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TEAM BRISTOL STREET MOTORS SEEKS TO BUILD ON STRONG OPENER

TEAM BRISTOL STREET MOTORS SEEKS TO BUILD ON STRONG OPENER

Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS will look to build on a strong start to the new Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season when the series heads for Brands Hatch for the second meeting of the campaign.

The EXCELR8 Motorsport-run team secured two wins from three at Donington Park two weeks ago to secure the early advantage in the championship standings, with 2022 champion Tom Ingram leading the way having scored victory in races one and two.

Tom Chilton recovered from a difficult Saturday to score a pair of points finishes having made the third highest number of places across race day, whilst youngster Ronan Pearson scored a career best result in qualifying and backed it up with an impressive top six finish on race day.

In tricky wet conditions, Nick Halstead picked up three solid finishes to go close to an overall points finish, and ended the weekend second in the Jack Sears Trophy – the classification for those drivers who haven’t yet finished on the overall BTCC podium.

Ingram has enjoyed plenty of success at Brands Hatch in the past, with the Kent circuit being the venue where he scored his first ever win in the series back in 2016.

Having also won around the shortest circuit on the calendar at the wheel of his Hyundai i30 Fastback N, Ingram goes into the weekend in confident mood although it remains to be seen how much of an impact his limited hybrid will have in qualifying.

Chilton – the most experienced driver on the grid – made his debut at Brands Hatch back in 2002 and is also a previous winner around his home circuit; one he readily admits is amongst his favourites on the calendar.

After the issues he faced in round one, Chilton will be looking to get his title challenge underway this weekend with his focus firmly on fighting towards the upper reaches of the top ten.

Pearson also has his sights set on front-running results after backing up solid pace in pre-season testing with his speed at Donington Park – where secured a new race lap record.

Unfortunate power steering issues hampered his challenge in two of the three races, and he will be eager to now fight for a first Jack Sears Trophy win of the year whilst also climbing up the overall order.

Halstead meanwhile finished one place outside the points in two of the three races at Donington Park in what was a largely trouble-free opening weekend.

Going into round two, Halstead will hope for much of the same with his main goal being to stay out of trouble and look to break into the points for the first time in 2024.

Tom Chilton, #3 Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai, said:
“Donington was a bit of a tough start due to circumstances outside our control, so my season really starts this weekend. Brands Hatch is my home circuit and I absolutely love the place, so I’m really looking forward to getting out on track and showing what we can really do.

“We know from testing that the car is quick with the changes that were made over the winter, and hopefully that will be reflected in the results this weekend. It would be great to come away from it with a trophy.”

Ronan Pearson, #14 Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai, said:
“I’m really excited to get back out on track this weekend after the pace we showed at Donington Park, both in qualifying and race trim. It shows I’m in a good place, and my goal is to try and replicate my performance from two weeks ago and avoid some of the bad luck!

“Setting a new qualifying best and setting a lap record was a great way to start the year, and I’ve got my eyes firmly fixed on pushing for some silverware during the weekend ahead.”

Nick Halstead, #22 Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai, said:
“After all the rain we had last time, it looks like it’s going to be a warm one and that is something that should work in my favour. With no variables in the weather and consistent conditions, I hope to be able to make progress across the weekend and try to push forwards towards the points.

“On the back of a solid showing at Donington Park, I’m feeling confident and we had two days of testing at Brands Hatch before the season where the pace was good. The first goal is to try and qualify well on Saturday, and then push on from there.”

Tom Ingram, #80 Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai, said:
“Donington was a fantastic way to start the season and obviously I’m feeling pretty good as we head towards Brands Hatch. The weather conditions look a lot more favourable which should make things a lot more hassle free and I think we are in a really good place.

“The big variable for us is going to be how much impact the revised hybrid rules have in qualifying, but I feel the performance of the car is at a level where we’ll still be in the mix to make it through to Q3 and push towards the front.

“I’m looking for a pointsy weekend to build on round one and maintain our strong start.”

Justina Williams, Team Owner, said:
“Donington Park was a solid start for us as a team, both in terms of the results and also the pace we showed across the weekend. Going to Brands Hatch, I feel confident that we will be able to replicate the performances we showed in the opening round and maintain our strong start, with the focus being to try and retain our lead in the Drivers’ championship and improve on our position in the Teams’ standings.”

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