Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS reflects on superb start to the season

3rd May 2024

Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS made a fine start to the 2024 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season with two wins from three during the opening weekend of the season at Donington Park.

The EXCELR8 Motorsport-run outfit went into the meeting hoping to reap the rewards of a busy winter of development work on the Hyundai i30 Fastback N, with Tom Ingram, Tom Chilton, Ronan Pearson and Nick Halstead all in confident mood for the season opener.

It’s been almost a week since Ingram’s phenomenal double, but that wasn’t the only positives for the squad… with Pearson making it into the new ‘Quick Six’ qualifying, before scoring a fifth place finish and a new fastest lap on Sunday.

Chilton brought home a couple of points paying finishes amid a frustrating weekend for the experienced racer, whilst Nick Halstead sits second in the Jack Sears Trophy after a solid performance.

Here’s what the drivers and the team had to say…

Tom Chilton, #3 Team Bristol Street Motors Hyundai, said: “Saturday was really difficult as we had no track time in practice and only really had two laps in qualifying - so to be to P13 was pretty unbelievable with the issues we had. The team did a mega job to change the engine overnight and they worked their socks off to get it all working well for race one and I was pleased to move forwards, but then we had a fuel pump issue that put us out of race two.

“Race three I went from last to eleventh and I was really flying and felt I could race people - with a late move on Andrew Watson being particularly good. We got there with the car by the end of the weekend, and I feel that my season will start at Brands Hatch next time out.”

Ronan Pearson, #14 Team Bristol Street Motors Hyundai, said: “What we did until race two this weekend was incredible and the car was mega. There was just one issue that affected us twice and we can’t change what happened, but we were up there on merit this weekend and showed we have the pace which I think can leave us really confident going forwards.

“I don’t think I’ve driven as well as I have done this weekend. I’m the most confident I think I have ever been in the car and I feel I left nothing on the table, which you can only do when you have confidence in it. The things that have hampered us this weekend were outside our control, so there are a lot of positives to take away from it.”

Nick Halstead, #22 Team Bristol Street Motors Hyundai, said: “Race one in the wet was tricky but I felt super confident, and the car felt so quick so I was pleased to come out of that making up places. Unfortunately, I got turned around at turn one in the

second race that dropped me back off the pack and the final race was a good battle with Scott where I was able to learn a lot.

“With limited testing, it took me a little while to get back up to speed, but I feel comfortable in the car at the end of the weekend and am looking forward to getting back out at Brands Hatch.”

Tom Ingram, #80 Team Bristol Street Motors Hyundai, said: “I don’t think I’ve ever had such a good start to a season, with pole, two wins and fourth. I’ve had a great car and as Max Verstappen would say, it’s been a lovely weekend. The way things all started with the weather delays was difficult we you don’t know what the circuit will be like, and just how wet things are going to be, so it was a bit fruity in the first race and to win was great.

“Race two however was even better as you could argue we shouldn’t have won that with the new hybrid rules, so the fact we did showed how strong the car is. That’s all down to the hard work that we’ve done over the winter and a solid result in race three just wrapped up, so it’s all feeling good.”

Justina Williams, Team Bristol Street Motors Team Owner, said: “It’s been a fantastic way to start the season, and I’m really pleased of how we have performed this weekend with strong performances across the board from all drivers. To come away from the weekend with pole, two wins and three fastest laps is reward for all the hard work that has gone in across the winter on the car, and leaves us well placed for the rest of the season.

“I also think it’s important to give credit to everyone who worked hard to make sure we could even go racing this weekend given the conditions that were thrown our way, and also give mention to the fans who had to stand around and deal with the worst of the weather not knowing if they were going to get to see any racing. Hopefully they enjoyed the show when we managed to get underway.” © 2024
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