JELLEY AIMING FOR ‘SOLID RACE WEEKEND’ IN HAMPSHIRE
Team BMW’s Stephen Jelley will be aiming to put a disappointing start to the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship behind him as the series heads to the high-speed Thruxton Circuit for the third event of the campaign this weekend (28/29 May).
The Leicestershire native has shown promising pace at both Donington Park and Brands Hatch Indy to open the year, but some bad luck has curtailed his efforts to finish at the sharp end of the field in the six races completed to date.
After qualifying seventh and finishing in the same position in race one at Donington, a rare mechanical failure en route to the grid for the second contest meant the final two races would be about recovering as best as possible. Heading to Brands Hatch last time out, the 40-year-old narrowly missed pole position after being quick in practice, but changeable weather conditions on race day hampered the handling of his BMW 330e M Sport.
Thruxton, located in Hampshire, is the UK’s fastest race venue, with a BTCC qualifying lap record speed of 112.32mph around the 2.36-mile circuit. Jelley will head out for two 40-minute practice sessions at 0940 and 1220 on Saturday (28 May) before qualifying at 1520.
A pit lane walkabout will kick off race day on Sunday morning, before a trio of 16-lap races get underway at 1140, 1440 and 1720, with live coverage on ITV4 commencing at 1100.
“I’m looking to score some solid results after a couple of disappointing race meetings and getting things back on track,” said Jelley. “We tested at Thruxton, and it was the most positive running we’ve had there, which bodes well, but really, I’m just after a solid race weekend as a reset, and then focusing on the rest of the year.
“I want to get to the chequered flag in some solid point-scoring positions. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, because at the first two race meetings I knew we had a chance of fighting for pole and victory, and nothing happened. There are times when I would have loved to have been in that situation – when fighting at Team Parker to score a point, for example, so now I just need to press the reset button.”