TOM CHILTON MAKES WELCOME RETURN TO WINNING WAYS
BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8’s Tom Chilton celebrated his first Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship victory in four years as the experienced Hyundai racer mastered the wet conditions at Donington Park.
Race 2 became a wet and wild affair where tyre choice proved pivotal in the fight for podium positions as Chilton cleverly chose to switch to Goodyear wet tyres early on.
The vast majority of front-runners started on slicks, but they were soon dropping down the order as the rain began to fall at the famous Leicestershire circuit.
Team BMW’s Adam Morgan and Chilton were the first to surge through the field and it was the latter that got the better of things amidst the slippery conditions.
They both soon hit the front and comfortably pulled clear in the top two positions, whilst Ronan Pearson had seemingly made it a double podium celebration for BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 as he crossed the line in third on his debut BTCC race weekend.
Unfortunately, Pearson’s car failed post-race ride height checks and was subsequently disqualified from the race result.
This meant that NAPA Racing UK’s Sam Osborne scored a first ever podium in the BTCC, ahead of Team BMW’s Stephen Jelley, but it was the battle for fifth that had the crowd on its feet.
Mikey Doble (CarStore Power Maxed Racing) and Nic Hamilton (Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown) swapped places on a number of occasions during the closing laps as both fought hard for the Independents’ race win. It was to be Doble’s Vauxhall that eventually came out on top after sliding past the Cupra on the run down to the final corner.
It was to be a race of PBs with Osborne, Doble and Hamilton all enjoying their best ever results in Britain’s premier motorsport series.
Hamilton in-particular was roared home by spectators, family and his team in what proved to be one of the proudest moments of his incredible story and career.
Nick Halstead (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8), Colin Turkington (Team BMW), Tom Ingram (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) and Bobby Thompson (Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils) completed the top ten positions.
NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Cammish and Dan Rowbottom will lineup on the front row for the reverse grid race, which begins at 1725, with all the action being screened LIVE on ITV4.
Tom Chilton said: “I’m so happy! We are P1! It’s hard to get wins in this Championship, I’ve had a couple of tough years and to now get that stepping stone up the podium, it’s brilliant.
“On the Out Lap it was 100% slicks, but as soon as we started doing the Green Flag lap I started seeing the tram lines in the tarmac and that was alarm bells in my head. I shouted down the radio to get the wets ready – they’re like we’re on it, we’re on it! Did it as fast as possible. Got out. It was a fantastic decision for the team because they put an awful lot of work into my car this winter and it’s a shame I couldn’t be at the front in qualifying yesterday. But I don’t care right now – we’ve won!”
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race Two – Donington Park
1. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 21 laps
2. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +7.394s
3. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +18.622s
4. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +22.322s
5. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +35.360s
6. Nic Hamilton, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +35.619s
7. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +51.253s
8. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +59.353s
9. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +1:17.130s
10. Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +1:18.439s
11.Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +1:18.641s
12. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK, +1 Lap
13. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +1 Lap
14. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +1 Lap
15. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +1 Lap
16. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +1 Lap
17. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +1 lap
18. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +1 Lap
19. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +1 Lap
20. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +1 Lap
21. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +2 Laps
22. Will Powell, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +4 Laps
22. Jade Edwards, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +4 Laps
24. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK DNF
25. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown DNF
26. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK DNF
27. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 DSQ