STEPHEN JELLEY CONFIDENT FOR OULTON PARK
After a five-week break, Stephen Jelley is ready to resume battle in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship as he heads to Oulton Park this weekend (31July/1 August).
The Leicestershire native was buoyed ahead of the last meeting in the series at Brands Hatch, going into the weekend with a good haul of points from Snetterton, but bad luck at key moments robbed him of a chance of carrying momentum through the weekend, leaving him disappointed with his results.
However, after taking part in a two-day tyre test at the Cheshire circuit, albeit in different climatic conditions than we can expect this weekend, he and his Team BMW colleagues are optimistic of a good result.
The venue has been a happy hunting ground for the 39-year-old, as he claimed his first BTCC victory in a decade there in 2019, and he will be hoping for a similarly strong outcome to get his season back on track ahead of a busy run to the end of the year, with seven race meetings coming up in the next 13 weeks.
Jelley will be on track in his BMW 330i M Sport for two practice sessions at 0935 and 1210 on Saturday, before qualifying at 1510, which will be shown live on itv.com/btcc. A busy Sunday gets underway at 1220 with the first of three 15-lap races, all of which will be broadcast live and free on ITV4 across the afternoon.
“We had a productive two-day tyre test at Oulton Park in a range of conditions which was a great opportunity for us, so we are confident going into the weekend,” said Jelley. “It’s a circuit I have won at in the past and I have always enjoyed racing there.
“Qualifying is definitely going to be critical, albeit we do have the option tyre to use this weekend. I have overtaken people there in the past utilising the softer tyre, so qualifying will be important to figure out when you will run it on Sunday. We will have a full capacity crowd there which is always great to see, but it will be even more special this year after everything the country has been through.”