NAPA announces huge BTCC plans for 2023
NAPA Racing UK has today (22 February) confirmed an expanded four-car line-up and revealed its Motorbase Performance-run Ford Focuses for the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.
Off the back of an incredible maiden season last year, with NAPA Racing UK clinching the Teams’ Championship and taking the runners-up spoils in the Drivers’ battle, the Wrotham-based outfit is taking it up a gear in 2023, with a quartet of drivers piloting the striking blue and yellow Fords.
Having announced multi-year deals ahead of the 2022 campaign for three-time BTCC champion Ash Sutton and three-time Porsche Carrera Cup Champion Dan Cammish, the duo is set to return this year with their eyes firmly on the prize.
The third driver joining Sutton and Cammish is Motorbase driver, Sam Osborne. Having made his BTCC debut back in 2019, the 29-year-old is well-known in the NAPA Racing UK garages, after competing in one of Motorbase’s Ford Focus last year under Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan. After coming fourth in the Jack Sears standings last year, Osborne will be setting his sights on taking the honours this year.
Completing the four-car driver line-up is a well-known character in the BTCC paddock and 2021 Jack Sears trophy winner, Dan Rowbottom. After an impressive career to date, including an outright race win, Rowbottom joins NAPA Racing UK at a pivotal time for the squad, as it embarks on its sophomore campaign, and will hope to build on his front-wheel drive experience in the Ford Focus ST.
As well as confirming which drivers would be driving under the NAPA Racing UK banner in 2023, the squad has revealed its livery for the upcoming campaign, with the iconic NAPA branding refreshed for 2023, featuring more of the vibrant yellow and chevron elements around NAPA’s hexagon shaped logo, along with a range of new sponsors. While some features are different, the NAPA Ford retains its signature honeycomb effect on its front bonnet, a notable characteristic of the 2022 livery which fans voted to be their favourite on the grid.
“We’re absolutely delighted to announce the four-car line-up with NAPA this year,” said Team Manager Oly Collins. “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. Every area of the team has 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] and 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.
“At the end of last season, we did look into other options of base car model for the 2023 season, but ultimately with a car and 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 #1 back on one of our cars as soon as possible.”
“I am really looking forward to the upcoming BTCC season,” added Cammish. “The second half of last season was really strong, and I am confident we will start this year in even better shape. The NAPA Racing UK team have put in a lot of work over the winter to ensure we are in the best place possible when the lights go out at Donington Park for the season opener – I’m looking forward to working with Dan, Ash and Sam to keep NAPA Racing UK at the front of the BTCC grid.”
“2023 is shaping up to be an awesome season,” proclaimed Sutton. “Everyone at NAPA Racing UK and Motorbase has been hard at work over the winter months with the development of the Focus, so I can’t wait to see how that translates to the track. The addition of having Dan Rowbottom and Sam Osborne now a part of the NAPA outfit is a statement for the brand.
“I personally love the new livery, it’s really going to look the part on track and especially with all four cars lining up on the grid. We have a solid testing plan in place, so it gives us a great opportunity to work our way through some setup changes that we didn’t visit in the season last year. The aim is to come out stronger than where we ended up last year!”
“To say I’m excited is an understatement,” admitted Rowbottom. “The opportunity for not only myself but for my long-term title partner 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 frontrunners once more.”
“Super excited to join NAPA Racing UK for the upcoming season,” concluded Osborne. “I 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’ve been working on my fitness and on the simulator and can’t wait to get started. I’m looking forward to Dan Rowbottom joining the team!”