Motorbase Performance are pleased to announce that Mat Jackson and Liam Griffin will remain with the team for the 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season and will be joined by current Motorsport Ireland Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Year; Aron Smith.
The Kent-based squad will be running their most ambitious campaign to date, fielding three cars for the full 2012 season as they look to capitalise on their 2011 performance. With new regulations coming into force this year – and many changes to driver, team and car line ups on the grid for 2012 - Motorbase are optimistic that consistency will be their key to success this season.
Following a particularly busy closed season, the team have been working hard on further developments to their ‘Little Red Devil’ Mountune powered NGTC (Next Generation Touring Car) Ford Focus ST cars and will be focussing all efforts on challenging for the BTCC Championship title once more.
Team Principal David Bartrum is pleased with the team’s development over the winter and confident ahead of the start of the 2012 season: “We're very excited about this year. We will be continuing with the same cars from last year which we learnt a lot from in our first season with them in 2011. We have been busy further improving over the winter, so to also keep the continuity of Mat and Liam as well is very important for us moving forward this year, and to welcome Aron to the team is fantastic.
“Aron has settled straight in to the team and has impressed us all in testing. I'm sure he will be competitive very quickly this year. Liam has had a year in the BTCC under his belt now so knows what to expect this year so we're looking forward to him hitting the ground running come round one. And with Mat, he will be starting in a car he knows well which has been further improved so there is no reason why we can't mount a serious championship challenge as we did last year, but hope for some better luck in 2012!”
One of the BTCC’s most successful and popular drivers; Mat Jackson, is confident of the team’s ability to challenge for the outright title again once the new season gets underway.
The 30 year old commented: “2012 looks to be an exciting year in the BTCC. With the New NGTC regulations being adopted by many of the front running teams, the season could prove to be very interesting indeed. We showed last year that we have the car and skills in place to compete against the ‘big boys’ and hopefully the other teams will experience some teething problems that we can capitalise on!
Jackson added: “It’s fantastic to be back driving with Motorbase for the third year in a row – it feels like home now! We have the same core personnel in place for this season, which I believe is key to our challenge for the outright driver’s title.”
Team-mate Liam Griffin returns for his fourth year with Motorbase having moved up from the Porsche Carrera Cup to make his BTCC debut last season. Despite struggling initially, Griffin showed that he was capable producing consistent results, racing competently within the mid-field by the closing rounds of the 2011 season and remains upbeat about his second BTCC season.
Sharing his thoughts on the season ahead, Griffin commented: “How can you be anything but excited about the start of the season? The BTCC is the premier Motorsport championship in the country and it is a privilege to be a part of it.
He added: “Having finished consistently at the end of last season I feel I have given myself something to build on. Half the battle is not feeling out of your depth, the other half is actually not being out of your depth. I certainly feel like I have completed the first part but have to now see if we can turn that into being a bit more competitive.
“It is great to be part of Motorbase for my 4th season as they are without doubt not only one of the best teams in the paddock but also one of the most driver friendly teams.”
Taking up the highly coveted third seat at Motorbase is current Motorsport Ireland Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Year; Aron Smith. Best known for his success in the Renault Clio Cup Championships, Dublin-based Smith’s fast, flat out approach has earned him a reputation as a true racer and has gained him a legion of fans across Ireland and the UK.
Having made a brief appearance at Knockhill last season, the 22 year old is delighted to have signed up for his full 2012 debut season with one of the leading teams in the BTCC paddock: “I couldn't be more excited about this season; the past two years have literally been building up to this moment. Motorbase Performance is the type of team I know I'll feel right at home in, this all feels like a dream come true and I can’t wait for the racing to begin!”