Airwaves Racing is gearing up for home track glory as the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season gets underway at Brands Hatch this coming weekend March 30/31.
With the Kent circuit less than a mile from the team’s workshop, the Motorbase-run outfit is going all out for podiums with Mat Jackson and Aron Smith piloting the stunning Airwaves Racing Ford Focus ST next generation touring cars (NGTC).
2013 marks the beginning of a new era for Motorbase Performance as it enters its first full season as a constructor having built both Mountune-powered NGTC machines entirely in house over the winter months.
With amplified backing from Wrigley's Airwaves, and one of the most promising driver pairings with return of Jackson and Smith; this season is set to be the Kent-based outfit’s most ambitious challenge on the title to date and David Bartrum’s squad is eager to kick-start its 2013 campaign on winning form.
Liam Griffin also returns to the BTCC this weekend under the new team banner of Addison Lee Motorbase. The Addison Lee boss will be taking to the track in his S2000 Ford Focus ST as he competes for the title of the newly formed Jack Sears Trophy.
The opening three rounds of the 2013 season take place on the Indy circuit at Brands Hatch on March 30-31. Live coverage of Sunday's events will be shown on ITV4, itv.com and also in HD from 11.30am – 6pm, with itv.com featuring live streaming online of Saturdays qualifying session between 3.40 and 4.10pm.
Motorbase Performance Team Principal David Bartrum said: “It’s always great to start the season at your home circuit. It’s seems that it’s been a very, very long winter and this weekend will be the underlining point of all the hard work we’ve done as a team in the past few months.
It’s great to finally get underway and see what all the other teams have got to offer. Obviously we go testing; but there’s been some bad weather so none of us have really had a clear run of it, so it’ll be interesting to finally get to see what the other teams have been working on and how they perform on track.
“To have built and presented our own new NGTC cars; keeping Mat and Aron in the seat and then to have Liam out there in his old car again with another NGTC car waiting in the wings feels extra special, and even more so to kick it all off at our local track, Brands Hatch. I can’t wait to get going!”
Airwaves Racing driver Mat Jackson said: “I always look forward to going racing at Brands; obviously it’s the team’s local track and we always get a lot of support whenever we race there.
With the NGTC programme we’re now up to two cars so hopefully we can get the set up in the right direction to challenge for race wins from the off, and everybody at Airwaves Racing is working immensely hard to achieve this.
“We’re learning throughout the testing. We’re learning the good and the bad you can always take the positive out of each test and I think hopefully we’re in a good position to go forward into this weekend with some cars that we challenge the boys at the front with.”
Airwaves Racing driver Aron Smith said: “I’m so excited ahead of the first round. To be back on the grid and to have Airwaves back on board so strongly with the team is literally a dream come true for me.
We’ve stepped up once again with the cars and the team have worked so hard over the winter to develop the NGTC into something a lot stronger than what they finished last year; even then to think that Mat possibly could have won three races in the NGTC last year; I think that’s a really good starting point!
“The last time I was at Brands I won my first ever BTCC race so I have really fond memories of it as you can imagine; so fingers crossed we can go back there and do the same again!”
Addison Lee Motorbase driver Liam Griffin said: “It’s great to be back! I thought last year was going to be my retirement but having looked at what else is out there and just missing the BTCC over the winter period you end up thinking that there’s nothing else that you want to do; it’s just like a drug and you just have to come back for another dose!”