with the team they have a driver who has established himself at the BTCC top table and is capable of race wins, as shown by campaigns in Chevrolets and BMW. This season could be another at the top for him.
Liam Griffin joins the BTCC team after being part of Motorbase's sprawling Carrera Cup team in past years, another debutant who should be looking at a points finish early thanks to a top team behind him.
While in Arena's 2010 charges they have a solid chassis, there are, perhaps, questions as to how much that engine lifted what could have been an average chassis – after all for as many weekends as the Fords dominated last year there was another where they were kept quiet altogether.
Liam Griffin Onâ€¦..Where he stands in the field
“If I was going to come round [Silverstone's National circuit] in the Porsches I wouldn't be as close as I am in this so I prefer the front wheel drive to the rear wheel drive – it's just easier. I find it easier to feel it and get to grips with it so hopefully I can progress. My immediate comparison in Mat Jackson and I'm pretty close to him today. He's been out there, been around the block a few times.”
Verdict: Bye-bye BMW at the right time, Jackson will reap the benefits.