22 October 2020
Confidence is high within the BTC Racing camp coming straight off the Brackley-based outfits best-ever BTCC weekend at Croft, that saw the team outscore the rest of the grid on the North Yorkshire circuit, securing a maiden pole position, two outright victories, Independent win, and third place podium.
Snetterton gave BTC Racing cause for celebration last season, with Josh Cook leading the team to a double podium in the final round of the weekend. Returning to the longest circuit on the BTCC calendar in the Honda Civic Type R FK8 with three victories already under his belt, the Bath-based racer is keen to carry his victorious form into the final two race meetings of the year.
"We know that we had issues at the start of the year, so we just want to look back as a team and know that we absolutely delivered from the point of getting the car right. We’ve just got to go out and do the same as we did at Croft."
Tom Chilton has collected plenty of silverware at the Norfolk circuit over the years; however, this weekend marks the first time that the 14-time race winner will have competed there in the FK8. Having celebrated his 60th BTCC podium last time out at Croft, Chilton is determined to claim his maiden win in the BTC Racing Honda.
The Clever Baggers with BTC Racing’s Michael Crees is hopeful of a return to the competitive form shown earlier in the season. Following two challenging meetings marred by mechanical incidents, Crees has his eyes firmly set on claiming three strong points finishes in the #777 Honda to close the gap in the Jack Sears Trophy standings.
This weekend also sees the introduction of a new ‘top ten shootout’ qualifying format. With Saturday’s usual free practice sessions condensed down into a single 50-minute period, drivers will then have a 25-minute window to set a lap time for an initial qualifying time, with the top-ten then moving to a further 10-minute showdown to determine the starting positions for Sunday’s opening race.
Tom Chilton #3:
“We’ve spent hours changing all of the mapping, turbo boost, everything to make the car go quicker, getting it to how I want it. I do think that it’ll drive a lot better on the race track and we’ll be more competitive. I feel like I’ve got a proper racing car now.
“I don’t think the new qualifying set-up will change much on Saturday. We’ll mostly see the same faces in the same positions, maybe with just one or two out of position. It’s exciting to see something different, though. I think everyone will be going for it this weekend. I’m right in the mix in the Independents, just two points behind Butcher. And I’m still chasing that outright win in the Honda. I need to get a win before the end of the season. I’ll be going for it this weekend.”
Josh Cook #66:
“The long practice session is actually not great for teams as it means we won’t have the time to evaluate in FP1 and make any big changes for FP2. It’ll be very easy to run out of time. So it’ll be interesting going into the shoot-out qualifying session with less running time than usual. It could make things fun. It’s certainly going to be more challenging. It’s a long lap, which makes it harder. It’s so easy to make a mistake at Snetterton and throw a lap away.
“I feel like we’ve got the car in a good place. I feel confident, but we are still pushing and looking to find improvements. I want another weekend like Croft. We know that we had issues at the start of the year, so we just want to look back as a team and know that we absolutely delivered from the point of getting the car right. We’ve just got to go out and do the same as we did at Croft.”
Michael Crees #777:
“I’m looking forward to the weekend. We’ve found the problem with the car and the guys are confident that they’ve fixed it. Going off the pre-season tyre test at Snetterton, I was 8th fastest in the dry and 3rd fastest in the wet and the weather looks changeable this weekend. I just have to go out and try and win the Jack Sears. There are six races left, and I’m 37 points behind Thompson in the lead. I think I’ve had the pace on everybody else this year, hopefully Bobby [Thompson] will be racing and I can beat him on track.
“I qualified 9th at Croft, in the top ten at Brands Hatch, and 11th at Thruxton. I’ve shown that I have the pace. I just need to find that little bit extra to get in top-ten, and then who knows what could happen.”
Rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season get underway at Snetterton circuit, on October 24-25. Live coverage of Sunday’s (October 25) events will be shown on ITV4 and via the ITVhub from 10.05 – 16.55; with itv.com/btcc featuring live timing and streaming of Saturday’s (October 24) qualifying session from 14.15.
For exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews and podcasts, as well as live race weekend commentary and live timing for all sessions and races, please visit: www.btcracingline.co.uk