Reigning British Touring Car champion Ash Sutton has made a shock switch to Motorbase Performance for 2022, and will bid for a record-equalling fourth crown in a Ford Focus ST.
The 27-year-old will join reigning Porsche Carrera Cup champion – and former BTCC title rival – Dan Cammish in a two-car NAPA Racing squad run by Motorbase. Sutton spent the past two seasons at Laser Tools Racing, claiming back-to-back titles in a rear-wheel-drive Infiniti Q50.
The move to Motorbase means Sutton will be driving a front-wheel-drive car for the first time since racing an MG 6 in his maiden BTCC season in 2016. Sutton’s first title came in 2017 in a rear-drive Team BMR Subaru Levorg.
Motorbase boss Pete Osborne said: “Ash is the kind of driver who is on everyone’s radar. This will be a different challenge for him compared with recent years, swapping from RWD to FWD. It was quite a decision for him to make but I’m really glad he did.”
Sutton said that he was attracted to the team by the backing from American automotive parts giant NAPA, which is a high-profile sponsor of Nascar and other motorsport in the US and entered the UK market in 2019.
He added: “Having got to know Pete Osborne more over the last year, I saw the hunger he has to win and his ambition to drive Motorbase in that direction. This is something I love, a new challenge set out with the same goals I personally have.”
Sutton said that the crew that have run his BTCC machines for the previous seasons have also joined Motorbase, adding that “means we have all the key elements to go out and retain that title together”.
“This brings me one step closer to my goal of becoming the most successful driver ever in the BTCC,” he said.
As well as the two NAPA Racing-branded cars, Motorbase will also enter a pair of Focus RS machines for returning drivers Sam Osborne and Ollie Jackson.
Meanwhile, 18-year-old Scottish driver Dexter Patterson, who has previously raced in British F3 and been part of the Sauber Junior Team, will join Aiden Moffat at Laser Tools Racing for 2022.