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BTCC Brands Hatch Grand Prix

BTCC leader Motorbase changes its name for finale

Top British Touring Car Championship team Motorbase Performance has changed its name with immediate effect prior to this weekend’s season finale.

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Championship leader Ash Sutton will therefore go into his Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit showdown against Tom Ingram with the rebranded Alliance Racing team running his NAPA Racing Ford Focus ST.

Three-time champion Sutton leads reigning title holder Tom Ingram by 45 points, while Motorbase Performance/Ford is 19 points adrift of the West Surrey Racing-run BMW squad in the manufacturers’ standings. NAPA Racing UK’s teams’ title appears a formality given its 119-point lead, while Sam Osborne is in the hunt for the Jack Sears Trophy title. 

Osborne’s father, Pete, took control of the team over the 2020-21 off-season from Motorbase founder David Bartrum and now has a four-strong line-up comprising Sutton, race winners Dan Cammish and Dan Rowbottom, plus Osborne Jr. 

The team has remained in Bartrum’s premises in Wrotham in Kent, but will now relocate to a “30,000 square foot motorsport headquarters in the Midlands in preparation for the 2024 motorsport season. With the expansion of the team in 2023 and ambitious plans in the pipeline, the move sparks the start of a new era for the team.” 

Autosport understands that the favourite for the new Alliance Racing base is the former Ralliart Mitsubishi premises in Rugby. 

Concerning ‘ambitious plans’, Osborne is keen to take his squad into the international GT3 arena. 

“This is a fresh and exciting new era for all of us involved,” said Osborne.  

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

“We’ve had strong plans right from the start and now we’ve done a few years learning and growing within the BTCC and TOCA package, we aim to continue in that vein.  

“The team is made up of fantastic individuals who all echo our desires to grow and expand into other areas of the industry while keeping the BTCC as a flagship programme.  

“We’re proudly representing NAPA Racing UK in BTCC, Mini & Truck racing along with other activities outside of the racing and we will continue to do so with NAPA by our side.” 

Osborne has also been presiding over his team’s junior programme, which has expanded over the past couple of years.  

“Another project we’re extremely proud of is the Academy we’ve set up alongside Wera tools, which has already produced two young champions in Theo Micouris [in Radical SR1s] and Alfie Garford [British karting champion] and we’re delighted to help these youngsters at the start of their journey,” he added. 

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“A recent collaboration with Loughborough College has expanded the academy beyond supporting young drivers.  

“This side of the academy is aimed at growing and nurturing young talent in all roles required in the motorsport industry, such as mechanics, data and engineering, marketing and media and many more.  

“Having taken our motorsport activity beyond the BTCC this season, we are now looking at plans to grow into other areas. Watch this space!”

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