NAPA Racing/Momentum Social

By Mick Palmer

NAPA colours will run on all four of the Ford Focus cars running under the Motorbase umbrella for the 2023 season in the BTCC it has been announced.

The American automotive aftermarket provider entered the championship in 2022 sponsoring the cars raced by Ash Sutton and Dan Cammish. For the upcoming campaign the second half of the garage and incumbent racer Sam Osbourne will be added to the roster, as will former Ciceley and Dynamics racer Dan Rowbottom.

Race winner Rowbottom will bring his Cataclean sponsorship deal over to the squad bolstering the four car driver line up with three race winning drivers. “To say I’m excited is an understatement,” Rowbottom stated. “The opportunity for not only myself, but for my long-term title partners Cataclean is superb. I’ve always been a NASCAR fan, so when NAPA joined BTCC, on a personal level that struck a chord for me, so to be able to continue the next steps of my career with NAPA Racing UK and Cataclean is an enormous privilege and something that words can’t quantify. I have no doubt that we can get on with the job and challenge for race wins in the 2023 season and cement ourselves as BTCC front runners once more.”

Team Manager Olly Collins shared his delight in the expansion to four cars running in the NAPA corporate colours, and adding Rowbottom to the roster. “We’re absolutely delighted to announce the four-car line up with NAPA this year. I’m really looking forward to seeing all four cars line up on the grid for the first time. Since NAPA Racing UK started this journey with us, it has been non-stop excitement and evolution. Together, we have brought a new approach to the Championship and shown exactly how to maximise opportunities wherever possible. Every area of the team behind this have pushed boundaries both on and off track, so we’re really looking forward to our second season as NAPA Racing UK.

“To continue the journey with the continuity of Dan (Cammish) & Ash (Sutton) is fantastic. But, to now have the opportunity to further improve our driver line up with Dan (Rowbottom) joining us alongside Sam (Osborne) is outstanding. “

Rumours abounded over the winter that NAPA had considered replacing the Focus with a rear wheel drive machine. “At the end of last season,” Collins continued. “We did look into other options of base car model for the 2023 season, but ultimately with a car & team which won the Teams Championship outright last year, we decided to continue for another season with the Focus ST. We have a lot of knowledge in the Focus and have invested over the winter to further improve the package in an aim to get the number 1 back on one of our cars as soon as possible.”

The rumour mill had marked the squad out for a shift to a rear driven machine, but multiple sources have indicated that TOCA have discouraged teams from going down that route with a view to RWD machines quietly being phased out of the championship to improve parity in the coming seasons.

Osbourne, who raced the Focus under the ‘Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan’ banner last season said: “Super excited to join NAPA Racing UK for the upcoming season, feel privileged to represent such an incredible brand. We have been working hard with the team to get the car ready for the season, I have been working on my fitness and on the simulator and can’t wait to get started. Looking forward to Dan Rowbottom joining the team!”

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