Tom Chilton: Mark Blundell should consider quitting the BTCC

Tom Chilton reckons ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Blundell should consider quitting the British Touring Car Championship after their qualifying incident at Thruxton

Tom Chilton: Mark Blundell should consider quitting the BTCC

The pair collided during the final two minutes of the session after Chilton nudged Blundell into the chicane.

Blundell was forced wide but hit the Ford Focus RS of Chilton into the tyre wall as he re-joined the circuit.

A subsequent red flag meant Chilton had his fastest lap scrapped, while Blundell was issued with a verbal reprimand by organising body TOCA, in addition to receiving a strike for his crash with the MG6 of Sam Osborne in race two at Donington Park.

Blundell said he had been left "slightly confused" by the BTCC driving standards during his maiden campaign and Chilton has questioned Blundell's spacial awareness.

Chilton told Autosport: "This was somebody who couldn't do two things at once - it was like a lack of experience.

"The fact that he purposefully blocked me into the chicane, first of all, was terrible, he should have got a reprimand just for that.

"Then the fact he lost control on his own, then couldn't use his mirrors, then turned in front of me when he should have gone across the grass because of where he was... that was spacial awareness from someone who can't use his mirrors while driving."

Motorbase driver Chilton previously lost his victory in the Brands Hatch finale owing to a five-second time penalty for pushing leader Matt Neal wide.

But the World Touring Car Championship race winner said "there was a big difference between the incidents", and that Blundell should consider his place on the grid.

"I said to him yesterday 'I shouldn't have to say this to you, Mark, you're ex-Formula 1, ex-Le Mans winner, but you looked like you were completely out of your depth'.

"I honestly think he shouldn't be in this championship because he's that far off - it's dangerous.

"He's the most inexperienced-to-look-at driver I've ever seen in British Touring Cars. "I really think he should seriously think about pulling out - that's my gut feeling."

Blundell was unavailable for comment - having left the circuit early after retiring from race three - but AmD team boss Shaun Hollamby defended his driver, stressing the difficulty required to adapt to the BTCC.

He told Autosport: "I think with hindsight, Mark should have given Tom more room on the entry and then they wouldn't have had the problem coming out, but he was struggling because he had a power steering failure at the start of qualifying.

"To be honest, I don't really care what Tom Chilton thinks. It's not even in my remit, I only care what my driver thinks. Mark's been on the Formula 1 podium!

"My driver is Mark Blundell and I'm pleased with where he's gone.

"He's having some ups and downs as we've seen with lots of drivers coming into the BTCC.

"It's a very tough championship and the cars are very difficult to drive."

shares
comments
Thruxton BTCC: Josh Cook jumps Ash Sutton to win finale

Previous article

Thruxton BTCC: Josh Cook jumps Ash Sutton to win finale

Next article

Jordan: WSR will find only small improvements with BTCC 3 Series

Jordan: WSR will find only small improvements with BTCC 3 Series
Load comments
The increasingly varied CV behind a new BTCC title challenger Plus

The increasingly varied CV behind a new BTCC title challenger

A driver with limited funds behind him, it’s been a tough road to the top of the British Touring Car Championship for Jake Hill. Now he’s a title contender, accomplished historic racer and in-demand coach. It’s a great life for this self-confessed motorsport junkie

BTCC
Aug 26, 2021
The outright tin-top wins achieved by a forgotten tin-top great Plus

The outright tin-top wins achieved by a forgotten tin-top great

Already established as a formidable force in the British Saloon Car Championship, the Triumph Dolomite became a legend in 1977 when Tony Dron's Broadspeed machine frequently embarrassed the mighty Capris

BTCC
May 18, 2021
Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC Plus

Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC

It’s been a busy silly season in the BTCC since the chequered flag fell to end the 2020 campaign last November. While last year’s top two have stayed put, there’s plenty of talking points elsewhere, which should result in another fascinating year of tin-top action

BTCC
May 7, 2021
The giantkilling 'dad and lad' operation taking on the BTCC's best Plus

The giantkilling 'dad and lad' operation taking on the BTCC's best

The Lancashire squad of Ciceley Motorsport has been a BTCC race winner for several years with Adam Morgan and Mercedes. But the switch to WSR-built BMWs and addition of Tom Chilton as a true barometer for Morgan should see the team step up into title contention

BTCC
May 6, 2021
How a returning champion is feeling at home again in the BTCC Plus

How a returning champion is feeling at home again in the BTCC

After topping the times at the end of British Touring Car Championship pre-season testing, it feels like Gordon Shedden has never been away. But after plenty of changes behind the scenes, the three-time champion is bedding himself in to pick up where he left off

BTCC
May 5, 2021
Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out' Plus

Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out'

After a year of enforced absence from the British Touring Car Championship grid, Jason Plato is back and hungrier than ever. Despite stellar opposition and some familiar challenges, the two-time champion still has his eyes focused on the biggest prizes

BTCC
May 4, 2021
How Ingram's clean slate can end his BTCC title wait Plus

How Ingram's clean slate can end his BTCC title wait

After seven years together, Tom Ingram and Speedworks Motorsport have amicably split and gone down separate paths for the 2021 BTCC season. With engineer Spencer Aldridge joining him at the Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai squad, Ingram is confident he can challenge for titles from the off

BTCC
Apr 30, 2021
How the unlikely Capri-slaying Dolomite triumphed against adversary Plus

How the unlikely Capri-slaying Dolomite triumphed against adversary

The Dolomite Sprint was a potent giantkilling weapon during the 1970s in the British Saloon Car Championship, now known as the BTCC. Tin-top legend Andy Rouse explains how it became such a force

BTCC
Apr 25, 2021