Four-time Renault Clio Cup champion Paul Rivett will join Motorbase Performance to stand-in for Andy Neate at Knockhill and Thruxton rounds of the Kwik-Fit British Touring Car Championship. Rivett has been drafted in to pilot the second ‘Racing with Wera & Photon Group’ Ford Focus from this weekend’s visit to Knockhill while Neate continues his recovery to full fitness after suffering from COVID-19. Neate was forced to withdraw from the Oulton Park round after qualifying. As a result, Rivett will fill the seat for this weekend’s trip north of the border and the following meeting at Thruxton from 28-29 August. The aim is that Andy will return to fitness and rejoin the championship at Croft from 18-19 September.
Rivett brings a wealth of experience to the team having won four Clio Cup titles (2002, 2004, 2011and 2018) and made his BTCC debut last season after securing a drive in a TradePriceCars.com Audi S3 for the final rounds at Snetterton and Brands Hatch. The 42-year-old picked up his maiden points finish with a credible run to 15th in only his fourth race in the championship at home circuit Brands Hatch.
“I can’t wait to get into such a fantastic car with such a fantastic team. After my first experience in a BTCC car last year I have been waiting to get back out in a Touring car ever since.
While it is a great opportunity for me I really hope that Andy is back to full fitness soon.
I would just like to say a massive thank you to Motorbase and Wayne Eason for making this possible. Dreams can come true.”
Andy will now focus on his recovery in anticipation of his BTCC return next month.
“Sadly COVID has truly taken a hold of me this past month, and having spent some time in intensive care post Oulton Park, there is simply no way I can be fit in time for Knockhill or Thruxton. I’ll be back for the final 4 rounds of the BTCC all being well and if things work our ok for me. Until then I’ll be wishing Motorbase luck in my absence. More importantly though, if I can’t make it to the track I’ll be watching Aiden Neate in F4 from my sofa in his next 2 race weekends.”
While pleased to welcome Rivett to the team, Motorbase Performance Team Principal Pete Osborne says Andy’s health is paramount and his recovery will be in the thoughts of the team this weekend.
“Obviously our thoughts are with Andy at the moment and we wish him all the very best in his recovery. In the meantime we have put our faith in Paul to do a good job in the next two events. Paul has more than proven himself in the BTCC support package Clio Cup in the past and now comes back to the BTCC with experience from last season, he knows the series, the circuit and the NGTC cars, so it will be interesting for all to see how well he goes this weekend.”
Motorbase Performance heads to Scotland with Jake Hill firmly in title contention in the #24 MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square Focus, sitting fourth in the championship. Team-mate Ollie Jackson will be aiming for a return to the sharp end, while Sam Osborne in the sister Racing with Wera & Photon Group will be keen to build on his second points finish of the season last time out at Oulton Park.