Motorbase Performance will field a third Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 for the opening round of the 2015 Avon Tyres British GT at Oulton Park on April 4-6.
The Aston Martin will be piloted by Motorbase stalwart and 2014 British Touring Car Championship Independent Runner-up Mat Jackson who makes his British GT debut alongside experienced GT racer Phil Dryburgh. Jackson makes the move across to the Motorbase AMR squad having raced with the Kent-based outfit’s BTCC team for the past five seasons.
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to put this deal together and to get the third Aston on the grid for the first round;” said Motorbase Team Principal David Bartrum. “It’s something that has come only really come together in the last week or so, but I’m really pleased to have another great driver pairing in a Motorbase car.”
“Mat’s been with us a long time now, and we know what he’s capable of. The Aston is new to him but he’s a talented driver and I feel sure that he’ll get to grips with the car and GT format in no time. I just hope that he remembers it’s not elbows-out like the BTCC and brings the car back in one piece!”
Bartrum added; “Phil and Motorbase go back a long way. It was actually Phil that introduced Jonny Adam to the Motorbase BTCC squad back in 2009 so it’s come around full circle again. He’s a great guy to have on board and an accomplished driver and I have every confidence that both he and Mat will put in a good performance.”
The 2015 season opener will mark Jackson’s first foray into sportscar racing, with the Warwickshire-based driver best known as a front runner in the BTCC where he’s competed for the past 8 seasons. “I’m really looking forward to it;” commented Jackson. “I got the call from David on the same day as the touring car programme news broke, so it was great that another door opened up for me to go racing this year and I’m delighted to be staying with the team.”
Jackson enjoyed his first run in the Vantage GT3 at last week’s official Oulton Park test and the 33 year old is enthusiastic about his British GT debut. “The Aston is a completely different animal to the NGTC (next general touring car). It’s obviously got a lot more horse power and you’re running an aero package so the breaking distances are a lot different, but it’s a really good fun car to drive;” he added.
Dryburgh returns to the British GT grid as a welcome addition to David Bartrum’s squad with a wealth of experience in the Aston Martin Vantage. The 55 year old is looking forward to a return to the Cheshire circuit where he secured 4th and 5th place finishes in last season’s championship opener.
“I’ve known David for a long time and I saw how quick the Motorbase Aston was in the second half of last season so it’s the perfect fit for me really. Mat’s obviously a great driver and I’m sure that the extra challenge of 'carrying' an Am driver will make up for any lack of hustle and bustle he’ll miss from BTCC! I’ve watched him since his days back at SEAT where he was Jonny [Adam’s] nemesis so it’s quite ironic that he’s now making his British GT co-driving alongside me.”
Dryburgh added; “I adore Oulton Park as a track and I have a lot of happy memories from there. We got a 4th and 5th there in the Aston last year, so all that’s missing is a podium!”
The third Motorbase-run Vantage will join the #2 and #6 GT3’s for the 2015 Avon Tyres British GT opening round at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend. Saturday (4 April) sees the weekend’s action get underway with free practice and qualifying before Monday’s (6 April) 2 x 1 hour races.