Tom Chilton revels in ‘perfect weekend’ at Croft after wet race win

Tom Chilton revels in ‘perfect weekend’ at Croft after wet race win

Tom Chilton
Photo: PSP Images

Tom Chilton described Croft as a ‘perfect weekend’ in the British Touring Car Championship, after the Motorbase driver claimed his first win of the year in the reversed-grid final race.

Having qualified third in Saturday’s stop-start qualifying session, Chilton went on to claim a third podium finish of the year in race one by finishing where he started.

He then took ninth in race two, after losing ground at the start including a side-by-side incident with the BMW of Tom Oliphant at the start, eventually taking ninth.

But that result gave Chilton the reverse-grid pole for race three, in which he claimed victory after managing the wet conditions.

“Those were my kind of conditions,” said Chilton to TouringCars.Net. “When it gets a bit greasy or wet I thrive because I’m looking for the grip.

“The beauty about starting on pole is you can see where the grip is and you don’t have any spray, so it all fell into my lap in that regard.

“We did a really good job with the setup, because clearly we made the wet tyre which was fantastic and was key on a drying circuit. I knew it wasn’t dry enough to go to slicks.

“I had to be very, very progressive on that power. I didn’t want to get any wheelspin and ruin those tyres in any shape or form.”

Having moved up to seventh overall in the drivers’ standings, 32 adrift of the series lead, Chilton was in positive spirits departing the North Yorkshire circuit.

“I feel that we’ve made a big leap this weekend. When you have a bad race weekend you have to really analyse everything, and we had a bad race weekend at Thruxton.

“We knew that we couldn’t just turn up with the same car because we were going to struggle, and I’m in it to win as you know.

“We did a lot of hard work – the team has worked fantastically hard – and we’ve now got a different setup for both qualifying and the race.

“I think we’ve finally nailed it. There’s still some refining to do in dry races, especially with success ballast, but that’s something we’ve got to do which is a work in progress.

“I’m very, very happy with our performance. A double podium and a top ten is a perfect weekend and I’ve now closed in on the championship leaders. It’s all getting closer and closer and we’re not even halfway.”