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Tom Chilton heading into season opener in a ‘positive position’

Tom Chilton says he is in a ‘positive position’ for the British Touring Car Championship season opener at Brands Hatch this weekend, where the Reigate racer will have his first race in a Motorbase-built Ford Focus.

Chilton returns to racing Ford machinery for the first time in six years when he gets behind the wheel of the Focus RS for the season opener.

The 33-year-old recently ended the official pre-season test at Donington Park with the second-best time, and he believes that means he and the team are in a strong position for the first meeting of the year.

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“The car is in a sweet spot at the moment which is every drivers dream,” said Chilton. “We’ve had a great pre-season testing programme, and we’re all working together really closely as a team. The relationship within the team is really strong already and team spirit is high.

“It was great to be at the top of the timing sheets on media day, and although you can never read too much into that I think we are in good stead and it’s a positive position to be in heading into the first race weekend.

“Brands Hatch is my favourite circuit, it’s both mine and the team’s local circuit and I’ve held lap records there for over three years so I’m really excited to start the season off there this weekend.”

Chilton will be partnered by Motorbase returnee James Cole in 2018, and Team Manager Oly Collins says that there is a positive atmosphere within the Kent-based team ahead of the new season.

“James and Tom have settled in really quickly and it feels like they’ve been here for ages,” said Collins. “The atmosphere in the camp is a very positive and happy one.

“The pace of the new RS looks positive from the official testing we’ve done, but we only know what we’re doing, not what everyone else is up to!

“We’ll only find out where our rivals are at about 4pm on Saturday. One thing is for sure, as is always the case in the BTCC, it will be very close and qualifying will be key to a strong weekend at Brands Hatch.”

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