Tom Chilton says that he and BTC Racing are ‘fully prepared’ for the forthcoming British Touring Car Championship season which kicks off this weekend, with the 14-time race winner ready for his first race back in a Honda since 2008.
Having spent the past two seasons racing a Ford Focus for Motorbase Performance, Chilton has joined BTC Racing for the team’s second season running the FK8 Honda Civic.
The experienced tin-top racer is looking forward to the coming season, where he is hoping to score big in the opening rounds and will be disappointed with anything less than a podium finish.
“There’s a famous quote about failing to prepare and you’re preparing to fail; that’s the exact opposite of what we have done,” said Chilton, who was second fastest in the recent two-day tyre test at Snetterton.
“We have prepared in every single area. We’ve had a fantastic test programme and I think we’ll be going straight in with our best foot forward. BTC Racing has hired all the right people to do the job.
“I’m itching to get going and pick up some points at Donington. I’m not going to settle for anything less than a podium this weekend.”
Chilton admits he will miss interacting with the BTCC’s fans this weekend, as the season opener has to be run behind closed doors following a last-minute decision by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
“It will feel strange not having fans in the paddock and around the podium, but I’m looking forward to seeing our fans around the circuit as we race.
“This year has thrown us all a new challenge, but as a human race, we’re always adapting. The team has adapted well to the changes and I think that the championship has done a great job.
“We’re fully focused and ready to go and win some races.”
Bert Taylor, Joint Team Principal, admits that the four-month delay to the start of the season has caused some difficult circumstances, but praised the BTCC organisers for being able to put together a package to enable the championship to get underway amidst the global pandemic.
“Finally we can say that it’s time to go racing again,” said Taylor. “It’s been an incredibly long four months for us all waiting for the season to get underway.
“The team has done a fantastic job getting the cars to where they have in some very tricky circumstances.
“Steve [Dudman, team owner] and I are really proud of the work that has gone in behind the scenes, and how everyone has stepped up to the challenges we have all faced.
“I’d also like to say thanks and well done to Alan Gow and his team at TOCA for managing to pull everything together for a nine-event season. That is no mean feat, and it’s a testament to the strength of the BTCC.
“I know that Josh [Cook], Tom, and Michael [Crees] are fired-up for the weekend, and raring to go. We have everything in place to get the job done; it’ll all come down to what happens on track now.”