Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS bids to enter BTCC summer break on a high

20th June 2024

Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS will hope to return to the top step of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship podium this weekend when the series heads for Oulton Park for the fifth meeting of the season.

The EXCELR8 Motorsport-run team makes the trip to Cheshire for the final event before a month-long break sitting well placed in the championship standings, with Tom Ingram and Tom Chilton inside the top eight in the overall title race, and Ronan Pearson currently second in the Jack Sears Trophy.

Ingram lies third in the title race having picked up a brace of podium finishes last time out at Thruxton, where he celebrated his 100th start for the Hyundai team.

The 30-year-old is one of the form drivers at Oulton Park, having scored a double podium last season to go with two wins twelve months earlier.

With his focus firmly on trying to reclaim the title he won in 2022, Ingram will be chasing  a third win of the season this weekend to strengthen his championship challenge and close is on the two drivers currently ahead in the points.

Chilton holds eighth despite a tough end to the weekend at Thruxton, where he failed to score in race three after suffering a second retirement of the season.

Those two results aside however, Chilton had been a regular fixture inside the top ten and picked up a 61st BTCC podium at Brands Hatch during the second meeting of the season - results that mean he is only 13 points shy of beating his total from the entire 2023 campaign.

Like Ingram, Chilton has won at Oulton Park in the past and will hope for three strong results to cement his position in the standings.

Youngster Pearson is also close to beating his points tally from last season having picked up his third top ten finish of the campaign at Thruxton, where he also secured weekend honours in the Jack Sears Trophy for the first time this year.

The Scottish racer has taken huge strides forwards in his second season and picked up a maiden victory at Brands Hatch during round two, whilst this year has also seen him score his best qualifying result to date.

Heading into Oulton Park, Pearson will hope to make the most of his undoubted pace to fight for three strong results, with his primary focus being to close in on the Jack Sears Trophy lead.

Nick Halstead meanwhile returns to action looking to rebound from a tough end to the weekend at Thruxton, where he was involved in a heavy accident in the closing stages of the final race.

The team has worked hard to repair his damaged car ahead of the weekend whilst Halstead himself is fighting fit and ready to try and add to the points finish he scored at Brands Hatch.

Halstead has plenty of previous experience at Oulton Park, including a maiden podium finish in the British GT Championship back in 2022, and like his three team-mates, will be bidding for a solid weekend ahead of the summer break.

Tom Chilton, #3 Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 Fastback N, said: “Like most of the drivers on the grid, I’m a huge fan of Oulton Park because it’s a proper ‘old school’ circuit where you have to be totally focused and can’t afford to make a mistake. If you do, there is a good chance you’ll be ending up in the barriers and out of the race!

“I’ve had some good results at Oulton Park in the past and I’m returning in confident mood given the performance we have shown across the opening four rounds. I’ve already scored more top ten finishes this season than we did across the whole of 2023 and I want to keep that run going to retain our position in the standings.

“We’ve got the car in a good place at the moment in both qualifying and race trim, and I see no reason why we can’t have a strong Saturday and then push for a good haul of points on Sunday to go into the summer break on a high.”

Ronan Pearson, #14 Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 Fastback N, said: “This season, I’ve shown that I’ve taken a step forwards in terms of my pace, and the win at Brands Hatch was a massive boost to my confidence. However, at each of the four meetings so far, there has been something outside our control that has stopped us from getting three strong results across a weekend.

“Thruxton last time out was a prime example with the issue in qualifying, but it was really pleasing to recover from the back of the grid to end the weekend in the top ten – and to win the Jack Sears Trophy for the first time this season.

“Heading to Oulton Park, I’m now looking to try and enjoy a trouble-free weekend so that we can challenge for strong points across all three races. It’s a circuit where the Hyundai has won in the past and with the various improvements that we made over the winter, I’m confident we can put on a good performance.

“Qualifying is going to be particularly important because even with the extra hybrid available, overtaking won’t be easy. I want to try and get into the Quick Six again if we can so we are near the front of the grid, and then on Sunday, the focus turns to making sure are towards the sharp end and in the fight for plenty of points.”

Nick Halstead, #22 Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 Fastback N, said: “After a tough end to the weekend at Thruxton last time out, I’m looking forward to getting back on track at Oulton Park - a circuit where I feel a lot more comfortable having raced there a lot more in the past.

“I have to say a huge thank you for the team for getting my car repaired, and I’d love to be able to go out there and reward them with some strong results this weekend. As ever, the ultimate goal would be to break into the points in at least one of the three races, but I know it won’t be an easy task given the strength of the grid and the fact that Oulton Park is a tricky circuit on which to overtake.

“Above all, a trouble free weekend is what I really need going into the summer break and if I can come away with three solid finishes under my belt, then I’ll be happy.”

Tom Ingram, #80 Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 Fastback N, said: “Despite the frustration of losing a win at Thruxton, we showed really good pace once again with the Hyundai, which is a reflection of the ongoing effort everyone is putting into the car. Heading to Oulton Park, we are right in the mix in terms of the championship standings, and the goal this weekend is to be as ‘pointsy’ as we can be to strengthen our position going into the summer break.

“Oulton Park is a circuit that has been particularly kind to us in recent seasons, with four podiums in the last six starts, so I think we can be confident about another strong performance in the three races.

“Getting into the Quick Six and battling for pole could make all the difference on how race day pans out, because it’s a lot easier to start from the front at a circuit where overtaking is notoriously difficult. The additional hybrid will have an impact, but I’d much rather be in a position where I’m using it to defend instead of trying to attack!”

Justina Williams, Team Owner, said: “We’ve had a really strong season so far, and are confident that we can maintain our solid run of form this weekend at Oulton Park. It’s been a circuit where we have had good results in the past and with the improvements made to the Hyundai since then, I believe we can right in contention for further wins before we head into the summer break.” © 2024
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