Motorbase announce BTCC sabbatical but a full British GT Program

No Motorbase Focus for at least half a season (photo by Marc Waller)Motorbase Performance, who have raced as Airwaves racing for the past few seasons have announced that they will be forced to miss at least half the new BTCC season

as they’ve been unable to secure enough backing. At the same time they announced that their drivers would have been Mat Jackson and James Cole. Alex Martin, who had already been announced will be run by Team Parker racing. Boss Dave Bartum explains;

“It is with regret that I have to announce that Motorbase will not be competing in the BTCC for the first half of this season;” said team boss Bartrum. “I and the rest of the team are obviously very disappointed. The EcoBoost engine has shown great promise during testing and we have a great driver line up in place with Mat Jackson back for his sixth season with us joined by James Cole, who is a really good addition to the team. We genuinely believe that we have a strong package that could challenge for the title this season; but this is not a championship that can be committed to half-hearted and unfortunately our hand has been forced. We have been in lengthy talks with two potential title sponsors since November and all seemed like it was going to plan, however things have conspired against us in recent weeks and due to a change in circumstance with those parties we find ourselves in the position we’re in.

This does not mean the end for Motorbase in the BTCC; Both Mat and James are still on board and we remain committed to the BTCC. We will continue our search for new partners and our aim is to be back on the grid at Snetterton. We will of course work with Alan Gow and TOCA to find the best way forward to be back competing for the second half of the season with a two car team. Obviously that will include finding a way to address the TBL (BTCC licensing) issues that our short-term withdrawal raises. But hopefully we can find a way through this, with Alan.”

Bartrum also explained the situation with Alex Martin;

“I’m pleased to announce that Team Parker racing will take over the operation of Alex Martin in the Dextra Racing effort, which will be supported by Motorbase Performance. Our decision to withdraw from the Alex Martin will be run by Team Parker Racing (photo by Marc Waller)Motorbase GT Aston (photo by Marc Waller)start of this season has had no bearing on this situation. Stuart [Parker] has been involved with the Alex Martin entry since Alex joined us last year. Team Parker Racing has had strong links with us for many years and we’re delighted to be working with Stuart and his team whilst continuing to support AMD in their efforts in the BTCC this year. At the end of the day we’re a business as well as a racing team and this is a purely commercial decision. In the meantime, we’ll press on and strive to be back on the grid for the second half of the season. I would like to thank all of those involved in our BTCC program over the last nine years, especially Dunlop and TOCA and those who are standing by us to help us come back stronger later in the year.” 

Motorbase say the positive side of the announcement is that it allows the team to concentrate on the GT program. This side of the team recently announced a two car attack on the British GT championship with Ahmad Alharthy being joined by Daniel Lloyd in one Aston Martin Vantage GT3 with the other one featuring Rory Butcher alongside Liam Griffin.
The team has a third Aston Martin and may yet announce a further line up for that car.

The drivers are looking forward to their seasons;

“Last year was not the best year for us; we were in and out of different championships so to be back in our first full season in British GT is really exciting,” said Daniel Lloyd.

“I raced against Ahmad back in 2012 and we got on well, he’s a really nice guy. I knew how much he worked back then and I know he puts in a lot of hard work away from the track. Ahmad puts everything into his racing just like I do, so I’m sure that we’ll make really good team-mates and we’ll be strong contenders for the championship. We’ll be going for the win.” 

Butcher is just as excited about his pairing; 

“It’s really nice to have the deal all tied up early this year, and I’m delighted to be back with Motorbase for a second season. Liam is one of the best amateur drivers on the grid and an excellent partner. We have a great relationship and having him on-board for the full season gives us a strong chance of getting consistent results and to build on the successes of last year. We were the fastest Aston on the grid by the end of last season and I know that the team are capable of winning the championship so I can’t wait for the season to get underway.” 

Liam Griffin is looking forward to a full season in GT’s after doing several races in 2014; 

“I really missed the cut and thrust of being in a really competitive championship last year,” said Griffin. “I think I proved at the last round at Donington that I’m capable of mixing it at the front and we’re heading into this season aiming full tilt at the championship. Having driven with Rory last year, I know that he’s a talented guy and he works very hard for the team on and off the track and it’ll be a pleasure to drive alongside him this season.” By Marc Waller

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