Steven Kane says he can see no reason why Motorbase Performance won't be able to challenge for the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship title in the 2009 season.

Kane and team-mate Rob Collard helped make David Bartrum's outfit one of the form teams during the second half of the 2008 campaign, regularly battling for podium finishes as the team was only outscored by Vauxhall and SEAT through the final five meetings of the year.

Looking to 2009, Motorbase has yet to officially confirm its driver line-up although Kane is widely expected to return for a second year in the BTCC after his impressive debut season; having graduated from the Porsche Carerra Cup at the start of the year.

Should that deal be done, Kane - who finished fourth in the Independents' standings and eleventh overall in 2008 - said he saw no reason why the BMW couldn't fight for the title, although he admitted it wouldn't be easy.

"I would like to say that, if everything goes to plan and we are out there, that a top three in the championship would be a real possibility," he told "I know David is working on a few things to make it better for us and if we can get those things right and start the season quickly, there is no reason why we can't fight for the championship, and for the Independents' championship at least.

"[As for the rest] it's tough to call at the moment as this is the silly season and we won't know how it is until the first race. I think Motorbase will be strong and Vauxhall will of course be strong again. They have Andrew Jordan in there and I know it will be run as an Independent entry but everyone knows it is a works car. He will be very strong and will have good data from Fabrizio and Matt who are in the perfect position and will be quick; nothing will change there.

"Halfords, I don't know what will happen with Steve Neal and his team at the moment, and the Ford situation with Tom Chilton is one we have to wait and see about. Arena is a very good team and has proved it in the past and it could have a good car if they hit the ground running. But touring cars is tough and they might not be as quick as they hoped at the start of the year so we have to get an advantage and try to keep with the works cars."



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