Tom Oliphant was pleased to open his British Touring Car Championship campaign at Donington Park with a podium finish and three top ten results, as the BMW driver targets consistency in the coming season.
The WSR driver leaves the Leicestershire circuit sixth overall in the drivers’ championship standings with 32 points to his name thanks to finishing sixth, third and ninth respectively in Sunday’s three races.
Oliphant claimed the third BTCC podium of his career in race two, coming through from sixth on the grid to put two BMW 330i M Sport drivers on the podium, after team-mate Colin Turkington won the race.
The 29-year-old had a strong drive in race two, despite carrying 30 kg more ballast than in race one, emerging in fourth on the opening lap.
Oliphant then passed the Toyota of Tom Ingram for third late in the race, but ran out of time to mount a serious challenge for second on Motorbase’s Rory Butcher.
The final race saw Oliphant start from tenth in the reverse-grid race, and with an extra 18 kg of ballast again, ninth was the best he could manage, one place ahead of Turkington.
“It has been a really good weekend,” said Oliphant. “To qualify inside the top five, score a podium, have three top ten finishes and come away with 32 points is a big success – it’s the level of consistency I’m striving for all season.
“To qualify inside the top five really set up my Sunday and from there we were in the mix. I had some good battles in race one and it was a confidence boost to secure sixth.
“Then, to go onto grab a podium in race two and limit the damage in race three is the cherry on top.
“Credit has to go to everyone at West Surrey Racing and BMW because they haven’t missed a beat all weekend. The car has been amazing to drive and I’m feeling really confident moving forward in the coming weeks.
“Obviously it was great to get back racing, but it was odd not doing so in front of the thousands of fantastic BTCC fans – hopefully we can welcome them trackside soon.
“We’ve got a quick turnaround so the focus immediately switches to Brands Hatch now.”
Oliphant is back in action at Brands Hatch this weekend for the second meeting of the year.