Luke Davenport hopes to ‘punch above his weight’ in his maiden Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season with Motorbase Performance.
The former British GT and Ginetta GT4 Supercup front-runner makes the switch to touring cars in 2017, partnering Mat Jackson and Martin Depper at the Kent-based Motorbase squad.
A double race winner in the BTCC-supporting GT4 Supercup, Davenport said that he was encouraged by his maiden test in the Ford Focus ST towards the end of last season.
“I’m so chuffed”, Davenport enthused to The Checkered Flag in Birmingham’s NEC Arena at the Autosport International Show. “I’m like a kid at Christmas right now!
“It’s incredible. It came about through a test I did in October, we’ve been discussing it since then and now we’re both here at the Autosport Show – I’m really pumped.”
The 23-year-old set his sights on Jack Sears success in 2017, but intends to be a consistent top-10 performer in his rookie season.
He added: “We all know how competitive the car is. The Jack Sears Trophy is becoming more and more competitive each and every season, plus there’s going to be more strong drivers in it this year.
“We would never think about a championship in our first season, but I think that with this I can punch above my weight, turn a lot of heads and hopefully earn a trophy by the end of the season.”
Davenport was aware of the ‘cut-throat’ nature of touring cars, but is not intimidated by the challenge ahead having raced on the competitive TOCA package before.
“Going from GTs means it is going to be a very different environment. But it’s still just as cut-throat – I’ve just got more of a battering ram to play with when it does get a bit tight!
The former GT racer will also have the luxury of an experienced team-mate in Jackson, who claimed five wins on his way to finishing third in the 2016 Drivers’ Championship.
The internal battle within the team is something that Davenport says he welcomes, saying “that’s a key thing. Having the experience of Mat there is great.
“My aim however is still to compete with him, but to begin with him there as a starting marker is perfect.”