The Motorbase Performance entry of ‘Racing with Wera & Photon Group’ are delighted to announce that Jessica Hawkins will race for the team when the Championship resumes at Snetterton in June. Jessica will be standing in for one meeting in place of Andy Neate who has decided to stand down for the Snetterton rounds for personal reasons.
Having debuted in the BTCC at Snetterton in 2020, Jess is relishing the ‘surprise’ chance to return to the BTCC at Snetterton again this year in what is clearly a strong package in the Motorbase Ford Focus.
‘Having known Andy and his family for a good few years, I received a call from him last week asking if I was available on the weekend of the next round of the BTCC. Whilst I thought it was little out of the ordinary for him to be asking, I did not expect his response to be “I would quite like to sit Snetterton out, and I’d really like to put you in the car”. Obviously, he didn’t need to ask twice! Shocked and speechless at the time, I am humbled to be on the receiving end of Andy’s generosity – I’ll do my best to make the Neate’s and the team at Motorbase proud. Extremely excited to be making a return to the BTCC at Snetterton after my debut in 2020’
After an intense pre-season programme for both Motorbase Performance and Andy Neate, Andy has taken an opportunity to help young talent in Jess to showcase her ability and further her career whilst also being able to concentrate on coming back stronger himself at Brands Hatch.
Andy has made the decision to sit out the Snetterton rounds of this years Championship to reflect on the off track incidents as a result of the Thruxton race meeting prior to a return to the BTCC at Brands Hatch.
‘Following on from what can only be described as a bitterly disappointing season opener at Thruxton, and more pertinently the aftermath that has followed; I have personally taken the decision to take a short sabbatical from the BTCC at Snetterton. However in avoidance of any doubt, I will be returning behind the wheel of the Motorbase Ford Focus at Brands in June. I will take this time to regroup and remind myself of my confidence and extremely competitive pre-season testing we have demonstrated, I’m really looking forward to Brands Hatch.
‘Looking forward, I discussed the matter of my temporary replacement for Snetterton with the team, furthermore my commercial backers that support me and the team to put on the grid. Subject to the necessary criteria and calibre of driver, it came down to my decision who would step in for me. It was a easy decision really, I could not personally think of anyone more qualified, talented nor deserving of a chance than Jess Hawkins. I’ve always been a huge fan of Jess, It gave me so much joy to call her up and ask her to take my seat for Snetterton. Jess is a fantastic British talent and I know she has full-time BTCC aspirations too. I hope this opportunity I can give her will the platform for her secure a slot on the grid in the not so distant future.’
Pete Osborne – Team Principal
‘Obviously losing Andy for a round of the Championship this season wasn’t part of the plan and the decision has not been taken lightly. We totally understand and respect Andy’s position. It has been a difficult decision to take a break and get himself in a position to fulfil his own potential but I’m 100% certain that it’s the right one. I can’t think of a better replacement for Snetterton than Jessica and I admire Andy for choosing to give her the chance to show the BTCC what she can achieve. It goes without saying, we will be giving both Jessica and Andy our full support.’