Motorbase Performance team boss David Bartrum admits that the chance to put double HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship title winner James Thompson was too good to turn down after he hit the track for a day of running at Brands Hatch.
The test marked the latest outing for Thompson with a BTCC team as he continues to evaluate his options for the season ahead, having been left with a drive in the World Touring Car Championship following N.Technology's decision to withdraw from the series.
Having already tested the Team Dynamics Honda Civic and the Tempus Sport Chevrolet Lacetti, Thompson had the chance to sample rear-wheel drive for the first time in almost ten years during the Brands Hatch test as he helped aid Motorbase with its preparations for the season ahead.
“It was a really good day,” Bartrum told Crash.net
. “We've worked with some really good drivers but when the chance comes up to work with someone like James, who has won two titles and has experience of the WTCC, you can't turn it down.
“He is a top quality driver who has been there, done that and got to the t-shirt. Having someone with his experience in the car to give us extra feedback can only help us to improve as a team as we look to take ourselves to the next level.”
Motorbase was one of the form teams over the second half of the 2008 season, with Rob Collard and Steven Kane becoming regular podium contenders to help the team amass more points in the final five race weekends than any other privateer outfit.
To date, the team has yet to reveal its plans for the season ahead, with Kane, Collard and both Jonathan Adam and James Nash – who tested with the team prior to Christmas – having been linked to drives.
“We are getting there in terms of putting everything together,” Bartrum continued, “but we are in no rush to announce anything at the moment. It's a work in progress.”
Liam McMillan was also in action at Brands Hatch as he completed the third test with the SEAT Toledo he will campaign with his own Maxtreme team for his debut BTCC season.