Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher heads to Rockingham Speedway this coming weekend for the seventh Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting of the season, looking to fuel its championship challenge campaign as the series’ title battle heats up (August 11/12).
The Motorbase-run outfit aims to bounce back from a tough Snetterton meeting last month and close the gap to the Championship leaders as the BTCC enters the final three meetings of 2018. Rockingham has been a happy hunting ground for the team in the past, with the Kent-based squad celebrating many victories and podiums on the Northamptonshire circuit in recent years, including its maiden pole position here in 2015.
Tom Chilton leads the charge for the two-car squad, and is hopeful for a return to the rostrum after engine troubles all but ruled him out of the running in Norfolk. Carrying 21kg of ballast into qualifying, the 33-year-old is confident that the Ford Focus RS will be back challenging for podiums on the oval circuit as he looks to improve on his current 8th place championship position.
Team-mate James Cole took his first ever BTCC pole position and race win at Rockingham last year, and the Liverpudlian is keen to replicate this performance and rack-up the points this weekend to help propel Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher up in the Teams Standings.
Team Manager Oly Collins commented: “It’s a shame this might be the last time of visiting Rockingham for us. It’s been a great part of the BTCC for so long and is an outstanding facility. Hopefully we can help the circuit sign off in style for ourselves and the fans.
“It’s been a happy hunting ground historically for us at times as well as both our drivers. We’ve had wins and podiums here in the past. James took his maiden BTCC pole and win here last year and has every opportunity of repeating that again in our Focus. Tom has already shown this season that he has the pace to win.
“We’ve been strong in qualifying all season and maybe not quite had the luck on race day. We need to add to our podiums from earlier in the year and keep scoring the solid points this weekend.”
#3 Tom Chilton:
“I’m very confident that with the set-up we have we’ll be very fast out of the box at Rockingham this weekend. I’ve had two 2nd places this year and been within a sniff of the win but we’ve just not quite got there, so hopefully this weekend we’ll see that change.
“We’ve got a great car and a great team. We’re only 41 points off the championship leader going into this weekend which is nothing to be sniffed at. I still think that anyone in the top 12 could win it this year.”
#20 James Cole:
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to the circuit where I won my first ever touring car race last year, and also managed to get my 1st pole there too. It’s a circuit that I especially love and have really good memories there hopefully we can continue where we left off last year.
“We have a bit of making up to do after Snetterton. We had pretty good pace in the car but things didn’t go our way with the results. We’re moving in the right direction though and getting ever closer to that elusive first win this year. The team are working well. I’m excited to see what this weekend can bring.”
Rounds 19, 20 and 21 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship take place at Rockingham Speedway circuit on August 11/12. Saturday (August 11) hosts two free practice sessions at 09.25 and 12.00 before the 30 minute qualifying session at 14.50.
Sunday’s (August 12) three BTCC races are scheduled for 11.35, 14.25 and 16.45 with live full race day coverage broadcast on ITV4, ITV4HD and online at itv.com/hub/itv4 from 10.45 – 17.45.
Live timing for all sessions is available at: tsl-timing.com/event/183203
Live streaming of Saturday’s qualifying session is also available via: itv.com/btcc/qualifying-live