Crees completes maiden BTCC season with battling Brands Hatch performance
Michael Crees signed off his maiden season in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship in style, producing a battling performance around the iconic Grand Prix circuit at Brands Hatch.
Entering the weekend riding a wave of momentum after claiming a sensational first-ever top ten finish a fortnight earlier at Silverstone, the Team HARD driver returned to his home circuit in Kent optimistic of adding to his points tally.
Persistent rain added further spice to the action throughout the weekend, with the wet weather intensifying during a frenetic qualifying session on Saturday. Struggling with the balance of his #777 Volkswagen CC, the 35-year-old ultimately powered his way to 28th on the grid.
The opening contest on Sunday proved to be one of attrition as mid-race rain added further excitement to proceedings. Running just outside of the top 20, Crees was one of several to dive into the pit-lane at the halfway stage and bolt on a set of wet tyres.
Unfortunately, the Broadstairs-based racer would have to queue behind a team-mate to get his new tyres, leaving him to finish a lap down at the chequered flag.
With track conditions still on a knife-edge, Crees took the gamble to run slick tyres in the second encounter whilst a majority of others stuck with wets. Unable to exploit them, despite the track drying considerably in the final few laps, the former two-time Ginetta champion crossed the line in 23rd.
Race three saw Crees’ season come to a premature conclusion as, on the fringe of the top 20, he was forced to pit due to a mechanical issue – a frustrating end for the Volkswagen CC driver.
“What a weekend, what a season!” said Crees. “We pretty much had weather of all sorts at Brands Hatch and for us, we gave it a good go, gambled on tyres but the dice didn’t roll our way, unfortunately.
“Overall, I’m over the moon with how my first season in the BTCC has gone. Joining the grid has been a dream come true. This championship is so competitive and like everyone, we’ve had our highs and lows along the way. To come away with points and a top ten finish is unbelievable; I had goals I wanted to achieve at the start of the year and I’ve achieved every single one of them.
“I’m heading into the winter in high spirits and I know that the BTCC is where I want to be for next year. We’ve got some options to look over and I’m confident that if I return, that I can become a regular in the points.”