Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher has its sights set on the closing the gap to the championship leaders this coming weekend as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship arrives at Silverstone for the penultimate meeting of the 2018 season (September 15/16).
The Motorbase-run squad heads to the acclaimed ‘Home of British Motor Racing’ track in winning form, straight off the back of Tom Chilton’s race 3 win at Knockhill which propelled the Kent-based squad right back into fighting position for the Independent Teams’ and Independent Drivers’ titles with just 6 races remaining.
13-times-BTCC race winner Chilton is also within mathematical reach of the overall Drivers’ Crown with the Reigate-racer in 6th place overall as the BTCC enters the business end of the season on the National Circuit layout.
Silverstone has been a happy hunting ground for the Motorbase-run Ford Focus in past seasons and after securing its maiden race win last time out in Scotland; all eyes are on this year’s RS model to see if the upgraded machine can snatch a repeat performance this coming weekend.
“Historically Silverstone has suited the Focus in recent years;” commented Team Manager Oly Collins. “We’ve enjoyed some good results here and after our win last time out we’re hungry for more silverware as we near the end of another season.
“The independent title looks set to go down to the wire with a good battle, and we’re in contention for the Teams’ and Drivers’ Titles. Both are very tight and we’re right up there with a very strong chance. We’re also within a shout of the Overall Drivers’ Title with Tom, but we really need some other results to go our way for that to be a possibility. This being the BTCC though, anything can happen so I wouldn’t want to call it just yet.”
“At this stage in the season it’s pretty simple though; we’re looking at the top step. As usual, qualifying will be key, and as tight as ever. With such a short lap it will be very close and critical to get that one lap nailed. As has been shown so many times this year – your race 1 grid place can make or break your whole weekend.”
#3 Tom Chilton:
“The last time I was at Silverstone in a Ford Focus I won, very much like Knockhill. After taking the win last time at Knockhill I’m hoping that follows through this weekend and we make the top step again. I really need to get another win in the bag to keep my championship alight for the last round.
“It’s so close around there, last year there was just 8 tenths of a second from pole to 32nd which is the closest I’ve ever known in the BTCC. I do think the success ballast will really hurt us in qualifying though. Even if it’s only 3 tenths of a second off, that could mean 15 cars on the grid.
“If we can get into the top 10 in qualifying I’ll be very happy and we can try and work our way through and make the reverse grid work for us again. At Knockhill we went from 17th to 1st in race 3, which shows that anything is possible in the BTCC.”
#20 James Cole:
“I have great fun memories of Silverstone when I think of my time with Motorbase there back in 2015 in the Focus ST. It’s where I got my first reverse grid pole and it was a really good meeting for the team.
“As I’ve said at recent rounds, I just want to get back to where we were in the first half of the season and to get some consistent results and points finishes. Our car should be good around there, we’ve got a fantastic mountune engine which will help us round Silverstone and I’m looking forward to getting back to where we should be.”
Rounds 25, 26 and 27 of the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship get underway at Silverstone Circuit on September 15/16. Saturday 15th September plays host to two 40-minute free practice sessions at 09.25 and 12.05 ahead of the afternoon 30-minute qualifying session at 15.15-15.45.
All three BTCC races take place on Sunday 16th September, with each 22 lap race on the 1.64mile circuit scheduled for 11.15, 14.40 and 17.20. ITV4, ITV4HD will feature live race-day coverage from 11.15-18.30, with live online streaming available via the ITVHub.
Live streaming of Saturday’s qualifying session is also available via: https://www.itv.com/btcc/qualifying-live with live timing from all sessions available at: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/183703