Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher is hoping that home advantage plays its part in the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season finale this coming weekend, as the Championship Title fight comes down the final three races on the Brands Hatch GP circuit (September 29/30).
Tom Chilton leads the Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher charge for the Motorbase-run outfit. Heading into the final three races in 3rd place in the overall standings, he still poses a mathematical threat to title challengers Turkington and Ingram and although on paper the crown is Turkington’s to lose, Chilton is determined to keep the pressure on the lead duo until the final flag drops.
A battle that is well within his reach though, is the highly-coveted Independent Drivers’ Title – where the 33-year-old sits just 20 points off leader Ingram – with a maximum of 60 available from the three races. The Independent Teams’ Title is also set to go right down to the wire, with Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher in a strong 2nd place to Speedworks Motorsport and just 10 points adrift heading into Sunday’s title-deciding triple-header.
With the Motorbase Performance workshop less than 5 minutes away in nearby Wrotham, Brands Hatch is a firm favourite of the squad. The team has celebrated more wins at its local circuit than at any other track over the years and with two titles within its grasp, David Bartrum’s squad is eager to add to that tally as the Ford Focus RS nears the end of its impressive debut season.
Oly Collins Team Manager said; “The final is here! We’re excited to be one of only 3 cars in the title fight. It may be a long shot but we’ll be giving it our all and as we know, anything can happen in the BTCC. We’re in a very good position in the Independent Titles’ fight and can hopefully bring some home advantage to the final round this weekend in our own backyard!
“It’s been a great debut season for the RS this year and 2018 has been a year the whole team can be very proud of. A season of highs and lows and key turning points has become typical in the BTCC and this year has delivered exactly that!”
#3 Tom Chilton:
“I think the top 3 guys in the championship are going to be hurt really badly by the weight in qualifying. We’re carrying 57kg into qualifying and race 1 with our nearest rivals behind only on 39kg, which is a big drop in weight. With that in mind, the others could all look like heroes on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s going to be a very exciting end to the season. I think the BTCC will see the best of me this weekend. I’m going for it. As soon as I get a sniff of something I’m gone, and although it’s a long shot I can see the overall title within reach so I’ll be pushing hard. This is my 12th year in the BTCC and 16th year in touring cars so I know exactly where I need to be and what I need to do so I’m feeling confident. I’m looking forward to spraying champagne on that podium on Sunday night!”
#20 James Cole:
“I’m full of positivity going into the final rounds of the season. Like every year in the BTCC we’ve had our ups and downs but before you know it, it’s over. You almost have to take this round as reflection of the year, take a step back and enjoy it as for the next six months you’ll be wishing for the start of the season again.
“My job this weekend is to help Tom and the team in any way that I can in their title aims. I’m just going to enjoy the round as if it was the first and hopefully get the results that will make the offseason a lot more enjoyable and end the season on a high note.”
The 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season finale takes places on the 2.43mile Brands Hatch GP Circuit on September 29/30. Saturday (September 29) hosts two free practice sessions at 09.30 and 12.05 before the all-important 30-minute qualifying session at 15.20.
Sunday’s (September 30) title-deciding three BTCC races are scheduled for 11.35, 14.25 and 17.15 with live full race day coverage broadcast on ITV4, ITV4HD and online at itv.com/hub/itv4 from 10.30 -18.30.
Live timing for all sessions is available at: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/183903
Live streaming of Saturday’s qualifying session is also available via: www.itv.com/btcc/qualifying-live