Cole joins Motorbase Performance for 2018 BTCC season

Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

British Touring Car Championship race winner James Cole will switch to Motorbase Performance for the 2018 season.

Cole replaces Mat Jackson, who left the team last month after eight years.

Though a late addition to Motorbase’s three-car line-up, Cole has already begun testing and is confident heading into his sixth season in the championship.

“I’ve never felt happier and more excited going into a new BTCC season,” he said. “Thanks to David Bartrum [team principal] for having the faith to welcome me back.

“I’m coming back into the team as a race winner now, and I have another two years’ of BTCC experience under my belt which should put me in a good stead to have a proper crack this year.

“It’s also great to be back working with James Mundy, my engineer from Formula Ford, it’s been 10 years since we last worked together so it feels like a homecoming!”

Cole last raced with Motorbase in the second half of 2015, when he took seven points finishes with the team.

He then moved to Team BMR for two seasons in the Subaru Levorg and claimed his first BTCC victory at Rockingham last year.

Despite two years in a rear wheel drive car, Cole believes he’s adapted quickly to Motorbase’s Ford Focus RS.

“It was like putting back on an old pair of gloves at the test last week,” he said. “I thought it might take a while to get to grips with FWD again but I managed to get up to speed very quickly.

“The new RS gives me a lot more confidence to push early on and considering I haven’t been in FWS for a couple of years, I managed to get on the pace within a day, which shows how much the car has moved on from the old ST.”

Cole joins Max Chilton and Sam Tordoff at Motorbase for 2018.