Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher is aiming to carry its recent strong form into this coming weekend as the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship reaches its mid-way point at Croft Circuit on June 23/24.
The Motorbase-run outfit arrives in North Yorkshire in confident shape thanks to a superb double podium and six, top nine finishes during the series’ fourth meeting at Oulton Park earlier this month.
Tom Chilton led the way in the #3 Ford Focus RS, claiming the team’s first two podiums and independent race win of the season, with team-mate James Cole also bagging an impressive haul of points from his trio of top nine finishes in the #20 mountune-powered machine.
Securing the accolade of being the highest scoring Independent Team of the weekend, the Oulton Park results also launched Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher up into 4th place in the overall Teams’ standings and 3rd in the Independents’ ahead of the pivotal halfway point of the campaign.
“After a great performance from both the team and drivers at Oulton Park we’re looking forward to Croft with confidence;” said Team Manager Oly Collins.
Although historically a rear-wheel drive favoured circuit, Motorbase took a rousing race win here last season with the Focus ST and has celebrated a number of podiums on the challenging and technical 2.13 mile track in years gone by.
“Croft, like Oulton Park, is another circuit which favours the RWD cars, but we showed last time out that we can fight them on these kinds of circuits. There is no reason why we shouldn’t be in the same position this weekend;” he added.
Following the squad’s return to the rostrum in Cheshire, Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher is fully focused on closing the gap in the championship standings before the BTCC heads into its annual extended summer break.
“James and Tom drove brilliantly last weekend and were never outside the top 10, that’s what we need to keep doing if we’re going to win this championship. Tom is carrying a bit of weight this time which will have an effect;” continued Collins.
“There are still 18 races to go so all to play for. We won at Croft last season and aim to repeat that again this year.”
#3 Tom Chilton:
“After such a great weekend at Oulton Park, I’m really looking forward to Croft. The car is obviously performing really well and we’re back where we should be. I’m hoping that we can keep the ball rolling into a good weekend at Croft.
“Croft is a great circuit. It has quite unusual corners with the way you are braking and turning from high speed. You’ve got to control the car on the brake, so it is very challenging. The racing is always tough there. It’s one of those circuits where you think you’ve made a move on one corner and then you can lose it again on the next, so it’s very exciting.
“The championship is so close at the moment that I think we could see people making a few mistakes. I’m hoping with our experience we’ll be there to pick up the points. We’re carrying 21kg into qualifying which really equates to two tenths. That can be the difference between the top 13 on the gird, so we have a big job to do. Its 100% a rear wheel drive circuit but I still think we’ll be very strong this weekend.”
#20 James Cole:
“I love Croft, it’s a great circuit. It’s very technical and challenging to drive. We all know it as a RWD circuit, but Motorbase took a win here last year as the only FWD car. The Focus has moved on massively from where it was last season and the RWD cars are carrying weight into qualifying so hopefully we can capitalise on that.
“We had a strong weekend at Oulton Park so we need to pick up from where we left off. Tom got his two podiums last time out so it’s my turn to get to grab some trophies. If we can consistently run in the top 5 this weekend then we’ll head into the summer break in good stead.”
Rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship take place at Croft circuit, North Yorkshire on June 23/24.
Race day coverage will be broadcast live and in high-definition on ITV4, ITV4HD and via the ITVhub on Sunday 24th June from 11:20 – 18:15.
Live streaming of Saturday’s (June 23rd) qualifying session is available to watch online from 15.20 on http://www.itv.com/btcc/qualifying-live with live timing for all sessions also available at: http://www.tsl-timing.com/event/182503