British Touring Car Championship returnee Andy Neate will complete Motorbase Performance’s three-car line-up for the 2020 season.
The 45-year-old driver has started more than 100 races in his British Touring Car Championship career and will be making a return to the category after three years away.
He has driven for six different teams in the BTCC’s top-flight and is eager to get started with Motorbase. He will begin his test programme with the Kent team in an older-spec version of the team’s Ford Focus before switching to the brand new fourth-generation Focus ST when it is completed by the Wrotham-based crew.
Neate said that he was delighted with the deal and was chomping at the bit to get started with his pre-season programme.
“It has been a while, but I feel like I have some unfinished business in the BTCC,” says Neate. “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 a few 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,” added Neate, who last raced in the BTCC in 2016. “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 on March 28-29.”
Neate will join Ollie Jackson and reigning Independents Trophy holder Rory Butcher as part of the three-car squad for the 2020 season. Team boss David Bartrum said he was thrilled to welcome Neate to the team.
“We’re delighted to welcome Andy to Motorbase Performance in a very exciting year for us with the new car,” says 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.”