In the next installment of our 2021 BTCC Team Previews, our writers give their thoughts on Motorbase Performance and how they will fare this season.
The team underwent a significant change in the off-season with long-term Team Principal and Founder of Motorbase, David Bartrum, announcing his step to the sidelines after leading the name for almost two decades.
Shaun Hollamby and Pete Osborne took over the team at the beginning of this year so this will be their first season in those senior positions. A partnership with MB Motorsport also introduced a second team on the grid to a pair of new Ford Focus STs.
Pete Osborne’s son, Sam Osborne, also made a notable switch from MB Motorsport to duo Andy Neate at Motorbase.
See the BTCC 2021 Team Previews so far:
- BTCC 2021 Team Preview: Power Maxed Racing
- BTCC 2021 Team Preview: EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars
- BTCC 2021 Team Preview: BTC Racing
- BTCC 2021 Team Preview: MB Motorsport
Motorbase come into 2021 on the back of a good season in the BTCC, with Rory Butcher ending the year in fifth place and with three victories and two pole positions to his name.
The heavily-experienced BTCC team will be hopeful this form can continue into this campaign.
Andy Neate remains with the Motorbase Performance squad for 2021 for a second year after a challenging 2020 season, finishing 24th in the championship. The 46-year-old will be confident that with a year now under his belt since returning to the series, he can make his way further up the grid this year.
Ollie Jackson heads out of the team to MB Motorsport, trading seats with Sam Osborne, who joins the outfit for his third year in the BTCC. The 28-year-old had a stronger 2020 campaign compared to his first year, ending the season 19th in the championship, so I think we will see the Nottinghamshire-born driver even further up the grid this year.
Overall I believe this year will be a good one for Motorbase, I think fighting right at the front is an unrealistic target, but I believe both drivers can be consistently in the points.
Motorbase Performance are a team that fans and other teams alike are expecting a lot from in the 2021 campaign, with experienced drivers behind the wheel of their now infamous Red Focuses.
New signing Sam Osborne joined Andy Neate at the wheel recently for all three days testing at Donnington Park and Snetterton. The duo put in vital laps in both cars allowing them to complete an astounding number of laps compared to the majority of their rivals.
Having lost multiple race winner Rory Butcher, and one of the star drivers of the 2020 season Ollie Jackson, Motorbase Performance have a lot of expectations to meet, and their line-up are exceeding those expectations perfectly following testing.
Having had a successful 2020 with five wins and two pole positions, Motorbase want to replicate that and attempt to build on for the 2021 campaign.
In conclusion, Motorbase had one of the most successful pre-season testing programs. The team will have equally high expectations and high standards so there won’t be any room for error in their constant striving for a consistently competitive car.
With new ownership and the loss of Rory Butcher, this team have some work to do if they want to get to the front.
A reduced lineup down to two Ford Focus STs has limited their presence this season against the likes of Team HARD, BTC Racing and EXCELR8 – all of whom are expected to be target rivals throughout the midfield fight this season.
Andy Neate only scored three points last year on two occasions. He was effectively second-to-last in the overall drivers’ standings of those who competed in all 27 races that season.
However, bringing in Sam Osborne may not be the move to run this team to the ground. He might not be at Jake Hill-levels of performance, but he will take on the role to adapt and perform in his new seat – bringing that ability he showed during his prior and most successful season since his debut in ’19.
Motorbase had two front-running drivers in last year’s campaign of whom were not afraid to fight with their natural urge for wins and podiums.
I don’t see this team fighting for victories and podiums like in 2020, so the squad need to get up to speed to compete in a crowded midfield environment otherwise they could easily find themselves at the bottom of the standings.