Chilton to stay with ExcelR8 for 2023
Ahead of the final race weekend of 2022, Tom Chilton has confirmed he will remain with the ExcelR8 team for 2023.
The vastly-experienced 37-year-old joined forces with the Suffolk-based squad earlier thisyear, marking his return to front-wheel drive after a tricky 2021 season in a rear-wheel driveBMW.
Having scored tenth place on his first outing in EXCELR8 colours at Donington Park,Chilton endured a tricky opening half to the year as he worked to get up to speed in the title-chasing Hyundai i30 Fastback.
Working hard with the team on a number of refinements to the car, a productive two-day test at Snetterton during the summer break allowed Chilton to get the car more suited to his driving style - leading to a noticeable upturn in speed over the second half of the campaign.
Regularly showing top-ten pace from that point onwards, Chilton produced his mostcompetitive displays on track at Silverstone – where he secured his best result of the season so far in the final race of the weekend.
Heading to his home circuit of Brands Hatch this weekend for the season finale, Chilton willlook to try and end his year on a high before focus turns to 2023 and his bid to add an overall BTCC title to the Independents' crown he clinched back in 2010.
As part of the team’s ongoing development programme with the Hyundai, and in thecontinued push for success on track, Chilton will be at the wheel of a new i30 Fastback N due to be built over the winter to replace his existing car, which scored EXCELR8’s first-ever BTCC podium on its debut weekend back in 2020.
The build of the new car – which will incorporate a number of improvements as a result ofthe work carried out this season – is already underway, with an upgrade programme of theother three race cars set to begin following the conclusion of the current campaign.
"I’m absolutely delighted to confirm that I’ll be back with EXCELR8 again for a secondseason, and that we have the opportunity to build on everything we have learned in 2022,"said Chilton.
"The continuity of staying with the same team is something that I have lacked over the last few years, but having now agreed this extension, I truly believe that people are going to see a very different Tom Chilton on track in 2023.
"This year, a lot of time has gone into developing the Hyundai to give me what I need from a car, and the improvement in pace has taken me closer to where I want to be – and where Iknow I should be.
"All of that work behind the scenes can now be carried over into the new car, and it means I’m going to be in a much stronger position going into the new season; arguably the strongest position I’ve been in for a while.
"We have a real platform to build on, and I’m confident that we will be running in the top tenfrom the start and that I will be back in the mix for silverware. I want to get back onto the top step of the podium, and without a doubt, this is the best place for me to try and achieve that goal.
"It’s fantastic for us to be in a position to confirm that Tom will be racing with us again in2023," added Team Owner Justina Williams. "The knowledge and experience he has beenable to bring to the team this season has been hugely important, and his input has played akey part in the success that we have enjoyed on track.
"Tom’s record in the championship speaks for itself and with a season under his belt in theHyundai, we’re looking forward to seeing him challenging towards the sharp end of theBTCC grid again in 2023."