Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher is set for the biggest and most important Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting of the season this coming weekend as Snetterton plays host to the series’ 60th Anniversary Diamond celebrations (July 28/29).
With the BTCC commemorating its 60th year, a special one-off ‘Diamond Double’ contest is in play for the final race of the weekend; with potential game-changing double championship points on offer for the top 15 finishers of the double distance 20 lap challenge. In a break from the traditional reversed-grid race 3 format, an additional base weight qualifying session held on Saturday will also determine starting positions for the ballast-free showcase.
The Motorbase-run outfit heads to Snetterton in excellent form and with its sights firmly set on closing the gap to the Championship leaders. Three podium finishes from the last two meetings at Croft and Oulton Park have helped to cement the team’s position as the leading Independent Team in the Overall Teams’ Standings and the Kent-based squad sits just 6 points off the current Indy Teams’ Championship leaders.
Both Tom Chilton and James Cole attended the recent two day Dunlop tyre test on the 2.99mile Snetterton 300 circuit, with the duo clocking up over 1,000km of essential track time ahead of this weekend’s pivotal rounds. Working through both qualifying and full race length runs, the Ford Focus RS remained in the top 7 combined times over the two day test programme, posting the 2nd fastest time on both the opening and closing sessions.
Oly Collins Team Manager commented; “After a great two day test with Dunlop, we’re as prepared as we can be going into this weekend.
“Both James and Tom covered a huge amount of miles in those two days, and we had a great chance to test some development parts prior to the start of the second half of the season. We managed to work on both qualifying and race runs and definitely feel that we made some moves forward with the RS; which we need to remember is still a new car to us all this season.
“We now head into the second half and this weekend at Snetterton confident of claiming more podiums and even more success on track. Like everyone else, we’re well aware of the importance of the diamond double race with double points available. It will certainly keep things interesting in the Championship, and could well have a huge impact on deciding this year’s Champions.”
#3 Tom Chilton:
“I’m very excited about Snetterton this weekend. We have a very strong car. We completed around 1,000km at the Dunlop test and collected a huge amount of data. We already had a great race car, but I think we have an even better car now heading into the double points race.
“The extra 15-minute qualifying session will be interesting to see how all of the cars compare against each other without the ballast on-board.
“I would love to get a win this weekend, it would be awesome. The ideal scenario would be to get a win in race 2 and then still be free of the weight for the final double point race.”
#20 James Cole:
“We had two days solid testing at Snetterton earlier this month, which gave us some fantastic additional learnings on the car which will hopefully prove invaluable going into the extended race this weekend. We’ve moved the car forward even more from Croft. We have great consistency and reliability in the RS both in qualifying and race pace and that should put us in good stead for the extra-long 20 lap race.
“I think there may be a few surprises this weekend. All being well, our hard work over the summer break will be rewarded with some good results and a podium or two!”
Rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship takes place on the Snetterton 300 circuit in Norfolk on July 28/29.
Saturday (July 28) plays host to two free practice sessions at 09.30 and 12.10 before the first customary 30 minute qualifying session at 15.10 -15.40, with the additional ballast-free qualifying session for the special anniversary race taking place at 17.40 – 17.55.
Live coverage of both qualifying sessions can be viewed online at: http://www.itv.com/btcc/qualifying-live
Sunday’s (July 29) opening two races are scheduled for 11.30 and 13.50, with the extended double distance, double point contest scheduled for 17.15 with live full-day coverage on ITV4, ITV4HD and online at itv.com/hub/itv4 from 10.30-18.30.
Live timing for all sessions is also available at: http://www.tsl-timing.com/event/183003