Tom Chilton joined the BTCC with Barwell Motorsport in 2002, behind the wheel of a Vauxhall Astra Coupé. At the time, he was the youngest driver ever to take to the grid at 17 years of age. Chilton was quick right off the bat and took 15th place outright and fifth in the Independents’ Championship.
Arena Motorsport – a works Honda outfit until 2004 –was his next destination, from 2003 to 2005. He drove a Civic Type R alongside Matt Neal and Alan Morrison until Honda withdrew its backing for the project, prompting the team to switch to a single-car effort with Chilton alone for 2004. His first victory in the championship came that season at Silverstone – making him the series’ youngest-ever winner. In 2005, he juggled his BTCC commitments with outings in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), meaning he missed six races but still finished a creditable fifth in the overall standings.
A return to Vauxhall followed in 2006 – this time with VX Racing. Chilton sped to a handful of podiums in 2006 and 2007 in the Astra and subsequently the new Vectra, but chose to move on for 2008 – back to Honda machinery at Team Halfords as team-mate to Gordon Shedden. A dominant victory at Brands Hatch marked his first since 2005 and ensured tenth spot in the points table.
For 2009, Chilton rejoined Arena Motorsport to pilot a brand new Ford Focus ST under the Team Aon banner – but even significant in-season development could only yield 13th in the standings. A switch to LPG propulsion in 2010 produced a more competitive machine which, indeed, achieved four of the first five pole positions of the season. Chilton secured the Independents’ Championship at the end of an impressive campaign by a slim two-point margin.
In 2011, the team introduced the third-generation Ford Focus, with Chilton racing it to two victories and seventh in the Drivers’ Championship.
After five years in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), Chilton returned to the BTCC with Power Maxed Racing in 2017, driving the team’s new Vauxhall Astra. Dovetailing the campaign with one last season in the WTCC – one that yielded the series’ Independents’ crown – he immediately scooped silverware in the Brands Hatch curtain-raiser. For 2018, he moved back to Ford machinery and Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher’s Focus RS, performing consistently well on the way to third in the Drivers’ Championship, tasting victory at Knockhill.
He stayed with the Motorbase-backed team in 2019 and scored a sole victory at Croft, with an additional four podiums throughout the year.
Chilton makes the switch to BTC Racing and the Honda Civic Type R for the 2020 season.
|Brands Hatch GP||Qualifying||10th|
Date of Birth: 15th March, 1985
Place of Birth: Reigate, Surrey
Lives in: Redhill, Surrey
Team: BTC Racing
Car: Honda Civic Type R (FK8)
BTCC Debut: Brands Hatch GP, 2002BTCC Races: 378
2010 BTCC Independent Drivers’ Champion