Oliphant in action at Thruxton 2019

Tarporley racing driver Tom Oliphant produced a battling display at Thruxton in what turned out to be a mixed bag of results in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.

Oliphant declared it was a weekend of “what ifs” as the Team BMW driver had to bounce back from a difficult race one to earn points in the later races.

The BRDC member secured a 10th place starting spot in race one and soon made his way up to eighth and looked on course to score a solid haul of points.

But he was on the receiving end of a drive-through penalty after being adjudged to have started out of position.

This knocked the 28-year-old to the back of the grid and he eventually finished in 23rd out of 30.

In race twon, Oliphant showcased his overtaking prowess as he scythed his way up the order, jumping into the top 20 after the opening few laps.

Dispatching both Stephen Jelley and Daniel Rowbottom in the latter stages, Oliphant broke into the top 15 and round out the points finishers as he claimed the chequered flag, scoring a single point.

And his fightback continued in the final race as he produced a scintillating charge to seventh, battling with top drivers including Jason Plato, Matt Neal and team-mate Colin Turkington.

Oliphant cheered on at Thruxton

It means Oliphant sits 15th in the BTCC Drivers’ Championship whilst Team BMW sit second in both the Manufacturer/Constructor and Teams’ Championships.

He said: “It has been a weekend of what could have been really.

“The car and the team have been brilliant once again and collectively we have shown how good the BMW 330i M-Sport is around here.

“I will hold my hands up and say it was my mistake when it comes down to the drive-through penalty, it certainly won’t happen again.

“Had it not been for that then I think we would have come away from the weekend well inside the top ten in all three races, which is a bit frustrating.

Oliphant ready to race at Thruxton

“To fight my way from effectively the back of the grid over the course of three races to finish inside the top ten is pleasing, and we have learnt a lot about the car that we can use when we come back to Thruxton in August.

“We head to Croft next now and that has traditionally been a happy hunting ground for rear-wheel-drive in the past so we will see how things play out.”

Next on the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship schedule is visit to Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire on 15/16 June for Rounds 10, 11 & 12.

(Images courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography)

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