Chris Stockton and the Power Maxed Racing team left Silverstone with heads held high after a positive weekend with the new Swindon Engine continuing to deliver.
The team had spent valuable time testing at Snetterton before the weekend and made a significant change to the Chevrolet Cruze’s front end with a new Aero Kit, kindly rehomed from Aiden Moffat’s Cruze, finding a second improvement in race pace. With further changes needed to deliver more pace the team had no option but to wait until free practice at Silverstone to see if the changes had taken effect, which thankfully they had.
After two successful free practice sessions the focus switched to qualifying. Chris and team found a further 0.7secs improvement in the tyres which narrowed the gap but wasn’t quite enough to move further up the grid.
Race one saw Chris have another cracking start, passing several cars and marching up the grid on the super soft tyres. After a good race with the Toyota of Wood, Chris was collected and spun. The Cheshire based racer managed to rejoin without any damage and he then set about making up the grid positions to finish in 22nd place.
Race two was even more enjoyable with Chris making a flying start, gaining several places on the grid. A meteoric battle got under way with fellow racer Lea Wood, both cars decided that now was the time to race side by side around the Silverstone circuit. Both drivers gave each other the racing space to deliver nail biting action for the spectators and no doubt also for the teams back in the pits. Chris managed to squeeze past and pull ahead, to finish the race in the early twenties.
Race 3 provided to be as eventful as the rest. With a mixed pack Chris held on tight during the first few laps, he gained positions and working the new Swindon engine to its max to get every second of race pace out of the Cruze. With faster paced cars behind, it was inevitable that the battle would come to Chris. Pushed wide onto the dirty line, the tyres picked up more debris than grip. The Cruze was pushed out, struggled to keep on the line but with legendary car control Chris managed to keep the car on track. Head down Chris set out to gain back the places he had lost. Thankfully the pace returned as the debris cleared, allowing Chris to overtake and again finish in the early twenties sealing a good solid weekend for the team, with more valuable data for the last round at Brands Hatch in two weeks time.
Stockton commented “It’s been a positive weekend at Silverstone, the team has made huge headway with the car and the consistency of the Swindon engine means when we press the button and it actually works. We are still further down the pack than we’d like but now at the stage where every 0.5 second improvement should result in 2 or 3 grid places, something to get out teeth into for Brands Hatch”
The BTCC returns in two weeks time for the final rounds for 2014 at Brands Hatch, full coverage can be found on ITV4.