Team BMW driver Tom Oliphant enjoyed a stellar weekend at Silverstone as he bagged three top-seven finishes across Sunday’s dramatic races to cut Rory Butcher’s lead in the Jack Sears Trophy standings to just 11 points.
After a promising but ultimately unrewarding weekend at Knockhill two weeks ago, Oliphant was fast right out off the bat at Silverstone as he qualified his WSR BMW 3 Series in 5th, matching his career-best qualifying performance.
Race one would see Oliphant right in the thick of the battles for much of the race on the soft tyre, and he would eventually finish where he started in 5th. Race two saw Oliphant start on third row of the grid and surge up the order, and he took the lead of the race with a move at Brooklands and began to build a gap at the head of the field. In worsening conditions, a safety car was called and Oliphant’s lead was wiped out in an instant. At the restart, he was unable to hold the lead and he fell down the order to 7th by the time the race was halted with a red flag.
Like race two, race three was another weather-affected affair as the rain came down heavily after the start. Pitting for wet tyres on lap four, Oliphant rejoined the race near the back of the field before carving his way past the cars still on slicks in wet conditions to finish the race in 4th.
Post Silverstone, Oliphant said “To come away with three top-seven finishes, victory in the Jack Sears Trophy and finish as the top BMW points scorer is something that I can be happy about – we have a chance now heading to Brands Hatch.
“We’ve had the pace since we rolled out in FP1 and that has been the case all weekend. I’m obviously gutted about what happened in race two as we had that pretty much won and I personally feel that the red flag should have come out earlier with the conditions.
“Race three was pretty mega though as the team made the right call, nailed the pit-stop and then we had fantastic pace to climb up to fourth. I think I could have nabbed a podium had I not been dicing with another car when I left the pit-lane, but that is one of those things. We can be very happy with our weekend.
“We’re going to Brands Hatch within 11 points of Rory [Butcher] in the Jack Sears Trophy and I’ll obviously be pushing to help BMW to win the Drivers’, Teams’ and Manufacturers’ titles. I can’t wait to get there.”
A strong weekend at Silverstone see’s Oliphant sit 11th in the overall driver’s standings heading into the final weekend at Brands Hatch GP on the 12th and 13th October. He has an 11-point deficit to Rory Butcher in the Jack Sears Trophy table.