Former British Touring Car Championship title winner Tim Harvey is to return to a touring car for the first time since 2002 after Motorbase Performance revealed it will test the Porsche Carrera Cup champion at Brands Hatch tomorrow (Tuesday).
Harvey, who lifted the BTCC crown back in 1992, will hit the track in one of the team's BMW 320sis for the test, which will kick-start preparations for the 2009 campaign.
"With Tim being a former Motorbase driver in the Porsche Carerra Cup and having such great experience in a wide range of race cars, we felt he would be the perfect choice of test driver to help us during the close season," team boss David Bartrum said. "We will be looking for him to give us some really detailed feedback on where the car can be developed and assist us in taking another step forward in performance.
"We lacked a little bit of testing before the start of the 2008 championship and that hindered us a little in the first half of the season. This time we are going to leave no stone unturned so that we are 100 per cent ready for the first race of 2009."
Harvey added that he was looking forward to being back behind the wheel of a BMW for the day of running, and while he said he currently has no plans to return to the BTCC full time, he insisted he was keeping his options open for the future.
"Having won the BTCC title in a BMW back in '92 it has always been a marque that has remained close to my heart," he said. "It's really the only type of car that would tempt me to race in the BTCC again, so it will be great to see what the 320si is like from the driving seat.
"Motorbase went from strength to strength during the 2008 season, so hopefully I can help them move forward again by giving the team some useful input. From a personal point of view it will also be interesting to see how the latest touring cars compare to the last time I drove one.
"Although I can't see myself returning to drive in the BTCC right now I like to keep my options open, and this testing experience will bring me up to date with what's required to set good times in a really competitive car."