Tom Oliphant at Croft

Tarporley motor racing driver Tom Oliphant was left to endure a frustrating return to Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship action as the series roared back into life at Snetterton.

Oliphant entered the annual summer break off the back of his best-ever weekend in the BTCC at Oulton Park.

And he was keen to serve up another strong performance in his BMW 330i M Sport – but was forced to battle back after a challenging qualifying.

Oliphant powered his Team BMW rear-wheel-drive machine to 16th in race one – narrowly missing out on securing a points finish.

Lining up on the eighth row of the grid and running the soft tyre for race two, he made more progress as he moved up the order.

Scything his way into the points-paying positions, Oliphant crossed the line in 11th and placed himself in contention for the reverse grid draw.

Unfortunately, he saw his weekend cut short as while pushing forward with an overtake, he was hit heavily in the rear causing suspension damage and ended his race.

Oliphant sits 12th in the BTCC Drivers’ Championship while Team BMW top the Teams’ and Manufacturer/Constructors standings. In the Jack Sears Trophy, Oliphant remains in second place behind Rory Butcher.

He said: “It has just been one of those weekends! Looking back it all stemmed from qualifying, as we were on the back foot and having to battle our way towards the front in the races.

“Race three was what it was. We had made a good start but it was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Looking ahead to Thruxton we need to work on maximising qualifying to ensure we don’t have another weekend like this – we’ll bounce back!”

The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship now heads back to Hampshire to pay a second visit to Thruxton Circuit on 17/18 August for Rounds 19, 20 & 21.

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