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January 12th, 2011
Mat Jackson will lead the Motorbase Performance line-up in the British Touring Car Championship after opting to stick with the Kent-based squad for a second season.
The 29-year-old will drive one of the team’s three Ford Focus ST machines, while another will be raced by series newcomer Liam Griffin.
Jackson, who had been in talks with RML about a drive with the works Chevrolet squad, opted to remain with Motorbase because of the potential he sees within the squad.
“Motorbase have a good team and an exciting project with the Focus, and that’s something I want to be a part of,” he told AUTOSPORT. “It will be a bigger challenge [to win races] than I would have had at Chevrolet, but I’m really looking forward to it.”
While Jackson is aiming for a big improvement on his seventh place in last year’s championship (in BMW machinery), newcomer Griffin – who raced in the Porsche Carrera Cup with Motorbase in 2010 – views the season ahead as a learning one.
“It’ll be tough,” he said. “I’m not a professional driver, and I’ve only been racing for three years.
“But I’m back in a front-wheel drive car, which should suit me well after a year in a very tricky Porsche, and I’m aiming to be top 15 from the word go and improve as the year goes on.”
Motorbase team principal David Bartrum, who will run his outfit under the Airwaves Racing banner, still has one seat to fill, and is looking for a top-line driver for the remaining Focus.
“Last year we had two really good drivers in Mat and Steven [Kane], and we’re looking for another driver at that level, both to maintain the team’s progress and to help Liam to learn the tricks of a touring car,” he said.
Kane, a race-winner for Motorbase last year, sportscar ace Ben Collins and former Porsche Supercup racer Tim Bridgman have all tested for the team in recent months and are the prime candidates for the vacant seat.