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Motorbase BTCC team announces Cole as Jackson's replacement for 2018

James Cole has been announced as Mat Jackson's replacement at the Motorbase Performance British Touring Car Championship squad for the 2018 season

The 29-year-old, who won a race at Rockingham last season at the wheel of a Team BMR Subaru Levorg, will take Jackson's place in one of the team's Ford Focus RS cars.

Despite agreeing a deal for the 2018 season, Motorbase and Jackson parted ways two weeks ago.

How aborted Honda dream forced Jackson's BTCC exit

One-time British Formula Ford champion Cole previously drove for Motorbase in 2015 at the wheel of one of its Focus ST cars, although the team only contested the latter part of the campaign while it developed its car.

The Liverpool-based racer, who will line up alongside Tom Chilton in one of the two Shredded Wheat-backed cars, tested for Motorbase at the Parc Castelloli circuit in Spain last week.

Cole said: "It was like putting back on an old pair of gloves at the test. I thought it might take a while to get to grips with FWD again but I managed to get up to speed very quickly.

"The new RS gives me a lot more confidence to push early on and considering I haven't been in FWD for a couple of years, I managed to get on the pace within a day which shows how much the car has moved on from the old ST.

"It's also great to be back working with James Mundy, my engineer from [the Jamun team in] Formula Ford, it's been 10 years since we last worked together so it feels like a homecoming."

Team boss David Bartrum said: "James has done a very good job in the Subaru in the time he's been away. He's been on pole and won a race and has clearly raised his game and coming back to FWD may well suit him."

Sam Tordoff will drive a third Motorbase Ford this season under the Team GardX Racing banner.

2018 BTCC line-up so far

WSR BMW: Colin Turkington, Rob Collard, Andrew Jordan
Team Dynamics Honda Civic: Matt Neal, Dan Cammish
Team BMR Subaru Levorg: Ash Sutton, Jason Plato
Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis: Tom Ingram
Eurotech Racing Honda Civic: Jack Goff, Brett Smith, Matt Simpson
Motorbase Performance Ford Focus: Tom Chilton, Sam Tordoff, James Cole
Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra: Josh Cook, Senna Proctor
Ciceley Racing Mercedes A-Class: Adam Morgan, Tom Oliphant
HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta: Rob Austin
BTC Norlin Honda Civic: Chris Smiley, James Nash
Laser Tools Racing Mercedes A-Class: Aiden Moffat
Team Hard Volkswagen CC: Jake Hill, Mike Bushell, Michael Caine, Bobby Thompson
AmD Tuning Audi S3: Ollie Jackson, Sam Smelt
AmD Tuning MG: Tom Boardman
Team Parker Racing BMW: Stephen Jelley

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