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News 2010: Airwaves BMW Confirms Jackson and Kane

March 23rd

Steven KaneAirwaves BMW chose the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship's annual Media Day (March 23) at its home circuit Brands Hatch to confirm its all-new driver line-up for 2010 - Mat Jackson and Steven Kane, who were comfortably the highest points-scorers the last time they raced against one another, in the 2008 BTCC final at the Kent circuit.

That day, Jackson won twice and finished fourth, while Kane claimed two seconds and a fifth . . . and team boss David Bartrum reckons he has one of the most potent combinations on this year's 23-car grid: "Frankly, I couldn't be happier. We know Steven's potential well, having worked with him in the Carrera Cup before the BTCC, but then the chance to add Mat to the line-up was something really worth working for - his record in just three seasons in the BTCC speaks for itself."

Michael CaineIn addition to title sponsorship from popular chewing gum brand Wrigley's Airwaves, the Motorbase Performance-run BMWs will also enjoy major backing from Leyland Paints, one of the UK's front-running business brands, and The Money Shop, which is Britain's leading cheque-cashing business.

Jackson has 11 BTCC wins to his credit, unusually among those in the current crop of drivers in both front-wheel-drive (Chevrolet) and rear-wheel-drive (BMW) cars; in his two seasons in a BMW, he had seven wins, nine more podium finishes and scored points in 80 per cent of the races . . . he was runner-up in 2008, only his second season, and won the hearts of thousands of BTCC supporters, who voted him the 'Fans' Favourite'.

Jackson had raced karts and single-seaters before turning to saloons, in BTC-Production in 2001; he returned in the BTCC-supporting SEAT one-make championship, with 19 wins in two years, finishing runner-up in 2005, Champion in 2006.

Jackson said: "Its fantastic to be back in a BMW and with Airwaves on board its definitely time to kick up a gear! It would be an understatement to say that exciting times lie ahead. I feel this could be a great partnership - all of the team have the same focus and mine is no different . . . to win. With our new team partner, I just hope that we can be cashing in as early as Thruxton!"

Michael CaineA former schoolboy motocross Champion in Ireland, Kane switched through karts to single-seaters, racing in Formula Ford, Formula 3 and World Series by Renault, before finishing third in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB in 2007. In his sole BTCC season in 2008, he claimed 15 top 10 results, finishing second three times.

Kane is looking forward to clocking up his first BTCC win: "Its great to be back in the BTCC, especially with Motorbase Performance and Airwaves BMW – the last time I raced the BMW at Brands Hatch, I finished second twice . . . time to kick up a gear and start winning! I tested the car at the end of last year, back at Brands, and its very clear the team, and car, have moved on. I have great respect for David and I think he has really put a great team together - with Mat, I will have a fantastic team-mate and I'm sure we will form a good partnership both on and off the track. This will enable both of us to have a real good shout for the title!"

Starting the season at Thruxton, the fastest circuit on the calendar, has given the team even more of a lift - Jackson has won there in both BMW and Chevrolet (and, previously in SEATs), while Kane won all four Porsche Carrera Cup GB races in 2007. Bartrum says: "Our guys have a pretty solid record round there, while I know that some of the other teams don't . . . but we'll see, come Easter weekend."