Tom Chilton believes that karma intervened for him in the main World Touring Car Championship race in Macau, when he was able to secure the final podium position after re-passing Honda’s Esteban Guerrieri on the last lap.
Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Chilton had been running in third for much of the race, before Guerrieri got past the Citroën on lap nine.
But with Guerrieri’s team-mate Norbert Michelisz struggling for pace in second late on in the race, the Argentine started to protect the title contending Honda driver in the final laps.
That meant that Chilton struggled to find a way past, until Guerrieri made a mistake on the final lap to give the Brit third and his sixth podium finish of the season – equalling his season-best record in the WTCC.
“What happened to Esteban in the end I think is karma,” said Chilton. “I think Honda told him to back me up at the hairpin every single lap. I was losing three seconds at the hairpin every single lap and me an Norbi caught him every single lap back up to the hairpin.
“Actually, I’m quite happy he made a mistake. He tried braking about 11 metres too late and fully on the right-hand side and came off the rubber.”
Chitlon admitted that he felt frustrated following the second Honda driver around, as he felt he was faster than both of the leading drivers, which was proven by the fact that his best lap of the race was a second quicker than eventual winner Rob Huff’s.
“Guerrieri did the wide line from behind, did the switchback and he overtook me up the straight,” continued Chilton, talking of Guerrieri’s initial pass. “It didn’t matter which way I was going to go.
“He just had so much more speed up the straight and passed me before Mandarin. I was a sitting duck, fuming because I was faster than both of the guys in front of me but I’m happy I got back past one of them.”
Chilton leaves Macau back at the top of the WTCC Trophy standings for independents, with a slender half-point advantage over team-mate Mehdi Bennani.