Motorbase Performance’s brand new Next Generation Touring Car-spec Ford Focus took to the track for the first time in free practice at Snetterton, and team boss David Bartrum is proud of the team’s achievement to build their first all new car.
Motorbase have previously run cars built by other teams or manufacturers, first ex-Team Dynamics Honda Integras, then SEAT Sport -built SEAT Toledos, BMW Motorsport’s BMW 320sis and now most recently Arena Motorsport’s old S2000-spec Ford Focus STs. Now the team has debuted their own car this weekend, the first ever car built from scratch for the top independent team, which has been in development since the start of the season.
“I’m quite surprised how quiet we were able to keep it,” said Bartrum to TouringCarTimes. “I know a lot of people knew we were working on it at the beginning of the year, but they thought we’d shelved it. It was interesting seeing all the faces in the paddock looking as we wheeled it in at 5am this morning.”
Bartrum says now they’ve gone down the NGTC route, there’s no going back, with the attention now moving on to next year. The team’s goal this weekend is for Aron Smith to continue to score points for the team with the S2000 car, whilst the team develop the NGTC Focus on track this weekend with Jackson.
Liam Griffin volunteered to stand down this weekend to allow the team to focus on the NGTC car, rather than repair his car which was heavily damaged at Croft. Griffin was already scheduled to miss the next round of the Championship at Knockhill due to family commitment, and so is now set to return at Rockingham, when he will race Mat Jackson’s old car, allowing the team to finish the repairs to Griffin’s damaged car at their leisure.
During Free Practice 1, Mat Jackson was able to set a total of seven laps and was just 6.5 seconds off the pace in the first ever run for the all new NGTC Ford Focus ST on the track.