MOTORBASE QUARTET FOCUSED ON STRONG START TO BTCC’S NEW HYBRID ERA

April 22, 2022

Donington Park National Circuit lifts the curtain on the hotly anticipated 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season this weekend, 23rd/24th April, where Motorbase Performance’s fantastic four driver line-up aims to make a successful start to the category’s new hybrid era.

Six months since he entered the record books with his third BTCC crown, Ash Sutton embarks on a new challenge with the Wrotham-based squad’s blue and yellow NAPA Racing UK entry as he seeks to successfully defend his title and claim his first touring car championship in a front-wheel drive car.

In the sister NAPA Racing UK backed Ford Focus ST, reigning and three-time Porsche Carrera Cup GB Champion Dan Cammish is back in the BTCC for his first full season since 2020. Switching back to front-wheel drive for his first year in a Motorbase car, he too is aiming to bid for the coveted title.

Over in the red, black and white corner, Ollie Jackson and Sam Osborne team-up as part of the Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan entry and both are targeting a respective career-best season in the BTCC in their second campaign as team-mates.

Jackson, of course, is a multiple race winner in the UK’s premier motor racing championship and a seasoned campaigner in touring cars. His best season to date was in 2020, ending the year in the top 12 of the driver standings, and he is hungry for more silverware.

Entering only his fourth season in the BTCC, Osborne – son of Motorbase owner and team principal Pete Osborne – carries great potential into the new campaign. Achieving a best race result thus far of seventh in 2020, he was a top 12 race finisher in his maiden season in a Ford Focus last year.

All four of Motorbase’s cars are powered by Mountune developed engines, this year featuring the new TOCA Hybrid system which is part of the BTCC’s adoption of green technology – the first touring car category in the world to do so. As part of this, each driver will be able to access an electric power boost in races to assist with overtaking and defending. Once again, tyres are supplied by Goodyear.

For those unable to attend Donington Park at the weekend for the BTCC curtain-raiser, qualifying on Saturday afternoon will be streamed live online at www.itv.com/btcc and all three races on Sunday will be available online and also screened live on ITV4.

Oly Collins – Motorbase Performance Team Manager:
“There is a lot of excitement and expectation in the team this year which is fantastic. We’ve got two new drivers, a few new big sponsors and some continuity as well – there is a good buzz around the team. We’ve had a very busy few months both on and off track with a very productive pre-season test programme, which went really well.

“Obviously with the introduction of hybrid there is an unknown throughout the paddock of just how it will affect the cars’ performance and it will be interesting to see who has got their heads round that from both a deployment side, as well as dealing with the chassis side of carrying the extra weight this year.

“We are happy with how testing has gone from our own side, this weekend we will find out if we’ve done enough. I want to say a big thank you to everyone involved with us behind the scenes for all their hard work over the winter, hopefully we can repay that with some silverware at Donington.”

Ash Sutton – NAPA Racing UK, No.1:
“I’m really looking forward to finally kicking off the season at Donington Park. We’ve had a really productive pre-season and I’ve been impressed with the hybrid system. Although we’ve been using it during testing we don’t fully know how much of an impact it will have until we’re racing – strategy is going to be key with it. Making the switch back to front-wheel-drive has been fun too. The Motorbase Ford is already a well-sorted car but me and my engineer [Antonio Carrozza] have been trying a few things to see if we can unlock more from the package, with some bits working and a few not. I’ve got a great car and great team around me so there is no reason why we shouldn’t be in the mix from round one!”

Dan Cammish – NAPA Racing UK, No.9:
“I am very much looking forward to the opening BTCC weekend at Donington. Testing has gone well and I feel I have fitted in nicely to the NAPA Racing UK team. The last BTCC race weekend I had at Donington turned out to be rather successful, with a win in race one. I will certainly be pushing hard for points and potential podiums on my debut for Motorbase and Napa Racing UK. It is a track I have always enjoyed and I can’t wait to get started.”

Ollie Jackson – Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, No.48:
“I’m really looking forward to getting underway this weekend with the new challenges brought by the hybrid and I’m excited to see how the racing will change. The team have worked immensely hard over the winter and the development work that has gone into the car, on top of the hybrid installation, has been unprecedented in my time at Motorbase. I’m looking forward to making the most of that hard work and put in a solid opening weekend. We finished the season last year firmly inside the top 10 and I’ll do my best to make sure we can start again where we left off!”

Sam Osborne – Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan, No.77:
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend, I love Donington and I can’t wait to get going so starting the season here is great. Testing has been mainly very good and it’s been a steep learning curve for me as a driver working with the new hybrid technology, but I think I’ve got my head round that and the feel of a heavier car as well. We will always want more days in the car as a driver but at some point the preparations have to stop as we get ready for the racing, which is the fun part at the end of the day! Great job by all the guys and gals at Motorbase to get us here and hopefully we can get the results we all deserve. I’ve got some great team-mates around me who I’ll be learning from and I feel sure we can all work well together to get those results.”

Opening free practice at Donington Park will get underway at 09.35 tomorrow, Saturday, 23rd April, with the second session following at 12.15. The first qualifying session of the hybrid BTCC era will commence at 15.35. On Sunday, 24th April, round one is scheduled to begin at 11.50, round two at 14.40 and round three at 17.25. Watch live on ITV4.

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