Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher, proudly sponsored by Beavis Morgan, is set to resume its title push this coming weekend as the second half of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season gets underway at Snetterton Circuit on 3-4 August.
The Motorbase-run outfit heads to Norfolk in confident form after topping the times during the annual Dunlop tyre test on the 300 circuit two weeks ago.
Tom Chilton took top honours from the two-day programme, clocking up the most kilometres and setting the fastest lap-time, with team-mate Ollie Jackson closely paced, posting the third-fastest time overall.
Having unlocked key potential in the Ford Focus RS during the extensive mid-season test, Tom and Ollie are more determined than ever to close the gap to the championship leaders as the title battle picks up pace once more.
14-time BTCC race-winner Tom is looking to add more silverware to the race win and three podiums already under his belt this season, with Ollie keen to build on his promising race pace from the first half of the campaign as he pushes for consistent top-ten finishes.
“Coming back from the break we’re keen to keep the momentum of our mid-season test going, and to show our strength for the whole of the second half of the season;” commented Team Manager Oly Collins.
“We had a great test at Snetterton recently with both Tom and Ollie setting the fastest times on each of the two days, which was great. That said we don’t know quite where our competitors were, we only know what we were doing. But we know it was a positive test for us in many ways.
“I feel sure the normal protagonists will be quick with BMW and Honda in particular but hopefully we can repeat that pace this weekend. It looks like the weather may play a part in the results as well as the mix-up of the new tyre regulations for Snetterton, with all three compounds coming into play on Sunday.”
#3 Tom Chilton: “We managed to qualify third and finish 5th here last year in the 60th-anniversary race which was quite something. After setting the fastest time in the test a couple of weeks ago, we’re arriving with very positive heads to get our 2nd half of the year underway in the right manner.
“Oulton Park did not go our way at all, but it did mean that we looked at the car closely during the test, and the Focus is in a much better place now. We covered a lot of ground during the two days, and we now have the right set-up for each tyre.
“The BMWs will be the cars to beat for sure this weekend, even with full weight, but we’ll be a good position to give them a run for their money! Hopefully, my years of experience will put us in good stead. Experience equals points; that’s what I’m hoping for. I really want to get a win this weekend; it’s been a while since I’ve taken a win at Snetterton.”
#48 Ollie Jackson: “On paper, it should be a good weekend for us. We’ve made great strides forward with the car. I’m feeling at one with it, so hopefully, we can convert that into good results and get the monkey off our back.
“If we can run confidently and comfortably in the top ten and then push for the top 5 and maybe steal a reverse grid result I’d be really happy with that. I think we deserve a break.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how things play out with the three different compounds. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the grid runs the same tyre in the same races, so it might not mix things up as much as usual. We’ve got a handle on the set-ups for each now so we should be in a good position for all three races come Sunday.”
Well done to Tom and Ollie on your recent success at Snetterton and wishing you all this best this weekend as the BTCC resumes.
Rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship take place at Snetterton circuit, Norfolk on 3-4 August. Live coverage of Sunday’s (4 August) events will be shown on ITV4, ITV4HD and via the ITVhub from 10.45 – 18:30; with itv.com/btcc featuring live timing and streaming of Saturday’s (3 August) qualifying session from 15.00.
Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey