Motorbase confirm revised driver pairing for 2019
Motorbase has confirmed a revised driver line-up for the two Shredded Wheat-backed cars it will once again campaign in the British Touring Car Championship this season.
Tom Chilton will return for a second season at the wheel of the teams Ford Focus RS to spearhead the team’s challenge having finished third in the championship standings in 2018.
The 33-year-old proved to be one of the most consistent drivers on track across last season as he consistently scored points to remain in contention for the title until Finals Day, with a 13th career win at Knockhill proving to be the highlight.
His aim now will be to fight for the title during the season ahead, with confidence high that off-season developments to the car will see it running at the sharp end of the grid.
“Looking back, when I started at Sebastian Loeb Racing in the World Touring Cars in my first year I thought I’d done the best that I could possibly do,” he said. “It was my first year in the team, first year in the car and we could only finish 2nd in the Independents Championship. I needed to stay there for the second year to actually get the best out of the car and the team where I thrived and went on to win my Championship and class.
“Comparing that to the BTCC, I’ve just ended my first season with Motorbase coming third overall and second in the Independents so I like the idea that we can develop and work even closer this year. I absolutely love the guys at Motorbase, they are such hard workers and I really genuinely believe that we can go on to take the title from where we started in our first year together.
“I think that people forget what it’s like coming into a team for the first year. You have to learn not just every single thing about the car from scratch with all the little key changes, but also everyone in the team, and it’s such a big learning curve in that first season. I’m very excited to have some consistency going into 2019 and I believe that we can go in for the title fight, especially with the developments we’ve made to the RS.”
Chilton will be partnered by former AmD driver Ollie Jackson – who returns to the team having previously raced in Motorbase colours in the Porsche Carrera Cup.
Jackson tested with the team at Snetterton during the winter and will replace James Cole in the Shredded Wheat line-up, with his plans for 2019 currently unknown.
“I’m delighted with our line-up this year,” team boss David Bartrum said. “As a team, we made some good steps forward last year, and Tom showed us his character and work ethic which make him the racer he is. He’s very much a ‘Motorbase’ driver and I’m looking forward to seeing just how far we can go this year. We have high hopes.
“I’m also really pleased to welcome back a Motorbase original in Ollie. We first ran him in the Porsche Carrera Cup and we’ve remained friends ever since. He won a Championship with us in Porsche and has shown in previous seasons that he is a very capable BTCC driver, and a chance test at the end of last season showed us just how good he is.
“He has the experience in the BTCC needed to get results, and I’m anticipating great things from both Tom and Ollie this season.”
Motorbase’s third driver, who will run under a different team name in the same way as Sam Tordoff last year, is still to be revealed.