Tom Chilton enjoyed his most successful weekend of the season so far during rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, securing a commanding race 3 win, double podium and top ten result at Croft (June 15/16).
After a season-best qualifying result for Tom Chilton, Chilton went on to claim his Fourth podium of the year, second overall win and third independent win on the North Yorkshire circuit.
Saturday’s disjointed qualifying session saw no less than five red flags deployed during the 30 minute period. With numerous on-track incidents halting proceedings, Chilton pushed his #3 Focus RS to the limit to secure a second-row start with P3 on his first flying lap in the dying minutes.
Sunday’s opening race called for a defensive masterclass from Chilton as he held off a full-race length challenge from the domineering BMW’s. A strong start from the Reigate-racer saw him hold onto third from the fast-starting WSR machines. Shielding his podium position for the entire 18-lap challenge, the 34-year-old remained steadfast under unrelenting pressure to bring the Focus home in P3, claiming his 3rd rostrum visit of the year and 55th BTCC-career podium.
Carrying 42kg of ballast into race 2, Chilton battled hard to stay in the points-scoring zone as he came under increasing pressure from the lighter, charging pack. Dropping down the order in the opening laps, he eventually took the flag in 9th collecting another much-welcome haul of points for the championship challenge.
Starting from pole by virtue of the reversed-grid draw, Chilton led a commanding lights-to-flag charge off the line in race 3. Choosing to stick with the Dunlop Blu-Response on the greasy, drying track, he expertly piloted the #3 Focus to the overall and Independent race win and rarely looked challenged for the race lead.
The weekend’s results have helped to move Tom Chilton up to third in the Indy Drivers’ points. Both driver and team also remain 7th in the overall standings ahead of the next meeting at Oulton Park in Cheshire on June 29/30.
Team Manager Oly Collins:
“That was a brilliant end to a pretty tough weekend. A fantastic team effort from all involved, the crew have worked flat-out all day. Tom was mega all weekend and drove a very clever race 3 on the drying circuit. Tom’s results keep him in the mix for the championship which is the aim at the end of the day.”
#3 Tom Chilton:
“It was a perfect weekend for and the team. We’ve managed not just a double podium, but we got the win as well. And we get to keep this one! We took three top ten’s for my car, and Ollie nearly got a top ten which was great starting from 20th. I’m very happy for him.
“I’m really pleased with our qualifying results this weekend. I feel like we’ve finally found our ideal set-up for the wet and dry. We had a bad weekend at Thruxton. Because we did it made us re-analyse where we were and it’s moved us forward.
“We’re in it to win it. Everyone in the team is working hard to put all of our knowledge together and make this old girl go faster this year and we’ve done a great job. I’m really looking forward to going to Oulton Park next. I’ll be looking for more of the same.”
- Qualifying: P3
- Round 10: P3
- Round 11: P9
- Round 12: P1