Welcome to the “Week In British Touring Cars’, the weekly news roundup of all the biggest stories to happen in the BTCC this week. Published every Friday, the roundup is a great way to catch up on anything you may have missed, and ensure that you are up to date with the latest breaking stories from the British Touring Car Championship.
Tom Chilton Posts Fastest Time At Snetterton Tyre Test
Tom Chilton ended the BTCC’s traditional two-day Snetterton tyre test on top of the timesheets after setting the fastest time on the first day of running. The Motorbase Performance driver’s fastest lap of a 1:56.144s was set early on in day one of running and Chilton ended the test 0.18s faster than second-place man Dan Cammish. Chilton’s overall fastest time was reflective of Motorbase’s good speed at the Norfolk circuit, with teammate Ollie Jackson topping the second day of testing in the sister Ford Focus.
More than 3100 laps were completed by the 32-strong field at Snetterton and the BTCC will return to the circuit on the weekend of 3rd/4th August for round six of the 2019 season.
Rob Austin Returns At Snetterton
Rob Austin’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta made a welcome return to BTCC action at the Snetterton test as the Handy Motorsport outfit sit out the 2019 season. Austin, who was appearing for the first time in 2019 ran strongly at Snetterton and finished the test 6th on the overall timesheets.
Whilst working on a BTCC return for 2020, Handy Motorsport team principal Simon Belcher told the media
“This championship never stands still, we haven’t come back to where things were during our last BTCC race. Everyone has improved, upped their game, so I think we can be very satisfied. It’s been important to have shown our competitiveness, now the hard work continues on the development of the car and attracting the right commercial partners to enable us to be back on the grid in 2020.”
Infiniti Q50 Returns To The BTCC
The Infiniti Q50 will return to the BTCC grid for the first time since 2015 with Laser Tools Racing. The BTCC outfit will switch to the Q50 after campaigning with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class for the last four seasons.
Present in the BTCC for just one previous season in 2015, a pair of Infiniti Q50s were run by Derek Palmer’s Support Our Paras Racing, who started the season with factory backing from Infiniti. The brand dropped factory support early on in 2015 and the team scaled back to running one car for the rest of the season before dropping out of the series ahead of 2016.
Moffat debuted the car at the Snetterton tyre test and ended the two-day test 31st in the overall classification.