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Motorbase Performance set for BTCC season opener at Brands Hatch

March 29th 2016

Motorbase Performance all set for 2016 BTCC season opener at Brands Hatch

Motorbase Performance is gearing up for the return of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) as the 2016 season gets underway on the iconic Brands Hatch Indy circuit this coming weekend April 2/3.

With the Kent track less than a mile from the team's workshop, David Bartrum's Wrotham-based outfit is going all out for podiums with one of the championship's most highly anticipated driver line-ups as Mat Jackson returns for his seventh year in the squad alongside 2013 BTCC Champion and Red Bull athlete Andrew Jordan.

Andrew Jordan in the #77 Pirtek Racing Ford Focus ST

Jackson was the man to beat last time out with the 35-year-old claiming pole and two race wins in the Focus on the GP loop during the 2015 season closer. Jordan also has an excellent record on the short Indy layout where he last took pole position and two race wins back in 2014. With a record 32-car grid set to descend on the Kent circuit for the 2016 season opener, competition will be higher than ever.

In addition to the driver line-up changes; the Motorbase Performance squad has been hard at work over the winter months rebuilding and developing the Focus ST which joins many of the front-running teams this year running the new RML suspension kit upgrade. Alongside improvements in other areas of the car, the team is confident that the Focus ST will be challenging at the front of the pack once more.

Mat Jackson in the #7 DUO-backed Ford Focus ST

The opening three rounds of the 2016 season take place on the 1.2 mile Indy circuit at Brands Hatch on April 2/3. Live coverage of Sunday's events will be shown on ITV4, itv.com and also in HD from 10.15am – 6pm, with itv.com featuring live streaming online of Saturday's qualifying session between 3.40 and 4.10pm.

Quotes:

Team Manager Oly Collins: 
"We've had a really positive pre-season with our cars running the new RML components and we've managed to get a fair amount of miles under our belt. It's been a busy time for us, but hopefully the hard work will have been worth it come Saturday! It's a very difficult one to predict this season as we've all kind of hit the reset button with the new suspension kits and we've all had to start afresh. We know what we've been doing butto a certain extent not necessarily what our competitors have.  This time of year is always full of questions heading into the opening weekend but going into this season seems to be the most unpredictable start to a season I can remember in the BTCC.

Andrew Jordan will race the #77 Focus for the first time at the Brands Hatch season opener this coming weekend"Andrew and Mat have been working really well together during the close season and hopefully they can continue to do the same on track. Our target is simple, we're here to win the Championship; but I guess that's the same for everyone before the lights go out!"

#7 Mat Jackson: 
"I'm really looking forward to getting back into the Focus at Brands Hatch this weekend. We've had a little bit of running with the new RML suspension kit and the boys have done a great job with the car as always but we've really got to see how it all pans out during qualifying and race day.

"We finished on such a high here last season with two race wins and a pole and it would be fantastic to pick up where we left off, but we're under no illusions of just how competitive the grid will be."

#77 Andrew Jordan: 
Mat Jackson returns for his seventh year with the Motorbase Performance squad"Obviously I am very excited to get back to the racing at Brands and to kick off my new season and relationship with Motorbase. We have done a lot of testing together and I feel we have clicked really well but the serious stuff starts this weekend.

"It would be my dream to get pole and a win this weekend but I know how tough that will be. I've managed to get pole at Brands Indy a couple of times before so I have good confidence heading there. I'm also really interested to see how it will pan out with most teams moving to the new RML suspension kit as it's a bit like starting from scratch with car set up. The aim this year is to win the title so I need to make sure I have three strong results to kick the year off well and hopefully gain some momentum. It's always a fine balancing act of being consistent, staying out of trouble whilst going on maximum attack for wins and podiums."