Motorbase Performance's Tom Chilton admits the five-second time penalty, which cost him the race three British Touring Car Championship victory at Brands Hatch 'was a fair cop'.

Having finished in third and ninth in the opening two races, Chilton had looked to have capped of his race day in perfect fashion after crossing the line in first to take the race three honours ahead of AmD Tuning's Rory Butcher.

However, Chilton's race-winning manoeuvre on the Honda of Matt Neal caught the attention of the stewards, which ultimately resulted in the Ford Focus RS driver receiving a five-second time penalty for his part in the incident.

Chilton sensed his opportunity to take the lead on lap nine of the reverse grid race when Neal's Honda began to struggle on the softer option tyre.

The pair touched at Clearways corner, which resulted in Chilton moving into the lead, while Neal began to fall further down the order.

Nevertheless, despite his penalty, Chilton still retained his place on the podium in second behind first-time winner Rory Butcher and has emerged from the opening weekend of the season sitting second in the points standings behind Josh Cook.

“We’ve had lots of ups and downs this weekend! Saturday was a pretty awful day if I’m honest. Considering all of the work and testing we’ve done in the pre-season it didn’t go in our favour in qualifying," said Chilton.

"But actually 13th wasn’t the end of the world after all, and we’re coming away from this weekend with two podiums, three top ten finishes and currently 2nd in the championship.

“The decision after race 3 was a fair cop! I pushed to pass Matt Neal, and they’ve pushed me back with a 5-second penalty which meant I ended up finishing 2nd overall.

"Obviously, I’m gutted that I lost the win, but in hindsight, I should have backed off to let him back through. I genuinely hadn’t realised that I had done it until I watched the on-board back. I’m holding my hands up.

“Even so, it’s been a great start to our season. It’s all to play for heading to Donington Park. We’re in a great position and we’ll keep working hard and pushing forward.”

 

 

 

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