Motorbase Performance has confirmed Sam Tordoff’s return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship as part of the Kent-based outfit’s 2018 title assault.
The Leeds-based driver will pilot one of the team’s three new Ford Focus RS machines for the new season, racing under the Team GardX Racing banner in car #600 – a nod to the family business - motor dealer group JCT600.
The striking white, blue and orange livery from Tordoff’s long-term backers GardX, Premia Solutions and AutosOnShow is set to turn heads as the upgraded Focus RS takes to the track for the first time later this month when the squad commences its pre-season testing programme in Spain.
Six-times BTCC racer winner, Tordoff, makes his highly-anticipated homecoming to the grid after taking a year out last season. The Yorkshireman already has three titles under his belt, having taken the Constructors’ Title with MG in 2014 before clinching the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ Titles as part of the WSR line-up in 2016, where he also finished the year as overall runner-up – narrowly missing out on top honours by just two points.
“Sam is a great addition to the team;” commented Motorbase Performance Team Principal David Bartrum. “He’s a quality driver, with a proven winning track record. He’s a multiple-time race winner and did a great job in his four previous seasons racing in the BTCC as well as in the British GT’s last year.
"Sam stepped away from the BTCC at the peak of his career to go off and do something else, he’s got that out of his system now and he’s ready to come back and fight for the drivers’ title. I’m very proud of the fact that he’s chosen Motorbase as the team to come back and carry on where he left off in 2016.”
2018 will mark Tordoff’s fifth full season competing in the BTCC, and the 28-year-old re-joins the grid as the Championship gets set to celebrate its 60th anniversary year.
“I’m excited to be coming back to the BTCC this year;” enthused Tordoff. “It’s great to be representing the Ford brand, especially with it being 25 years since the RS was last on the grid. It’s also 60 years of BTCC as well this year, so there are a few cool anniversaries to mark the occasion.”
“When I left in 2016 I needed to clear my head and try something new. I wanted to drive a GT3 car and to race around Europe and having done that for a year I’ve reset and I’m ready to do battle again” added the GardX-backed driver. “I definitely have unfinished business in the BTCC. There’s one thing I need to come back for and that’s the drivers' title. Having missed out on it by such a close margin, I wanted to come back in a situation that was enjoyable for me and in an environment where I fit in with the team and I’ve found the perfect solution with Motorbase.
“When I found out David’s plan with the new RS, that was the final seal of approval that I needed. They’ve re-engineered the car and the guys have put in so much work on the new RS to overcome what was lacking in the ST. I’m really confident with the package.
“Front wheel drive is not new to me, but it’s been a few years so I’m going to have a bit of transitional phase to get back into the zone again;” Tordoff added; “but I wouldn’t be coming back or working with Motorbase if I didn’t think we could win the title, it’s as simple as that.”
“I’m delighted to have GardX back in a big way – they’re headlining the team this year and I’ve managed to retain everyone that I had with me in 2016. It’s great to have them all on-board again for this season.”
GardX concluded; “Another exciting announcement for GardX Motorsport and fantastic news for Sam. GardX have supported Sam’s racing career for many years now, and they are thrilled to continue their support as headline sponsor as he returns to the BTCC. There is no doubt that the BTCC offers the best motor racing in the UK and each year it gets bigger and better!”