Airwaves Racing heads to the North East as round 5 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) arrives at Croft circuit this coming weekend (22/23 June).
The Airwaves Racing squad is aiming high after a solid performance at Oulton Park two weeks ago where the Mountune-powered Ford Focus ST NGTC’s showed impressive pace; challenging the works Hondas and MGs at the front of the pack. The Motorbase-run outfit have worked hard over the short two week gap to hone in on the progress made last time out, and this weekend’s racing action at Croft is set to unlock even more potential in the Airwaves machines.
This weekend also marks the poignant anniversary of the birth of the Motorbase Performance NGTC project. It was here last year, following Liam Griffin’s dramatic crash in race three, that team principal made the bold move to bring the NGTC project forward – unveiling the new car to an unsuspecting crowd just seven weeks later at Snetterton. A year on and the Airwaves Racing team returns to Croft with two new NGTC’s looking to chase down the race win that has proven to be elusive so far this season.
Addison Lee Motorbase is also preparing for a big weekend at Croft with the addition of a second Focus ST to the squad; with a special one-off appearance behind the wheel of the Autoglym-branded NGTC from current British GT Champion Michael Caine. Michael is joined on track by BRDC rising star and Kent-based driver Jake Hill who will be filling in for Liam Griffin; absent this weekend due to business commitments.
Jake previously tested for the Motorbase squad at the end of the 2012 and Team Boss David Bartrum – keen to support young British Motorsport talent wherever possible – is offering the 19 year old a rare chance to get behind the wheel of a touring car with a front-running team.
Round 5 of the 2013 season takes place at Croft on June 22/23. Live coverage of Sunday’s events will be shown on ITV4, itv.com and also in HD from 11.30am – 6pm; with itv.com featuring live streaming online of Saturday’s qualifying session between 3.10 and 3.40pm.
Motorbase Performance Team Principal David Bartrum said: “Returning to Croft for me marks the anniversary of the birth of the NGTC programme at Motorbase Performance. It was here last year when Liam crashed out in a race that we decided to bring our NGTC programme to life. We left Croft with the intention of returning in the second half of the season at Snetterton with our first Ford Focus NGTC car so this weekend I am very proud to be going back to Croft proudly displaying two Airwaves Racing NGTC Ford Focus ST’s designed and built in-house at Motorbase Performance.
“The Airwaves NGTC ‘s showed a great run of speed at Oulton Park with some fabulous battling with Matt Neal in the works Honda so I’m looking forward to seeing what Mat and Aron can do this weekend at one of my favourite circuits, Croft. I’m confident that we’ll have a good weekend with our new cars and go into the mid-season break off the back of a positive weekend a year on from the conception of the new car.”
Airwaves Racing driver Mat Jackson said: “Oulton Park was a huge step forward for us and to be mixing it with the leading pack is a big boost.
“I’m looking forward to getting back out there again at Croft this weekend; it has some similar characteristics to Oulton and I feel that the podium is not far away at all. We now have a base to work from so expect some fireworks!”
Airwaves Racing driver Aron Smith said: “Airwaves Racing has had a great record at Croft in the past and I think things are shaping up to further that record. We unlocked something in our car at Oulton but never really got to show our true hand.
“Croft should play into the strengths of our car, especially the final technical section of the lap. I’m itching to get out on track to show everyone what we are capable of.”
Croft circuit: 2.25 miles
Race distance: 33.75 miles
Address: Croft Circuit, West Lane, Dalton-on-Tess, North Yorkshire DL2 2PN