"We have to make some sacrifices, and success in 2013 is exactly what we're working for."
That was Mat Jackson's verdict after giving the untested new-spec NGTC Ford Focus of Motorbase Performance its race debut at Snetterton last month.
Armed with the old Super 2000 Focus, he fought for the title in 2011 and has been a race winner this term, but Jackson and his team believed they needed a new car to take on multiple champions Jason Plato and Matt Neal.
The bigger tyres and brakes of the NGTC machines, not to mention the chance to develop a car from scratch, should give Motorbase the chance to battle works squads MG and Honda on a more equal footing. The rest of this season is, therefore, being used to get up to speed so that Jackson can hit the ground running in 2013.
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Kevin Turner is the editor of Autosport magazine, having previously been the editor of sister publication Motorsport News. He joined the magazine in 2006 after writing club race reports as a freelancer while studying history at the University of York. He has also covered international events for both the magazine and the website, including the Le Mans 24 Hours. Kevin covered the British Touring Car Championship from 2011 to '14 and has a keen interest in the historic racing scene. He lives in Fleet with his wife and two children.@KRT917 More features by Kevin Turner