Photo: EXCELR8

Tom Chilton re-signs with EXCELR8 for 2023

Tom Chilton has become the first driver to confirm his place on the grid for the 2023 BTCC season after extending his stay with EXCELR8 Motorsport.

Chilton will remain with the Hyundai team for a second season, with his deal announced shortly before track action kicks off at Brands Hatch for the final meeting of the 2022 campaign.

The experienced former Independents’ Trophy winner joined up with EXCELR8 at the start of the season after a difficult 2021 campaign with Ciceley Motorsport.

Going into the season finale, Chilton sits 15th in the championship standings with a best finish of seventh, secured last time out at Silverstone.

The 37-year-old will be at the wheel of a new Hyundai i30 Fastback N, which is currently in build to replace the ex-Chris Smiley car he has raced this year.

“I’m absolutely delighted to confirm that I’ll be back with EXCELR8 again for a second season, and that we have the opportunity to build on everything we have learned in 2022,” he said.

“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 I know 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 much stronger position going into the new season; arguably the strongest position I’ve been in for a while.”

Chilton added that he hoped to be in a position to return to the podium places next season, having not now secured a top three finish since Croft 2020 when at the wheel of a BTC Racing Honda.

“We have a real platform to build on, and I’m confident that we will be running in the top ten from the start and that I will be back in the mix for silverware,” he said. “I want to get back onto the top step of the podium, and without doubt, this is the best place for me to try and achieve that goal.

“While I’m looking forward to strengthening my relationship with the team, it’s also exciting to know that I’ll be working with Bristol Street Motors again as they have been hugely supportive this year. I’m confident that together, we can make a real success of 2023.”