Ciceley Motorsport has parted ways with Tom Chilton after the 2021 British Touring Car Championship season, with the Lancashire-based team looking for a new driver for one of its BMWs for 2022.
Chilton joined the team at the start of the 2021 season, having competed in a BTC Racing Honda Civic last year and a Ford Focus with Motorbase for the two years prior to that.
The 36-year-old had never previously raced a rear-wheel drive car in the BTCC, and Chilton struggled to be on the pace in the opening rounds, taking until the fourth event of the year at Oulton Park to break into the top ten.
Things didn’t pick up much after that, with Chilton only recording one more top ten result, at Croft, until he saw an upturn in pace at the season finale last weekend at Brands Hatch.
In the final races of the year, Chilton was in the top ten in all three races, culminating in a season-best result of sixth, although it wasn’t enough to prevent him from ending the year with his worst overall ranking, 19th, since joining the BTCC in 2002.
Ciceley Motorsport released a statement saying the parting had been ‘amicable’ and that Chilton ‘gelled perfectly with the team and its personnel’. It is understood that Chilton, who has also been competing in an all-electric Hyundai Veloster in this year’s inaugural PURE ETCR series, chose to leave the team.
Chilton’s team-mate this year, Adam Morgan, won two reverse-grid races on his way to 13th overall in the drivers’ championship.
“We are all very sad to see Tom leave Ciceley Motorsport,” said Russell Morgan, Ciceley Motorsport team owner. “He was a fantastic ambassador for the team, always extremely positive, and a great help in the engineering of the BMW.
“Unfortunately, the results do not reflect Tom’s hard work and dedication, but we feel it had just started to click at the end of the season.
“We understand Tom’s decision and wish him all the very best in the future.”