James Cole will replace Mat Jackson at the Motorbase Performance British Touring Car Championship squad for the upcoming 2018 season. 

Cole, who secured a breakthrough BTCC win at Rockingham last season while driving for Team BMR, will fill the spare Ford Focus RS seat vacated by Jackson after the 20-time race-winner had his 2018 contract terminated by Motorbase. 

The 2009 British Formula Ford champion returns to the Motorbase outfit he drove for during a part-time campaign in 2015 alongside new recruits Tom Chilton and the returning 2016 BTCC runner-up Sam Tordoff. 

"It was like putting back on an old pair of gloves,” Cole said of his first test with Motorbase in Spain last week. “I thought it might take a while to get to grips with FWD again but I managed to get up to speed very quickly.

"The new RS gives me a lot more confidence to push early on and considering I haven't been in FWD for a couple of years, I managed to get on the pace within a day which shows how much the car has moved on from the old ST.

"It's also great to be back working with James Mundy, my engineer from [the Jamun team in] Formula Ford, it's been 10 years since we last worked together so it feels like a homecoming.”

Motorbase team boss David Bartrum said: "James has done a very good job in the Subaru in the time he's been away. He's been on pole and won a race and has clearly raised his game and coming back to FWD may well suit him."

The 2018 season gets underway at Brands Hatch on April 8.

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