CarStore Power Maxed Racing’s Michael Crees rues frustrating Silverstone
Kent racer misses out on outright BTCC points after three robust races
Vauxhall Astra driver looking to end season on high at Brands in two weeks
Silverstone National Circuit didn’t live up to the promise which Michael Crees expected during the penultimate event of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season over the weekend, 24th/25th September, with three incident packed races impacting his points-scoring potential.
Aiming for a strong outing at the Northamptonshire track in rounds 25, 26 and 27, particularly after a career-best BTCC race meeting at Thruxton in August, instead Creesy had to settle for a best finish of 16th overall and sixth in the Independents Trophy in the first of Silverstone’s three contests.
Ending race two seventh in the Independents and 19th overall, in the final encounter the CarStore Power Maxed Racing driver was seventh in class and 20th overall. Each of the Silverstone rounds was packed with incident, and Creesy’s Vauxhall Astra certainly ended up somewhat battle-scarred.
Although disappointed with the eventual results, the Glencar Construction, Geberit, DDS Group, PCS, Fire Control Services, CTD, Blue Rock Systems, Aquadart and BITA backed racer from Broadstairs is now relishing the championship finale a fortnight from now at his home track – Brands Hatch.
Crees remaining positive after tough Silverstone weekend
Although only 0.5 seconds shy of pole position in qualifying on Saturday afternoon, Creesy had to settle for 20th on the grid overall for race one – seventh in the Independents Trophy – as the 1.64-mile National Circuit again proved how incredibly closely matched the BTCC drivers and teams are.
Putting together a strong opening, he moved up into 17th and fifth in class and then took 16th on lap three. With the action incredibly frantic, and featuring plenty of contact, Creesy was elbowed back down to the tail of the top 20 before a mid-race Safety Car period. When the action resumed on lap 15 he fought hard to recover, and ultimately sliced through to 16th overall and sixth in class.
Round 26 was every bit as chaotic, actually more so, with lots of contact and incident and two separate Safety Car periods. Although slipping a place from his grid slot of 16th, Creesy stayed in the thick of the midfield action up to the first Safety Car on lap seven and raced hard with the BMWs of erstwhile championship leader Colin Turkington and Stephen Jelley after the re-start.
Following contact, Creesy was bundled down outside the top 20 before the second Safety Car period on lap 18. Racing resumed three laps later and the Kent driver went on to take the flag on lap 25 in 19th overall and seventh in the Independents.
Hoping for a straightforward race to conclude the penultimate weekend of the season, Creesy slipped a place to 20th on lap one and was then edged back another position on lap two. On lap five a multi-car tangle just ahead at Becketts threatened to also catch-out the No.777 Vauxhall Astra, but Creesy was able to avoid being involved and emerged in 17th position and fifth in class.
Following the ensuing Safety Car period, and a second one in quick succession too, Creesy maintained position when racing resumed on lap 14 but the CarStore Power Maxed Racing driver was bundled back to 20th and seventh in the Independents a couple of laps before the finish.
“Silverstone’s definitely been a weekend of what might have been. We came in here feeling pretty confident after Thruxton, and even though we wanted to be higher up in qualifying we were only half a second from pole – that’s how close it is around here. In the races we just got beaten up quite badly to be honest, there was a lot of contact out there.
“I’m quite frustrated with how the races turned out, I’d hoped to build on the P16 from the first race and work our way into the top 10 but it just didn’t happen for us. Everyone knows touring cars is about close racing, but sometimes drivers take it a step too far and some of the contact is just unnecessary and ruins everyone’s weekend. We’ll dust ourselves down though for the final round at Brands, my home track, and see if we can end the season on a real high. I can’t wait for that one!”
There are now just two weeks to wait until the final event of the BTCC season, the annual visit to Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent, over the weekend 8th/9th October.
2022 BTCC Independents Trophy Standings
8th Michael Crees, 238pts
2022 BTCC Drivers Championship
20th Michael Crees, 50pts