James Thompson returns to British Touring Cars for Silverstone with Motorbase Ford

James Thompson will make a surprise return to the British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone this weekend with the Motorbase Ford team

James Thompson returns to British Touring Cars for Silverstone with Motorbase Ford

The two-time series champion will drive the team's third turbocharged Focus - as raced by Michael Caine at the past two rounds - in a bid to boost Mat Jackson's hopes of winning both the overall and independent drivers' championships.

"I'm genuinely excited to be coming back to compete in the finale of the championship," said Thompson. "I'm here to lend support to Mat and the team in their quest for the title and try not to cause too much mischief out on the track.

"Although it's never easy to step straight into a new car, it's still got four wheels and a steering wheel like the rest of them so I should hope that all my years racing will deliver a great result for the team at Silverstone."

Thompson has 36 BTCC wins to his name, but has only made sporadic appearances in the series since winning his second title in 2004; even if those partial campaigns with SEAT and Team Dynamics have both provided numerous wins.

During that time period he has been a race-winner in World and Danish tin-top series and won the European Touring Car Cup in 2009 and 2010. He began the 2011 season with the Polestar Volvo squad in the Scandinavian Championship, but left the team mid-season.

David Bartrum, whose Motorbase squad is still in with a chance of winning the independent teams' title, hopes that Thompson's one-round deal helps the squad in its achieving its ambitions.

"We've got to support Mat and give him the best chance in the last three races," Bartrum said.

"It's not over for us in the overall points as the top three drivers are sure to battle with each other. We hope that James can jump in the car and get straight onto the pace of the frontrunners."

Thompson is due to test the car at Brands Hatch on Wednesday.

Jackson goes into the Brands decider fourth in the overall standings, 36 points behind leader Matt Neal and 17 points behind independents' standings leader James Nash.

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