Ciceley Motorsport driver Tom Oliphant enjoyed his best weekend so far in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship when he scored two points scoring finishes at Croft.
Finishing top sixteen in each race highlights the improvements that the rookie is continually making in the series as he aims towards more consistent weekends where he can score points in every race.
Race one saw Tom finish sixteenth which was just one place outside of the points-paying positions. Starting from eighteenth after the qualifying on Saturday, a series of moves on Mike Bushell and former Porsche Carrera Cup GB rival Dan Cammish got Tom into the position he ultimately finished. A duel with Tom Chilton in the final few laps may have seen Tom gain a point if he passed the Ford Focus RS but his hard work was unrewarded.
On the grid for race two knowing that just one advance in position meant points, Tom made a great start to gain two places on the opening lap. Then with the momentum and confidence in his Mercedes, the striking green machine passed another rival to promote Tom into thirteenth where he finished at the flag. Holding off two-time BTCC champion Jason Plato in the final few laps made the finish anything but simple for the driver from Cheshire.
In the final race, Tom fought valiantly to get into the top ten and when he crossed the line, he and the team were pleased with his second top ten finish of the season. However, after the race. He was deemed to have gained an unfair advantage during the race and had a whopping 9.5 second penalty added to his final race time. Despite this, Tom still gained points dropping from tenth to fourteenth.
Even with the penalty, Tom beat his Mercedes counterparts Adam Morgan and Aiden Moffat in each of the three races on track giving him bragging rights entering the Summer break.
With another good weekend crossed off the list. Tom reflected, “While the penalty in the final race is immensely frustrating, it has otherwise been another really positive weekend, with our strongest trio of race results so far this season showing the continued progress we’re making in my first season in the series.
“I enjoyed some really good, clean battles out on track and it was great to be able to bring the car home in pristine condition after each race.
“Three more full races under my belt is crucial experience that will only serve me well heading into the second half of the year.”
With half of the season gone and points scored, Tom knows what he wants from the rest of the season, “I’ve really enjoyed the opening five meetings of the season; the whole BTCC experience has been awesome.
“The Ciceley Motorsport team have done a fantastic job, we’ve made big strides forward so far and I’m confident we can enjoy some real standout results after the summer.”