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Tom Chilton ‘excited’ to return to racing at Brands Hatch

Tom Chilton says he is ‘excited’ to be back behind the wheel of his Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra at Brands Hatch, despite struggling with the set-up of his car at a circuit he has twice previously won at.

Chilton ended first and second practice in 29th and 17th place respectively, as he got behind the wheel of a touring car for the first time since Rockingham in August, having been laid off on medical grounds due to an operation to remove gallstones.

“I got a third here at the beginning of the year, and the last time I raced on the GP circuit I won,” said Chilton to TouringCars.Net. “I had the lap record here for three years, so I’m not too bad around here!

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“I’m excited to be back in the car – I absolutely hated not racing at Silverstone!”

With Chilton’s team-mate Senna Proctor having been faster in both of the day’s sessions so far, the 32-year-old admits that he may have to borrow some set-up options from the junior racer, despite not necessarily agreeing with the direction in which they will take his car.

“At the moment I’m trying to do things the old-fashioned way with the set-up. My team-mate’s engineer has made what I consider to be quite a crude set-up change which is working quite well, so I might have to adopt it going into qualifying, because I haven’t got enough time, through testing, to make this car better.

“In the long run I know what I’m going with this and it will get better, but the problem is that when you only get two full-lap runs in each session it’s not enough to do one set-up change to get it there.

“I might have to jump on what he’s been running on the front end in the last couple of practice sessions, which I don’t agree with; it did half-work for me at Snetterton, but it’s quite crude. But this is my circuit and I’ll do whatever it takes!”

With rain forecast for Sunday’s final three races of the year, Chilton adds that he hopes the conditions don’t turn wet.

“The circuit is very different [in the wet] and last time I raced here in the wet I won twice and kept Shedden behind me, but this year the car is different and I don’t feel like I can lean on the car how I want to at the moment.

“Rain could make it worse. Also, as the tyres are completely different, you need a completely different set-up, which I’m still finding.

“I know in which direction we need to go if it rains tomorrow, but the question is how much. It’s just fine tuning all the time.”

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