Alex Martin says it is a 'special feeling' to debut in the British Touring Car Championship, stating the only pressure on him is what he puts himself under.

The British driver has made the switch from GT racing and the Ferrari Challenge Europe Championship to compete for Motorbase Racing in a front-wheel drive Ford Focus NGTC.

"My racing career actually started on two wheels in motocross," Martin said. "Unfortunately I had quite a serious accident that resulted in injuries that stopped me riding, but I didn't want to stop racing all together. It wasn't long before I was racing an old Porsche 996 - I showed quite a lot of promise so it was pretty much straight into a 997 in the Carrera Cup.

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"That was the first time I got to really experience the TOCA package and the BTCC in particular, and right away I knew that I wanted to be racing here. This was way back in 2009 I think, and we've been working so hard ever since to get to where we are today. To finally pull it off is such a special feeling."

The 27-year-old was getting to grips with the car at a pre-season testing at Brands Hatch ahead of his first BTCC campaign. Martin will compete with the title backing sponsor of Dextra in his rookie year and already has eyes on a long-term plan in BTCC.

"I'm going to be taking every opportunity that's put in front of me but I don't expect to be beating the guys at the front in my first race," Martin added. "My only pressure is from myself - I want to succeed in this championship but I fully respect that I'm going to be racing against some of the best drivers in the world.

"With that in mind I'm not going to be rushing anything. It's the first time I'll have raced a front-wheel-drive car, in fact I don't think I've even ever had one as a road car, so it'll take a bit of getting used to! I'm just elated to be here in this position and can't wait for the season to start."

The BTCC season-opener will be hosted at Brands Hatch over the Easter weekend (4-5 April).