Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher returns to Thruxton circuit brimming with confidence this coming weekend, as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship makes its second visit of the season to the fastest circuit on the calendar (August 17-18).
Looking to get its championship challenge back on track as the BTCC tackles one of its most demanding circuits; the Wrotham-based outfit arrives at the fearsome Hampshire track buoyed by the recent performance of its Ford Focus RS machines. Competitive running on the hard-compound tyre, in particular, has helped to refocus the team’s resolve to bring the fight to the championship leaders.
Last time out at Snetterton proved to be a rollercoaster of a weekend for the Motorbase-run squad. Ollie Jackson celebrated his maiden independent win at the Norfolk track just over a week ago, on what was his most successful BTCC weekend ever, collecting points in all three races and picking-up three top-ten finishes.
Sadly, after qualifying on the second–row, Tom Chilton’s hopes of claiming an all-but-guaranteed podium were thwarted by a freak puncture in the opening race leaving the Reigate-racer to rue what might have been as he battled his way from the back of the grid to collect points in the weekend closer.
Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher endured a challenging visit here earlier in the season, and both Chilton and Jackson are keen to right this wrong this time around, and hopefully recreate some of the team’s previous successes on the former wartime airfield.
Thruxton has been good to us in the past;” explained Team Manager Oly Collins. “We celebrated our first 1-2 as a team here as well as various podium trips and wins. It’s a fantastic circuit, one which the drivers love when the car is working well.
“Last time out was mixed emotions;” commented Team Manager Oly Collins. “Ollie had his best weekend ever in the BTCC with an Indy win. Sadly Tom, who was cruising to a podium in race 1, was cruelly denied by a freak puncture which ruined his whole weekend. As they say, that’s motorsport and it’s firmly behind us.
“Thruxton will be an interesting one, with all teams going back to the hard tyre all weekend. We’ve learned a lot since our last trip to Thruxton in May so we’re confident of getting some good results. The weather may play a part but we have no control over that. We feel as prepared as ever and will be looking to build Ollie’s good results and changing Tom’s fortune as his speed is definitely there. He’s just been lacking the luck in recent race weekends.”
#3 Tom Chilton:
“Because we were so competitive at Snetterton I didn’t come away as disappointed as you’d think. It was just down to pure bad-luck picking up the puncture when we did.
“Going into Thruxton where we really struggled on the hard tyre at the beginning of the year, I now think that we’re going to be top-six fastest on the grid for sure. I’m really confident about that.
“I’m excited about going back there. It’s one of my favourite circuits, but we didn’t have the optimum set-up last time out. We’ve cracked that now, so I’m feeling positive. We’re definitely going to be in the mix this weekend.”
#48 Ollie Jackson:
“Thruxton wasn’t that great for us last time but we’ve got a much better handle on the hard tyre now so I’m looking forward to picking up some strong results. I think if we can keep our noses in the top ten and keep banking the points, then a reverse grid podium or win won’t be that far away.
“We’ve made big strides in understanding the hard tyre. The car is unrecognisable from when we last went there and we’re not going to struggle this time. The car will be strong, it just comes down to how much faster everyone else is as well.”
“It will be interesting to see how it plays out this weekend. The recent test really seemed to mix things up at Snetterton. I think that the grid will look very different from last time we were there.”
Rounds 19, 20 and 21 of the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship takes place at Thruxton Race Circuit on August 17/18. Live coverage of Sunday’s (August 18) events will be shown on ITV4, ITV4HD and via the ITVhub from 11:30 – 18:15; with itv.com/btcc featuring live timing and streaming of Saturday’s (August 17) qualifying session from 15.20.