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  • Michael Crees races as hard as ever but leaves Snetterton disappointed

  • Scorching weather restricts hoped for progress with No.777 Vauxhall

  • Best result of seventh in Independents class from BTCC Rds19/20/21

Baking hot temperatures of well over 30 degrees, and track temperatures of close to 40 degrees, made for an extremely challenging – and ultimately disappointing – weekend of Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship action for Vauxhall Astra racer Michael Crees at Snetterton 300 Circuit.

Hoping to make some good steps forward during the seventh event of the season, instead the Broadstairs driver had to settle for a best finish of seventh in the Independents Trophy class during the last of the three races on Sunday, 14th August.

Ruled out of round 19 early due to an issue with the oil pump, in round 20 ‘Creesy’ raced hard to salvage eighth in the Independents and 21st overall from a back-of-the-grid start. In round 21, he delivered an improved seventh in class and an outright 18th position for Power Maxed Racing.

With the extreme heat at the Norfolk track making the performance of his No.777 car unpredictable, Creesy battled as well as he could but wasn’t able to overcome the challenges posed. On the positive side, he is now looking ahead to the return of the BTCC to Thruxton for the second time this season a fortnight from now – the scene of his career-best overall BTCC finish of eighth position back in May.

Positive end to sun-kissed Snetterton weekend for Crees

Glencar Construction, Geberit, DDS Group, PCS, Fire Control Services, CTD, Blue Rock Systems, Aquadart and BITA supported racer Creesy had to settle for 18th on the grid in a baking hot qualifying session on Saturday afternoon, 13th August, where the track was almost at 40 degrees.

Raceday too was another absolute scorcher in East Anglia but the Vauxhall Astra driver aimed to progress well into the overall points and work his way up the Independents order across the three encounters, if things went to plan.

Gaining a place on the first lap of round 19 on Sunday to move into 17th overall, on lap three Creesy moved ahead of Aron Taylor-Smith into 16th and sixth in the Independents. No sooner had he done that, though, he was forced to pull off the circuit when the oil pump clip broke which caused a leak and smoke appeared. Thankfully, the issue didn’t spark a fire but did lead to retirement.

As has so often been the case this season, his first year back in touring cars after racing in Europe in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Creesy had a mountain to climb in race two as a result of issues out of his control in the opener. He started round 20 from the rear of the grid in 28th place.

Undeterred, he put together a great opening lap to gain five positions and looked to continue the momentum but a pit visit was required on lap two. Quickly rejoining the race, the Kent driver showed good pace and closed some big gaps to recover into eighth in class and 21st position overall.

Unfortunately, a delay leaving pitlane for round 21 meant another back-of-the-grid start for Creesy in the last of the weekend’s races as he was unable to take up his slot on the 11th row. It started well, moving up into 25th position on the first tour, and the ascent up the order continued apace.

By lap seven Creesy was into the outright top 20 and he went on to finish the race in 18th position, seventh in the Independents Trophy. As well as bringing a pleasing conclusion to the weekend, his best lap of 1m58.716 seconds was just a couple of tenths away from overall top eight performance.

Michael Crees:

“The last race was fairly positive when you look at the pace, and the fact we came through pretty well from the back, but overall it has been another challenging and disappointing one. The extreme heat has been causing issues all weekend, you never knew from one session to the next how the car would perform so it’s been tough from that perspective.

“With air temperatures of well over 30 degrees all weekend, inside the car it’s been physically tough as you can probably double the temperature to 60 degrees or more. We did what we could, some more bad luck unfortunately, but I do want to say a huge thank you to the fans who came out to support us. I always appreciate it but especially in this weather! All focus now is on Thruxton.”

Creesy and his BTCC rivals now prepare to head back to Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire over the weekend 27th/28th August.

2022 BTCC Independents Trophy Standings

9th Michael Crees, 159pts

2022 BTCC Drivers Championship

20th Michael Crees, 27pts


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