Oliphant celebrate silverstone

Tarporley racing driver Tom Oliphant served up a spectacular performance in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone to set up a Jack Sears Trophy title showdown next month.

Three hard-fought top seven finishes across the penultimate meeting of the season not only made him the top BMW points scorer, but allowed him to close to 11 points of Rory Butcher in the JST standings.

Oliphant equalled the best performance of his BTCC career in qualifying as he powered his way to the fifth fastest time in his BMW 330i M Sport.

In race one he endured a race of attrition as he fought tooth-and-nail in the fight for the podium.

Firmly in the mix in the opening stages, the 29-year-old ultimately settled for a fifth place finish on the soft tyre.

Race two saw Oliphant come close to scoring a maiden BTCC win amid challenging conditions.

Charging towards the front from the third row, he produced a superlative move for the lead at Brooklands and began to build an advantage.

But as conditions deteriorated, a safety car neutralised proceedings.

oliphant silverstone

And when the action restarted, he unable to hang on with his slick tyres and salvaged seventh when the race was ended early with a red flag.

The final race proved to be just as dramatic with all cars starting on slick tyres, the heavens opened and left a majority of the field diving for the pit lane to switch to wet rubber.

Oliphant soon scythed his way through the slick-shod cars and charged to fourth place at the chequered flag – taking a clean sweep of Jack Sears Trophy victories in the process.

Oliphant is now 11th in the BTCC Drivers’ Championship and has closed up in the Jack Sears Trophy.

He said: “To come away with three top seven finishes, victory in the Jack Sears Trophy and finish as the top BMW points scorer is something that I can be happy about – we have a chance now heading to Brands Hatch.

“I’m obviously gutted about what happened in race two as we had that pretty much won and I personally feel that the red flag should have come out earlier with the conditions.

“Race three was pretty mega though as the team made the right call, nailed the pit-stop and then we had fantastic pace to climb up to fourth.

“I think I could have nabbed a podium had I not been dicing with another car when I left the pit-lane, but that is one of those things. We can be very happy with our weekend.

“We’re going to Brands Hatch within 11 points of Rory [Butcher] in the Jack Sears Trophy and I’ll obviously be pushing to help BMW to win the Drivers’, Teams’ and Manufacturers’ titles. I can’t wait to get there.”

The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship heads to Brands Hatch GP for the final event of the 2019 season on October 12/13.

(Images courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography)

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