Tom Chilton says he is confident that Team Aon will soon be in a position to fight for podiums in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship after a vastly improved performance for the Ford Focus ST at Donington Park.
After extensive development on the car in the weeks following the second round of the year at Thruxton, Chilton was able to secure the car's first top ten finish as he battled his way through from 17th on the grid in race three to finish ninth.
Having qualified 16th, Chilton battled through to twelfth in race one, although damaged sustained in a coming together early on meant he trailed in 17th in the second race of the day.
However, in the final race of the day, Chilton was able to climb through the field to finish ninth in tricky wet conditions and admitted he was delighted to repay the team for the work carried out to improve the Ford.
“I'm really happy for the team,” he said. “I know how much effort has been put in and it's nice to be able to have some points to show for it. It might only be ninth place, but there's been a lot of progress and if we make the same gains between now and the next rounds we could be looking at a podium finish quite soon. We got the set up spot on for this race and the car did exactly what I wanted it to.”
Team Aon boss Mike Earle was also positive at the end of a weekend where Alan Morrison also impressed at the wheel of the sister car, albeit without breaking into the points.
“It has been an encouraging weekend for us,” he said. “We have certainly narrowed the gap to the winning teams and scored our first points. There is still a lot more development to come and I'm very happy with the way that both our drivers are contributing to our progress. The whole team is now looking forward to the next rounds at Oulton Park in two weeks time.”