Motorbase Performance has tested two youngsters at Brands Hatch following the conclusion of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season.
Ginetta GT Supercup racer Jake Hill and Tom Grainger, who spent 2012 competing in the MG Metro Cup, were both given the chance to sample the team's S2000-based Ford Focus during the test.
Grainger already works with Motorbase two days a tweek as part of his studies for a Motorsport Engineering qualification at Brooklands College while Hill has been competing on the BTCC package for the past few seasons.
“We've given a couple of young drivers, at different stages of their careers, a chance to sample a touring car,” team boss David Bartrum said “We're a Kent-based team and these are two young lads from Kent. Tom is starting out and Jake is battling to climb the racing ladder – neither of them is short of talent, just finance.
“We're a relatively young team ourselves, and it's tough out there for young drivers to get the breakthrough they sometimes need. I believe as a Kent team with young talent in the county it is our duty to give them a chance to get some exposure.
“It's been a pleasure having Jake and Tom with us and they've surprised me to be honest! They've both been a joy to work with; they've listened and followed instructions very well and done exactly what was asked of them. It doesn't mean they will be touring car drivers for us next season, but it will give them an association with the team and it will give them experience of racing at that top level that they wouldn't necessarily get elsewhere.”
Alongside the S2000 Focus, Motorbase was also running its NGTC-spec car, with Aron Smith – who drove for the team during 2012 and took a maiden win during the Brands Hatch season finale – sampling the new machine for the first time.
“As soon as I got into the NGTC I could immediately feel the difference from the S2000,” he said. “It's got so much more grip, and as good as the car is in its current set up, you can tell that it's still only running at about 70 per cent of what it's capable of. You can just sense that the car has potential to be unbelievably good – in the areas where the guys have cracked the set up, it's mind-blowingly strong.
“I have no doubt that with some more testing and development over the winter, the Motorbase NGTC has the potential to beat the Hondas and MGs and win the Championship in 2013, and I'm working very hard to secure a deal to be in it!”