Andy Neate returns to the BTCC with Motorbase

Andy Neate will return to the British Touring Car Championship in 2020, after Motorbase Performance confirmed he is completing their line-up for the season.

Neate is no stranger to the BTCC, having had 102 race starts during seven different seasons, where he achieved a best result of sixth at Oulton Park in 2011 and Croft in 2012, but it will be the first time he has raced in the series since 2016.

The 45-year-old will race the team’s third Ford Focus, with the Kent-based squad having previously announced that Rory Butcher and Ollie Jackson will race with the team in 2020.

Speaking about the announcement, Neate said: “It has been a while, but I feel like I have some unfinished business in the BTCC.

“I have taken some time away and I have been overseeing my son Aiden’s burgeoning karting career, but there was always the itch to come back to the BTCC.

“I don’t think I have been in a place where I could really show what I can do, but Motorbase suits me perfectly.

“Within minutes of talking to the team bosses, I could tell there was a hunger to succeed here which matches my own ambitions and there is also a really nice and encouraging atmosphere.

“We will be a superb fit, I am sure.

“I have a lot of experience and I have always enjoyed developing new cars, so the challenge with Motorbase and its new Ford Focus is something I am keen to get started with.

“I need to dust off some cobwebs first and I want to be in a position to hit the ground running when we get to the opening rounds at Donington Park.”

As Neate has not raced in the series since 2016, Motorbase Performance acknowledge that they need to get him back up to speed as quickly as possible, and in a bid to do so, they have arranged a specific testing programme for him.

“We’re delighted to welcome Andy to Motorbase Performance in a very exciting year for us with the new car,” commented Motorbase Team Principal David Bartrum.

“Andy has a wealth of experience in the BTCC with some very good teams and from our early meetings, he is very motivated and keen to get to work with our team.

“The BTCC has moved on since his absence from the series and Andy has no illusions of the task ahead and getting back up to speed.

“We have a test programme planned which will start in last year’s car to get him back up to speed and see how the cars have developed since he last drove the Honda.

“I feel sure from his experience he will be a great addition to the team.”