After a solid showing at Oulton Park, Motorbase Performance now feel that they are now creeping closer to the front of the field as they head to Croft for the this weekend’s fifth round of the 2013 British Touring Car Championship.
The Kent squad enter the North Yorkshire circuit coming off the back of their most encouraging round of the season thus far at Oulton Park last time out, Mat Jackson having fought comfortably within the top 10 with the current front-runners that have seemed out of the reach prior to the Cheshire round.
Jackson is a former winner here at Croft from 2011 with the team, and feels he and his team-mates Aron Smith and Michael Caine – making a one-off appearance – could now be in contention this weekend after a promising showing last time out at Oulton Park.
He said: “Oulton Park was a huge step forward for us and to be mixing it with the leading pack is a big boost. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel now and we’re moving in the right direction – we’re challenging the Honda’s and faster than the Toyota’s and I feel comfortable with the direction that we’re heading in.
“I’m looking forward to getting back out there again at Croft this weekend; it has some similar characteristics to Oulton and I feel that the podium is not far away at all. We now have a base to work from so expect some fireworks!”
Jackson’s team-mate Smith echoed a similar optimism that the car will be strong at Croft, saying: “Airwaves Racing has had a great record at Croft in the past and I think things are shaping up to further that record. We unlocked something in our car at Oulton but never really got to show our true hand.
“Croft should play into the strengths of our car, especially the final technical section of the lap”, added the Irishman. “I’m itching to get out on track to show everyone what we are capable of.”
Motorbase Performance Team Principal David Bartrum is confident his team can fight success this weekend, saying: “Returning to Croft for me marks the anniversary of the birth of the NGTC programme at Motorbase Performance. It was here last year that we decided to bring our NGTC programme to life. We left Croft with the intention of returning in the second half of the season at Snetterton with our first Ford Focus NGTC car so this weekend I am very proud to be going back to Croft proudly displaying two Airwaves Racing NGTC Ford Focus ST’s designed and built in-house at Motorbase Performance.
“The Airwaves NGTC‘s showed a great run of speed at Oulton Park with some fabulous battling with Matt Neal in the works Honda so I’m looking forward to seeing what Mat and Aron can do this weekend at one of my favourite circuits, Croft. I’m confident that we’ll have a good weekend with our new cars and go into the mid-season break off the back of a positive weekend a year on from the conception of the new car.”
Motorbase will not only see the return of British GT champion Caine to the BTCC, but will also see the debut of Jake Hill, the former Ginetta GT Supercup and Junior race winner replacing the busy Liam Griffin in the team’s S2000-specification Addison Lee-backed Ford Focus.