All eyes are on the prize for Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher this coming weekend, as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship roars back into action on the fastest circuit on the calendar, Thruxton, for rounds 7, 8, and 9 (May 18/19).
Tom Chilton arrives at the fearsome Hampshire track in strong form. With two podiums and an Independent race win already under his belt this season, the Motorbase-man currently leads the Independent Drivers’ Standings and remains very much in the overall title fight tied for third place and just 5 points off the top spot.
Team-mate Ollie Jackson secured his best-ever qualifying position last time out at Donington Park, and the Reigate-racer is eager to carry this momentum into the weekend and add to his championship points tally on the notoriously demanding high-speed track.
Historically Thruxton has been a happy hunting ground for the Motorbase outfit, with the Wrotham-based squad having collected four race wins, numerous podiums, and most memorably, it’s first-ever 1-2 finish here back in 2010.
“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.
“You need a bit of everything to succeed here, an on-form driver, a strong engine, chassis, aero-package, and team behind it all. I’m confident that we have all of that here this season so we’re hoping to come away smiling.
“Tom is carrying a bit of ballast in joint 3rd and Ollie is due some luck to support his pace. Looking at early season form the RWD BMW’s look like a strong package at the moment, but its early days and this is the BTCC so it’s always going to be close.”
#3 Tom Chilton:
“I’m really excited to get back out in the car this weekend. Thruxton is where I learnt to drive at 13 years old, and I’ve always been fast there.
“This weekend is all about the hard tyre. We’ve just made some development parts for the car, to try and eke out more performance in the Focus RS. We tested the improvements last week at Donington and it’s all looking promising. We do have 36kg on-board this weekend, and I think that it’s going to very close again.
“A big thanks to the team for all of the hard work they’ve put in going into this weekend. Hopefully, I can reward them with some trophies!”
#48 Ollie Jackson:
“We haven’t had the best start to the season, but I’m hopeful for a change in fortune this weekend.
“We learnt a few things on our recent test day at Thruxton. I was feeling confident at the end of the day. We tried something new which ended up in a good place so I’m looking forward to it.
“I could do with finishing the first race; that would be nice! Hopefully, we can carry our strong qualifying from Donington, into Thruxton. Keep out of any trouble and get three decent race results under our belts.”
Rounds 7, 8 and 9 and of the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship takes place at Thruxton Race Circuit on May 18/19. Live coverage of Sunday’s (May 19) events will be shown on ITV4, ITV4HD and via the ITVhub from 11:15 – 18:00; with itv.com/btcc featuring live timing and streaming of Saturday’s (May 18) qualifying session from 15.00.