Team Aon team chief Mike Earle admitted he was thrilled to see the Ford team secure its first podium finish of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship season during the penultimate weekend of the season at Rockingham.

Tom Chilton secured a hard-fought third place in the final race of the weekend to mark the best result to date for the team's Ford Focus ST, while his podium finish was also the first podium for a Ford car in the BTCC since the departure of the works team back in 2000.

Chilton had earlier finished down in 18th place in race after being forced to pit for new tyres, but he battled through into the points to take ninth in race two.

That gave Chilton pole for the final race once the grid draw took place and he led through the early stages before being overhauled for the lead, with the Focus losing places before Chilton battled back to third.

Team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole also picked up points in the final race, recovering from a retirement in race two to take the flag in finish ninth as the Arena-run outfit picked up the constructors cup.

"Obviously I'm delighted for Tom Chilton to have got a podium finish, but both our drivers put a lot of effort in this weekend to improve the car," Earle said. "The whole team has worked tirelessly to get us to point where we can now compete with the front runners.

"Apart from ourselves, I'm delighted for Aon who have given unstinting support this year and for Ford whose encouragement in the whole programme is very much appreciated. We will try and find even more improvements before the next rounds at Brands Hatch and aim to end the season on an even higher note, and after that I'm looking forward to a very thorough winter development programme."


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