For Airwaves Racing the 2011 British Touring Car season begins at home – the Brands Hatch track being only a mile from Motorbase Performance's workshop.
This weekend on the 1.22 mile Indy ciruit will be the first for Dave Bartrum's team running the Ford Focus and NGTC-spec engine after previous seasons running BMWs and the BTCC debut of new recruit Liam Griffin who moves into the Touring Car paddock from the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.
“Liam has impressed us and I think he will surprise a few people,” said Bartrum. “We have got two great drivers, one is still learning in Liam and then we've got Mat [Jackson] who seems to be really at home in this Ford Focus.”
The opener comes after a busy off-season for the team, testing their new cars at Snetterton and Silverstone as well as Brands Hatch.
“I'm happy with the testing we've done,” Bartrum adds. “It's not all about lap times it is about learning the car and using the testing time wisely. It seems as though the winter has gone on forever so we are really looking forward to Brands Hatch and I'm sure the little red devils will go well.”
“It's certainly the right step going to the Ford Focus but a championship comes down to more than just being quick, you have to be consistent too,” assesses Jackson. “The title is a long way ahead that is certainly the goal. It's going to be interesting at Brands Hatch and it is about time we get the show on the road. I've got to thank all the guys at Airwaves Racing for getting this car ready.”
Motobase have good experience from 2010 at both Brands Hatch and season openers. At last year's first weekend – at Thruxton – the team recorded its first ever 1-2 finish in the third race of the weekend, while in at the Kent track -albeit on the longer Grand Prix layout – in May Mat Jackson took his only win of 2010.