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Tom Chilton ‘very happy’ to reward BTC Racing with podium on ‘big day’ for the team

BTC Racing’s Tom Chilton was left ‘very, very happy’ after the third British Touring Car Championship race at Knockhill, in which he secured his first podium of the 2020 campaign.

It was a landmark weekend for BTC Racing with the team passing 100 BTCC race starts in the opener at the Fife circuit, but any joy would be short-lived after a failure on Josh Cook’s Honda Civic Type R pitched him into the barriers at high speed in race one.

Another DNF for Cook on the opening lap in race two further compounded the squad’s woes, but Chilton would provide solace for Bert Taylor’s outfit by making steady progress throughout the day, making up two positions to 11th to race one before placing seventh in the second encounter.

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Chilton, who currently sits seventh in the championship standings, would then go on to finish third in the final race after fending off pressure from Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant in the closing stages to mark the 101st podium finish of his car racing career.

“We’re very very happy, it’s big news for us here at Knockhill this weekend,” Chilton told ITV.

“That was actually BTC Racing’s 102nd race in the British Touring Car Championship and that was my 101st ever podium in all my racing career in cars, so it was a big day for us today, I’m very happy.”

With the margins so fine around the tight 1.27-mile Scottish circuit during qualifying, Chilton admitted the 18 kilos of success ballast he carried aboard his FK8 Honda Civic Type R hurt him, but was pleased to make progress in each of the trio of contests throughout the day.

“In qualifying I tried as hard as I could, but the 18 kilos of success ballast hurt me a couple of tenths – I was only two tenths off P4 really – but started back in 13th.

“All I had to do was move forwards, and I did that in every single race, and I got that podium in the last race.”

After an intense start to the delayed 2020 season with four rounds in quick succession, the British Touring Car Championship heads next to Hampshire’s Thruxton circuit, which Chilton has high hopes for.

“I love Thruxton, it’s one of my favourite circuits on the championship calendar after Knockhill.

“The car last year was very successful [there] when Josh was in it, so I’m hoping for big things in that car.”

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