Jack Clarke will contest the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, driving a Motorbase Performance-prepared NGTC Ford Focus under the Crabbie’s Racing banner.
Clarke previously enjoyed a successful single-seater career, which culminated in a victory and several podiums in the FIA Formula Two Championship. He has since competed in a number of high-level GT races in the World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Blancpain Endurance Series, plus a number of NASCAR stock-car events in the US.
With both Clarke and Crabbie’s targeting a future and presence in the highest tier of British motor sport, a partnership has been forged to place the highly talented 26-year-old with the Motorbase Performance squad for the upcoming season. Motorbase has won numerous races in the BTCC, and Clarke joins an experienced outfit that also boasts two-time champion Fabrizio Giovanardi in its ranks.
Surrey-based Clarke has been evaluated alongside Giovanardi in recent tests at both Brands Hatch and Snetterton, where the team were hugely impressed with his speed and ability to adapt to a car that was completely new to him. He will now carry out a number of further test runs, including the only official BTCC pre-season test at Donington Park on 18 March, where the all-new Crabbie’s Racing livery will be unveiled.
Clarke said: “I’m delighted to be joining the BTCC and I’m thankful to both Crabbie’s and Motorbase for the opportunity. The BTCC continues to go from strength-to-strength, and I’m excited to be racing in Britain’s premier championship.
“The calibre and quality of the field is very high and it’ll be my first year in touring cars, so I’m under no illusions as to how tough it’s going to be. Testing has gone very well and I obviously have confidence in my own ability, so I cannot wait to take on this exciting challenge with Crabbie’s Racing.”
The Crabbie’s Racing partnership is the latest in a series of high profile sports sponsorship and partnership campaigns for the famed drinks brand and its parent company Halewood international.
Sponsorship programmes to date include Hibernian FC, The Scottish Golf Open, Everton FC, West Bromwich Albion and most recently, In September 2013, Crabbie’s proudly announced its role as the Official Title Sponsor of The Grand National Festival at Aintree for the next three years. That partnership, along with that of Clarke, cements the burgeoning brand’s presence at the forefront of British sport.
The Crabbie’s brand features a portfolio of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, made famous by its Ginger Beer and Ginger Wine’s, and expanded recently with the launch of refreshing flavour additions and further varieties to its range.
Peter Eaton Snr, Deputy Chairman of Halewood International, said: “Crabbie’s is delighted to be supporting Jack Clarke in the British Touring Car Championship this year. Motor sport is vibrant and exciting, and the demographic and popularity around the BTCC is a perfect partnership for Crabbie’s and our UK and international ambitions. The brand is already enjoying considerable success in the USA, Canada and Australia and is the number one bottled ale in the UK and from a company perspective, we are looking forward to an exciting season and a strong presence in the paddock.”
The opening round of the ten-event Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will take place at Brands Hatch on 29/30 March. In total, the championship visits nine of the UK’s best circuits across eight counties and regularly attracts crowds upwards of 40,000 at each venue. ITV broadcasts each and every race live and in high definition on ITV4, with a number of highlights programmes being shown after each round on both ITV and ITV4.