Driver Spotlight: Tom Chilton
Tom Chilton entered the BTCC with Barwell Motorsport in 2002, becoming the youngest driver ever to grace the grid at the age of just 17. His debut season was impressive from the then 17-year-old, securing 15th overall and fifth in the Independents’ Championship.
Moving on to Arena Motorsport from 2003 to 2005, Chilton claimed his first championship victory in 2004 at Silverstone, making him the series’ youngest-ever winner. Despite juggling BTCC commitments with the American Le Mans Series in 2005, he managed to finish a very strong fifth in the standings.
Returning to Vauxhall in 2006 with VX Racing, Chilton earned several podiums in 2006 and 2007 before switching to Team Halfords with Honda machinery in 2008, clinching a dominant victory at Brands Hatch.
In 2009, he rejoined Arena Motorsport to drive a new Ford Focus ST, finishing 13th despite significant in-season development. Switching to LPG propulsion in 2010, Chilton would march forward in the championship standings, securing four pole positions and the Independents’ Championship.
Racing the third-generation Ford Focus in 2011, Chilton claimed two victories and seventh place in the Drivers’ Championship.
After a five-year stint in the WTCC, Chilton returned to the BTCC in 2017 with Power Maxed Racing, immediately winning silverware at Brands Hatch.
In 2018, he joined Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher’s Focus RS, consistently performing well and finishing third in the Drivers’ Championship. Staying with the team in 2019, he secured a sole victory at Croft.
For the 2020 season, Chilton switched to BTC Racing and the Honda Civic Type R, achieving three podiums and a top-ten finish in the overall standings.
In 2021, he moved to Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport, concluding the season with three top-ten finishes.
Entering the hybrid era, Chilton joined Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com, facing a challenging campaign with intermittent retirements but showcasing resilience with only six occasions outside of points-paying positions and eight top-ten finishes.
Sticking with the Suffolk-based outfit for the 2023 campaign, Chilton claimed another win following a dramatic race at Donington, eventually finishing 14th in the Drivers’ standings.