Kent-based team installs new-generation four-cylinder engine into its Focus ST racing cars for British Touring Car Championship campaign
Matt Burt
22 January 2015

Motorbase Performance will use 2.0-litre Ecoboost engines in the Ford Focus STs it will enter in this year's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

The competition unit is derived from the 247bhp four-cylinder engine from the Focus ST road car and replaces the Duratec unit used in last-year's race-winning Focus.

Tuning specialist Mountune was charged with making adaptations to the Ecoboost engine to ensure it meets the BTCC's Next-Generation Touring Car (NGTC) specifications. Official power figures aren't forthcoming, but it's common for BTCC engines to produce in the region of 320bhp.

Motorbase's technical partners Samco Sport, Pro Alloy and Specialty Fasteners all provided assistance throughout the process.

The build and preliminary testing of the first engine has been completed. Next, Motorbase will test the unit ahead of the opening round of the season at Brands Hatch circuit on 4/5 April.

“It’s been a busy winter for us behind the scenes, but I’m delighted to be in a position to finally go public with this very exciting development for Motorbase," said team boss David Bartrum.

"The Ford Ecoboost engine has been a long time in the planning and it’s only really come together in recent months thanks to the great teamwork and input from Mountune and our technical partners."

David Mountain, technical director of Mountune, said: “There's still more development to do before the start of the season. Having said that, we're confident that by the first round we'll have a strong package available, from which we can build during the course of the season.”

Motorbase has signed former sports car racer Alex Martin to handle one of its three Ford Focus STs this season, and the Kent-based team intends to reveal its full driver line-up and a new sponsor in the coming weeks.

Ford's Ecoboost engines will also be a fixture on the BTCC undercard in the MSA Formula category. The Mygale-built single-seaters used in that series are powered by 1.6-litre turbocharged variants from the Blue Oval's engine family.

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Comments
3

23 January 2015
I miss the BTCC of the 90s, when Mondeos mixed it up with Vectras, A4s, Primeras, Accords etc.

Unfortunately quite a few of the models (their descendent models) raced then are no longer offered for sale.

23 January 2015
While I can see the reasons behind the NGTC I just cannot warm to BTCC under these regulations because I can't get pass the fact that the cars are nothing more than silhouette-esque cars compared to the S2000 cars which had more in common with production models on which they were genuinely based on - these were truer to the concept of touring cars than NGTC. Bar the bodyshell, the NGTC Honda Civic for example, has very little in common with the road version.

23 January 2015
And aren't the power units equalised by the regulations, so the decision to use the Ecoboost unit effectively becomes a marketing choice? So far as I can see the only thing that the road cars contribute to the racers is the drive layout, but even this seems to have become equalised to remove any performance advantage a rear drive car might have.
I accept that they'd be much slower, but I'd like to see much more standard cars compete against each other as they did in the past.

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