Former single seater racer Jack Clarke has confirmed that he will contest the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, driving a Motorbase Performance-prepared NGTC Ford Focus under the Crabbie’s Racing banner.
The 26-year-old will join double BTCC champion Fabrizio Giovanardi at the Kent-based Airwaves squad for the coming season, Clarke formely a race winner in the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship, and has since competed in NASCAR K&N, LMP2 prototypes in the World Endurance Championship and the Pro-am category of the Spa 24 Hours.
Clarke will now switch his attentions to a maiden assault on the British Touring Car Championship for 2014, and said: “I’m delighted to be joining the BTCC and I’m thankful to both Crabbie’s and Motorbase for the opportunity.
“The BTCC continues to go from strength-to-strength, and I’m excited to be racing in Britain’s premier championship”.
Clarke impressed the experienced squad when evaluated alongside Giovanardi during a recent introduction of tests at both Brands Hatch and Snetterton, and remains realistic, but optimistic on his chances.
“The calibre and quality of the field is very high and it’ll be my first year in touring cars, so I’m under no illusions as to how tough it’s going to be”, added Clarke, stepson of former BTCC and Formula One driver Julian Bailey.
“Testing has gone very well and I obviously have confidence in my own ability, so I cannot wait to take on this exciting challenge with Crabbie’s Racing.”
Oly Collins, Motorbase Performance BTCC team manager, said: “It’s great to have Jack on board with us this season. Jack is entering the BTCC at such an important time in the Championship’s history and he joins a group of fresh new talent, as well as the more established drivers on the grid.
“He’s really impressed during pre-season testing and got to grips with the NGTC machinery very quickly – I feel certain he’ll be in the mix straight away in his debut year. It’s also great to welcome such a vibrant brand in Crabbie’s to Motorbase Performance, which further shows the strength of the Championship.”
Clarke will be a third of the Motorbase BTCC team for 2014 while running as a satellite squad under the ginger beer branding, leaving a final Ford Focus seat to fill at the team – 2013 drivers Mat Jackson and Tom Onslow-Cole the two likely to fight over that seat.