Mixed results in final weekend for Oliphant

by Stuart Richards
Tom Oliphant BTCC

Despite the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship weekend of 2018 at Brands Hatch throwing up a multitude of luck, Tom Oliphant can still be proud of his rookie year in the championship.

With twelve points scoring finishes, the Ciceley Motorsports driver has shown strong pace on the Saturday over the year whilst also managing to do well on the Sunday depending on whether he was able to keep away from the action packed midfield.

Brands Hatch had a plot which was incredibly familiar to Tom in 2018.

Qualifying wasn’t the best for the green Mercedes-Benz A-Class as Tom stalled down in twentieth place. The circuit isn’t one of Oliphant’s favourites and with heavy traffic involved it culminated in a poor qualifying position.

Thankfully, race one saw Tom become an ‘Overtake meister’ as he gained six positions into fourteenth and begin the pressure for a possible top ten appearance. However, thirteenth was to be the finishing position and it was no shame considering his starting position.

Race two was pointing towards another points finish. Sadly for the Ciceley driver, his front left tyre punctured with four laps to go and a trip into the gravel at Druids was where he ended up. Despite this disappointment, race two saw Tom set the fastest lap of the race for the first time in his BTCC career.

With undoubted pace in the car and the opportunity to go forwards from the back in race three, defensive driving around the tight Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit saw Tom take a twentieth place finish when the chequered flag dropped.

Looking back, Tom rues the puncture in race two. But, it wasn’t going to dampen his thoughts about his maiden season in the BTCC,

“Sadly the puncture in race two cost us what I thought could have been a hat-trick of points finishes across the day, but I gave it everything I had in all three races and I’m pleased that we proved our pace with our first ever fastest lap in the series.

“Overall, I’m very pleased with our first season in the BTCC. It’s been very tough, with plenty of highs and lows along the way, but it’s been the most enjoyable season of racing I’ve had for a long time and I feel I’ve developed well as a touring car driver.”

 

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