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Chilton wins BTCC race three at Brands Hatch opener

Sunday, April 07 2019

Tom Chilton surged to an emphatic victory in the final Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship race of the opening weekend at Brands Hatch, behind the wheel of his locally-run Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS. 

Chilton started from third, but it was all eyes on Stephen Jelley in the Team Parker Racing BMW 125i M Sport as the lights went out, as he stormed from sixth on the grid to grab the lead from front row starters Senna Proctor and Matt Neal.

Proctor's challenge at the front only lasted as far as Graham Hill Bend on the opening lap as his Subaru Levorg was pitched onto the grass in the opening exchanges, allowing Neal's Honda Civic Type R to lead the pursuit of Jelley.

Neal made a pass for the lead on the seventh lap at Clearways, before Chilton followed him past at the same spot the next time around. Tyre wear proved to be Neal's bane, however, and he began to fall into Chilton and Jelley's clutches again just a few laps later.

Chilton made his decisive move for the lead at Clearways on lap 13, whilst Rory Butcher's Cobra Sport AmD Honda loomed into podium contention as the leading trio scrapped.

Three laps later, Jelley tagged Neal whilst attempting to move back into second, and this allowed Butcher to swoop past both of them on the run to Surtees, whilst Jelley dropped to the tail of the battle.

Whilst Chilton and Butcher edged away in podium positions they would hold until the chequered flag, Neal suffered an issue on the last lap of the race which handed the final podium position to Jelley on a plate. Neal ceded further ground to the BTC Honda Civic Type R of race one winner Josh Cook, the Team BMW machines of Colin Turkington and Tom Oliphant, and Chris Smiley in the second BTC machine.

For Turkington and Oliphant race three was an assured recovery to fifth and sixth after being shuffled down the order earlier in the day due to tyre strategy. The duo lapped in tandem for much of the race, picking up positions throughout the race to secure a strong finish.

For BTC, the result ended a superb day for the team which sees Cook leading the championship by one point from Chilton by the end.

Kwik Fit BTCC, R3, Result
1, T Chilton, Team Shredded Wheat Racing, Ford Focus RS, 24 laps
2, R Butcher, Cobra Sport AmD, Honda Civic Type R, +1.995s
3, S Jelley, Team Parker Racing, BMW 125i M Sport, +7.926s
4, J Cook, BTC Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +10.506s
5, C Turkington, Team BMW, BMW 330i M Sport, +11.967s
6, T Oliphant, Team BMW, BMW 330i M Sport, +12.450s
7, C Smiley, BTC Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +12.677s
8, M Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +12.934s
9, A Moffat, Laser Tools Racing, Mercedes Benz A-Class, +15.226s
10, T Ingram, Team Toyota GB with Ginsters, Toyota Corolla, +19.664s
11, A Morgan, Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport, Mercedes Benz A-Class, +19.926s
12, J Goff, RCIB Insurance, Volkswagen CC, +20.321s
13, J Plato, Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing, Vauxhall Astra, +20.621s
14, D Cammish, Halfords Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +20.827s
15, B Thompson, GKR Scaffolding, Volkswagen CC, +21.143s
16, S Tordoff, Cobra Sport AmD, Honda Civic Type R, +25.052s
17, R Smith, Excler8 Motorsport, MG6, +25.219s
18, M Crees, GKR Scaffolding, Volkswagen CC, +25.690s
19, M Blundell, TradePriceCars.com, Audi S3, +27.945s
20, N Hamilton, ROKiT Racing with Motorbase, Ford Focus RS, +35.384s
21, M Simpson, Simpson Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +35.938s
22, S Proctor, Adrian Flux Subaru Racing, Subaru Levorg, +36.417s
23, D Rowbottom, Cataclean Racing, Mercedes Benz A-Class, +40.265s
24, A Jordan, BMW Pirtek Racing, BMW 330i M Sport, +1 lap
25, A Sutton, Adrian Flux Subaru Racing, Subaru Levorg, +1 lap
DNF, Osborne, Excler8 Motorsport, MG6
DNF, J Hill, TradePriceCars.com, Audi S3
DNF, O Jackson, Team Shredded Wheat Racing, Ford Focus RS
DNF, R Collard, Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing, Vauxhall Astra
DNF, C Boardley, RCIB insurance, Volkswagen CC

BTCC Championship Standings,
1, J Cook, 44 
2, T Chilton, 43 
3, S Jelley, 35
4, R Butcher, 31
5, A Morgan, 31
6, J Hill, 30
7, A Sutton, 27
8, A Jordan, 23
9, M Neal, 22
10, T Ingram, 20