Motorbase Performance taken over by rival BTCC team AmD

Leading British Touring Car Championship squad Motorbase Performance has been sold in what amounts to a merger with the rival AmD-run MB Motorsport squad

Motorbase Performance taken over by rival BTCC team AmD

AmD boss Shaun Hollamby and businessman Pete Osborne, whose son Sam competed in the BTCC for MB last season, are the new owners, with Motorbase founder David Bartrum standing down after 15 seasons of almost uninterrupted participation in the series.

It means that four of the fourth-generation Ford Focuses, built and developed by Motorbase prior to the 2020 season, will compete in 2021 - two will run under the Motorbase banner, and two as MB Motorsport, named in recognition of AmD commercial partner Mark Blundell. They will all be fielded out of Motorbase's premises in Wrotham, Kent.

It also apparently represents the end of the BTCC road for the venerable FK2 version of the Honda Civic Type R - one of the most successful models in series history, it was carried to six podium finishes last season by lead MB driver Jake Hill.

Hollamby explained that the move represents a big step up for AmD, which first entered the BTCC in 2010 with a Volkswagen Golf driven by Hollamby himself.

"That is a dedicated race shop," he told Autosport of the Motorbase facility.

"AmD Tuning is all very well, but it's a compromise as we've had a race team among the garage workshop.

"At Motorbase, there's a dyno room, a gearbox room, a spray booth - they've got everything to do it.

"The key thing is that everybody from Motorbase can stay, and so far that's 100% of them - full-time and part-time guys."

The fourth-generation Ford proved one of the fastest cars in its debut BTCC season last year, and was carried to fifth in the championship by Rory Butcher.

"It's been a concern whenever anyone has mentioned building cars," said Hollamby.

"Because of our experience building the Golf, I've realised how much money goes into it, and you can spend a lot being not competitive.

"We've reverse-engineered that [by buying Motorbase], and we have the potential to build customer cars.

"The hybrid thing [with the system introduced for 2022] was another part of why we went for this, because the Focus has already been built with that in mind."

Osborne Sr, a former TVR Tuscan, Carrera Cup GB and GT racer, previously ran his own team in the Carrera Cup in 2006-07, but with engineering support from Porsche specialist Redline Racing.

"When we went with AmD we got on really well with them," he said.

"Shaun has looked after us and been fair, honest and open with us, and in business that's 90% [of what's important].

"We've got a great team and they're passionate about the job, and I'm really excited about it.

"I've bought it for me and my family as a business because I enjoy it, and I've always said that if you enjoy something you do all right at it."

Bartrum said: "It's a massive compliment to the entire team that AmD's Shaun Hollamby and Pete Osborne wish to purchase the team and add to it, to push Motorbase to the next level.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed building this team from the ground up over the years that has seen Motorbase achieve tremendous success both on and off the track.

"I have a big birthday [his 60th] coming up next year and with that in mind, I think the time is right for Shaun and Pete to take over the reins and guide the team into a bright future.

"I wish the team all the best and good luck for the future. I won't be too far away and will be watching Motorbase march on from the sidelines."

Hill has already been confirmed by AmD/MB for 2021 and, with Butcher hotly tipped to be replacing Tom Ingram in the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota team, the Kentish up-and-comer is set to lead the Ford attack.

Osborne Jr would appear to be set for another seat, while Motorbase's remaining 2020 drivers, two-time race winner Ollie Jackson and Andy Neate, are yet to reveal any plans for 2021.

In other BTCC news, BTC Racing has confirmed that hot property Josh Cook will remain at the Honda Civic FK8-equipped squad for a third season, with 2020 Jack Sears Trophy title winner Michael Crees alongside.

BTC made no mention of its other 2020 driver, Tom Chilton, and the 14-time BTCC race winner has been strongly linked with a berth alongside Adam Morgan in Ciceley Motorsport's newly acquired BMW 330i M Sport machinery.

Ciceley commercial director Norman Burgess told Autosport: "We've been talking to him, there's no doubting that, but we have also been talking to Senna Proctor and we haven't got anything nailed down."

shares
comments
Ingram splits from Toyota team after seven seasons together in BTCC
Previous article

Ingram splits from Toyota team after seven seasons together in BTCC

Next article

Toyota squad expands to two-car BTCC attack for 2021

Toyota squad expands to two-car BTCC attack for 2021
How the BTCC's new hybrid era aced its first test Plus

How the BTCC's new hybrid era aced its first test

Expectations were high for the start of the British Touring Car Championship’s hybrid power era, and despite nerves and problems to solve prior to its debut the new rules gained widespread approval. Here’s how the first test at Donington Park was passed and the thorough examinations that are to follow

BTCC
Apr 28, 2022
The Ford BTCC superteam combining two reigning TOCA champions Plus

The Ford BTCC superteam combining two reigning TOCA champions

Reigning BTCC champion Ash Sutton and Porsche Carrera Cup GB victor Dan Cammish form a potent line-up at the Motorbase-run NAPA Racing team as the series adopts hybrid power. With Sutton bringing the key components of his title-winning Laser Tools Racing set-up, and Cammish eager to prove a point on his return, their dynamic is set to be one of the season's major talking points

BTCC
Apr 21, 2022
The stalwart tin-top boss still shaping careers more than 40 years on Plus

The stalwart tin-top boss still shaping careers more than 40 years on

Veteran team manager Marvin Humphries and former Tech-Speed team boss has worked not only with stars of the British Touring Car Championship, but legends including Gil de Ferran, Hans Stuck and Tom Sneva in a long and varied career that has spanned five decades across tin-tops, single-seaters and sportscars

BTCC
Feb 4, 2022
The grassroots rise that shaped an understated BTCC star Plus

The grassroots rise that shaped an understated BTCC star

Having started out in club-level competitions alongside his own university engineering studies, Josh Cook's journey to becoming an established frontrunner in the British Touring Car Championship is atypical. But it's these experiences that have moulded the 30-year-old into a humble star, respected throughout the paddock

BTCC
Jan 12, 2022
Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021

A refresh in equipment and some returning faces helped contribute to a supremely competitive 2021 British Touring Car Championship campaign. Ash Sutton was crowned a three-time champion, successfully defending his 2020 title, but faced stiff competition in the final year before the switch to hybrid. Autosport picks out the best performers

BTCC
Nov 17, 2021
Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton Plus

Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton

Ballast will be gone from the BTCC next year as hybrid power enters the scene, but for its final season the maximum was increased from 60kg to 75kg. Despite having to carry that nearly all season, Ash Sutton was always the favourite to pocket a third title - the 27-year-old getting his reward for a season of speed tempered by savvy to nail his opportunities

BTCC
Nov 12, 2021
The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59 Plus

The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59

OPINION: It's not often that a driver achieves widespread affection for their personality, as well as their on-track performances. One such individual is Gabriele Tarquini, who will soon bring the curtain down on a remarkable career that has yielded touring car titles on the European and global stage - and, famously, in Britain too

BTCC
Nov 11, 2021
The making of the BTCC's newest superstar Plus

The making of the BTCC's newest superstar

Ash Sutton is on the verge of being crowned a three-time British Touring Car Champion; he seems to have it all. But life hasn't always been straightforward for this superstar of touring cars, as Marcus Simmons has been finding out

BTCC
Oct 21, 2021