Motorbase gives new NGTC Ford Snetterton British Touring Car debut
|By Kevin Turner
||Saturday, August 11th 2012, 10:13 GMT
British Touring Car squad Motorbase Performance will give its new NGTC Ford Focus its race debut at Snetterton this weekend.
Motorbase has run turbocharged S2000 Ford Focuses since the start of last year, but lead driver Mat Jackson will be at the wheel of the new car for the rest of the season.
It is the first time Motorbase, which has scored GT and touring car success over the last decade, has built its own car. The Focus will run the same Mountune engine that powers its S2000 Fords.
Team boss David Bartrum, who only made the decision to run the untested car on Saturday morning, said: "I'm extremely proud of what we will be achieving this weekend. We're about to enter a new chapter for Motorbase as a constructor.
"The NGTC regulations are working well for the BTCC and we want to be part of that."
The car has been built and project managed by Motorbase's engineer Richard Townsend, with design work by Geoff Kingston. Renowned engineer David Potter also provided input.
"The guys in the team have been absolutely amazing this last seven weeks to get this car built in such a short amount of time and to such a high standard," added Bartrum. "The idea of doing this project now is very much focused on 2013 and beyond."
Bartrum hopes the car can lift Jackson, currently sixth in the drivers' table and 82 points off the lead, back into the title race, but the focus is on 2013.
"We haven't had the chance to test the car at all prior to this weekend so it depends on how good the car is, but if it goes well it could thrust us back up there," he said. "The immediate advantage is the [bigger] size of the wheels, tyres and brakes.
"The first few race meetings will be much more about gathering data and an understanding of the new car. It's got to be better than starting from scratch in 2013.
"First and foremost we will be hoping for reliability. Our competition has had at least six months on us so have all ironed out their issues."