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Motorbase Performance to expand into historic racing with 1965 Ford Mustang

By Dan Wright

Wrotham-based Motorbase Performance will expand into historic racing next season with a 1965 Ford Mustang.

Team owner David Bartrum plans to drive the car himself in the Historic Racing Drivers Club (HRDC) Allstars series.

Bartrum – who last competed in 2002 and is a former Ford Saloon Car Championship winner – bought the V8-powered machine from California.

Motorbase bought the car from California

Motorbase bought the car from California

“We are all getting older so we wanted to build a car and look at the historic world,” he said.

“We want to build a car that will show people what we can do.

“I want to drive it and I picked the Mustang because I like them – it is only four years younger than me and offers a good bit of history.”

Motorbase Performance's Ford Mustang in build

Motorbase Performance's Ford Mustang in build

Bartrum, who has run the Tower Industrial Estate-based British Touring Car Championship squad since 2004, started racing in 1988 in the P100 Pickup series.

He hopes to enter the Mustang Notchback in events at Goodwood and the Silverstone Classic.

“We are building it properly and need to get it done over the winter – we are aiming to get it finished by March,” he added.

The 1965 machine in the workshop

The 1965 machine in the workshop

“People like Mike and Andrew Jordan are building historic cars to a very high standard and if someone walked past our Mustang and said it was as good as a Jordan one, that would be sign-off for me.

“It has got to be fun and the initial aim will be to race it in the HRDC.”

Alongside its new historic arm, Motorbase will also compete in TCR next season after taking delivery of two Volkswagen Golf GTIs.

Motorbase Performance's new TCR VW Golf. Picture Gary Hawkins

Motorbase Performance's new TCR VW Golf. Picture: Gary Hawkins

It is not yet confirmed which TCR series the team will enter, but a new British championship will start next year.

“We are open to all available options for next season with TCR,” Bartrum added.

“I am excited to see which drivers are out there with the potential and budget to work with us whether in the UK, Europe or further afield.

“TCR opens up a lot more opportunities for us as a team as we now have a stable of cars that we can take all over the world.”


2018 BTCC PLANS
 
Motorbase will continue to compete in the BTCC with its Shredded Wheat-backed Ford Focus machines next year.
 
The squad hopes to run three cars in the championship after a disappointing 2017 season saw Mat Jackson score only one victory. 
 
Team manager Oly Collins said: "We are hoping it will be a big year and we can get back to our performance of 2016.
The Motorbase Ford Focus machines will return in 2018. Picture Simon Hildrew

The Motorbase Ford Focus machines will return in 2018. Picture: Simon Hildrew

"We had good seasons in 2015 and 2016, but this year it didn't happen.
 
"Unfortunately, things happen like that but we see no reason why in 2018 we won't be back to our best.
 
"We have been beavering away on next year..." - Oly Collins
"If anything, entering TCR as well gives more to our BTCC programme as it will give us flexibility because we will have a bigger team."
 
Jackson could only finish eighth in the 2017 standings, scoring his one victory at Croft.
 
Collins added: "Shredded Wheat saw the benefit of being in touring cars and they loved their first year.
 
"They were very impressed with the championship, with the way it is exposed and they hit their targets with what they wanted to get out of it.
 
"Since the flag dropped at the last race at Brands, we have been beavering away on next year and we are looking forward to it."

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