‘Fantastic’ double podium moves Tom Chilton further up championship order

‘Fantastic’ double podium moves Tom Chilton further up championship order

Tom Chilton
Photo: Frederic Le Floc'h / DPPI

Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Tom Chilton moved closer to the front of the World Touring Car Championship standings in Hungary after securing a second and third in Sunday’s two races.

Having qualified in seventh on Saturday, Chilton started Sunday’s reversed-grid first race from fourth on the grid. From there, the Brit moved up to third at the start when team-mate John Filippi stalled, before benefitting another place with the retirement of Volvo’s Thed Björk. He eventually followed race winner Tiago Monteiro across the line less than a second behind.

The Main Race saw Chilton again secure a podium finish, in part benefitting from fellow Brit being handed a drive-through penalty, and again the retirement of one of the Volvos ahead. The Brit also gained two places on merit at the start when he beat Esteban Guerrieri and Norbert Michelisz to the first corner.

Chilton moved up to third overall in the drivers’ championship standings as a result of his weekend performances, with his double podium being only the second time in his WTCC career that he has achieved the feat.

“It’s not often that you can sit here and say you’ve had a double podium,” said Chilton. “I think the last time I achieved that was at the Nordschleife [in 2016] with second and third and I’ve got a second and third here. It’s been absolutely fantastic for the whole of the Sébastien Loeb Racing.”

Chilton was full of praise for his team after qualifying, with team-mates Filippi and Mehdi Bennani also getting into the top ten for the first time. He also expressed some sympathy for Filippi, who stalled at the start of the Opening Race from his fourth career reverse-grid pole position.

“It’s the first time we’ve had three cars in the top ten, and it was fantastic team effort,” added Chilton. “In the Opening Race I was obviously gutted for my team-mate John Filippi when he stalled. But all of us here have stalled at some point in our lives; mine was not that long ago. We all make mistakes.

“To get on the podium and also for my team-mate to win the Main Race is absolutely fantastic.

“I can see the Volvos improved a lot. I was following Nicky Catsburg who was actually struggling a little bit with the maximum weight.

“I’ve noticed the Hondas did get hurt by the [80 kg compensation] weight, especially towards the end of the race. I was trying my absolute hardest to get past him [Monteiro] but I just couldn’t. Every time I got close I lost downforce. Well done to Tiago, it was a great job.”