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David Bartrum – the Season Ahead

February 5th 2009

Despite freezing temperatures and a global economic crisis, January was a hectic month for David Bartrum and the Motorbase Performance team as plans were laid for the 2009 motor racing season. With parallel programmes in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship and the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, it is going to be the most challenging season to date for the hard-working team.

The Season AheadWhile financial uncertainty dominated many conversations at Autosport International, the traditional kick-off point for the new season, David was a very busy man and was in demand from drivers, managers and sponsors seeking to secure a place in what will be the most extensive team in the BTCC paddock in 2009.

The team's BTCC operation will go into a second season with at least two BMWs and the experience gained in 2009 will allow Motorbase to challenge for race wins and podiums right from the first race of the season. Importantly, the season starts on the team's doorstep at Brands Hatch on Sunday 5 April.

"I was very pleased indeed with what we did last year, and the second half of last season was exactly what we hoped it would be. We didn't get that elusive win, but I think we know where we are now to start 2009 and we know the car," said David as he reflected on 2008 and looked ahead to the new season.

"The first half of last year was all about just learning the car. In the second half of the season, we got some idea of where we were going, and you could tell that by the way the car was working with the team. I really enjoyed the second half of the year, which is something that it is nice to say about touring car racing."

Significantly, only the works Vauxhall and SEAT teams scored more points than Motorbase over the second half of 2008. Now, Bartrum is determined to continue building on that progress and an all-important first BTCC race win is a clear target for the new season.

"In everything we do, we want to progress and get better at it," he said. "This will be the first time we go into the second year of a programme with the same car and so we won't be learning about it. We go into the year knowing what we can do and knowing we can carry our speed forward from 2008. We'd certainly like to run two cars and I have said before that I would run a third car if the money was there. As long as we run competitively and keep moving forwards, then that is what I want to do."

However, the BTCC operation is only part of the ambitious Motorbase plan for 2009, as a return to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB is also moving ahead very positively. For its return to the Carrera Cup after a year's sabbatical, Motorbase will run a multi-car squad and has already confirmed youngsters Ollie Jackson and George Richardson for the pro-am1 and pro-am2 categories.

Having sat out the 2008 Carrera Cup season while concentrating on the BTCC programme, Bartrum is delighted that the team is returning to the Carrera Cup this season, with the Porsche squad operating in parallel to the BTCC squad.

"I'm delighted that we're going back to running a multi-car Carrera Cup team, just as we have before," said Bartrum. "The Carrera Cup is positively buzzing and I'm over the moon that Motorbase is again going to be a part of it. We've signed two very promising young drivers, although it is a big step up for both of them."

After three seasons racing in Caterhams, Jackson made his Carrera Cup debut at Brands Hatch last September in a VIP car and has now committed to a full season. "I'm really, really excited about it," said Jackson, who will contest the pro-am1 category. "We've spent quite a lot of time with the Motorbase team over the last two seasons and have got to know the team really well."

Richardson makes the step up after two seasons in the Ginetta Junior category and has already impressed the team with his approach during testing. "It's a big step up, but the Carrera Cup is a great series and Motorbase is a very professional team," said the Cheshire-based 17-year old racer. "Our aim is to win the pro-am2 class and then move up with Motorbase in 2010. My ultimate goal is the BTCC."