Andy Neate will return to the British Touring Car Championship for the 2020 season after a three year absence to complete Motorbase Performance‘s three car squad.
Neate has started more than 100 races during his British Touring Car Championship career driving for multiple teams including behind the wheel of a Ford Focus for Team Aon back in 2011 so with the team switching to brand new Focus ST, it could be a good fit for the Aylesbury driver.
He has been getting acclimatised to the old spec car before testing in the new ST when it is completed before the season begins at the end of this month at Donington Park. He will join Ollie Jackson and Rory Butcher in the experienced line-up as the grid begins to fully take shape.
“It has been a while, but I feel like I have some unfinished business in the BTCC,” says Neate. “I have taken some time away and I have been overseeing my son Aiden’s burgeoning karting career, but there was always the itch to come back to the BTCC. I don’t think I have been in a place where I could really show what I can do, but Motorbase suits me perfectly.
“Within a few minutes of talking to the team bosses, I could tell there was a hunger to succeed here which matches my own ambitions and there is also a really nice and encouraging atmosphere. We will be a superb fit, I am sure.
“I have a lot of experience and I have always enjoyed developing new cars, so the challenge with Motorbase and its new Ford Focus is something I am keen to get started with,” added Neate. “I need to dust off some cobwebs first and I want to be in a position to hit the ground running when we get to the opening rounds at Donington Park on March 28-29.”
Team Principal, David Bartrum is looking forward to bringing Neate back to the championship and has been impressed by his drive to get stuck into the testing programme and the season ahead.
“We’re delighted to welcome Andy to Motorbase Performance in a very exciting year for us with the new car,” he said. “Andy has a wealth of experience in the BTCC with some very good teams and from our early meetings he is very motivated and keen to get to work with our team.
“The BTCC has moved on since his absence from the series and Andy has no illusions of the task ahead and getting back up to speed. We have a test programme planned which will start in last year’s car to get him back up to speed and see how the cars have developed since he last drove the Honda. I feel sure from his experience he will be a great addition to the team.”