Ultra-fast Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire welcomes the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship for the first of two visits in 2022 this coming weekend, (May 28-29), and Broadstairs driver Michael Crees aims to put together his most successful run of results of the season so far.
At his home track, Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, just over a week ago, the Vauxhall Astra racer was very close to claiming his first Independents Trophy podium finish of the year and his pace in practice and qualifying was impressive.
Marking a big step forward for ‘Creesy’ from the championship curtain-raiser at Donington Park last month, the driver is beginning to click more and more with his CarStore Power Maxed Racing-run Astra in his first season back in the BTCC since 2020.
After taking a season-best fourth place in the Independents Trophy in round four at Brands Hatch, 12th position overall, he was frustratingly forced to retire from round five after his car sustained a heavy impact in a multi-car incident, not of his making, yards from the grid. This also ruled Creesy out of taking the start in round six as a result of damage to his Astra’s roll-cage.
Impacting his championship position, of course, the Glencar Construction, Geberit, DDS Group, PCS, Fire Control Services, CTD, Blue Rock Systems, Aquadart and BITA backed driver is more determined than ever to string together three very strong results at Thruxton – a venue where he was an outright top 10 finisher back in 2020 – and challenge for his first silverware of the current campaign.
The 2.36-mile speedbowl, near Andover, produces outstanding touring car racing year-on-year and as the fastest track on the BTCC calendar Thruxton delivers average lap speeds well in excess of 110mph. With the introduction of Hybrid power this season those speeds are only expected to increase yet further, the qualifying lap record standing currently at 112.32mph.
At a track which requires immense commitment from the driver, having a well-balanced and well set-up car is of vital importance and that is what Creesy and the CarStore Power Maxed Racing engineers will be striving to achieve when free practice begins on Saturday.
Michael said: “Brands Hatch really was a mixed bag for us, it was amazing having so much support – honestly, I couldn’t believe how many guests and sponsors we had with us at my local track – and the pace in practice and qualifying was really strong. Race one was pretty good, we made some progress, but what happened in race two was pretty frustrating and did end our weekend early.
“That’s in the past though now, I’m just focusing on Thruxton and hopefully putting together our best weekend of the season so far. We’ll need to get the car dialled-in during free practice, after all of the repairs from Brands, but I love the challenge and speed of Thruxton and I’m determined to battle for our first podium of the season.”
Free practice at Thruxton for the BTCC competitors will take place at 9.40am and 12.20pm on Saturday, 28th May, with qualifying following at 3.15pm. On Sunday, 29th May, round seven of the season will start at 11.40am, round eight will begin at 2.40pm and round nine is scheduled for 5.20pm.
All three races will be broadcast live on ITV4 as well as being streamed online at the www.itv.com/btcc website. Qualifying will also be streamed live online.