Published: 10:00, 26 April 2021
| Updated: 10:59, 26 April 2021
Kent racer Michael Crees admitted he shocked himself with his performance at the official pre-season British Touring Car Championship test event.
BTC Racing’s Crees, from Broadstairs, clocked the third best time of the day at Silverstone, finishing just behind Halford Racing’s Gordon Shedden and Team HARD’s Jack Goff.
Familiar names Jason Plato and Colin Turkington were running at the top of the timings during the morning session but as the 29 cars completed longer runs with set-up adjustments, it was Crees that moved into P1, as the Kent driver prepares for his second season with the BTC Racing squad.
Shedden nabbed top spot, however, in the closing moments of the six hours of scheduled running. Goff took second for the Team HARD outfit, leaving Crees in third.
Reacting, Crees said: “Unbelievable – I even shocked myself!
“We knew we were there or thereabouts in the morning and then in the afternoon, we tweaked a few little bits and pieces, got the car right, put the tyres on and delivered the time.
“I had everything crossed for that last half-hour, but Shedden did what he does best and put a great time in and then Goff just pipped me too. Still, I’m over the moon, and going to Thruxton, I think we’re in good shape.”
The 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship gets underway on May 8-9 at Thruxton.
Team HARD, based in Maidstone, are entering the championship with four brand new CUPRA Leon’s and 3 Infiniti Q50’s.
Team boss Tony Gilham said: "I’m very proud to be able to put it all together. We now have seven cars under the umbrella, and it was a massive effort with pre-season testing to get them all there in the first place. I am very proud of everyone involved for making that happen.
"The team have done a fantastic job not only looks wise but also with reliability. They have given me a competitive car that should be fighting much closer to the sharp end straight out the box."
Another Kent driver Jake Hill finished 18th, racing for MB Motorsport.
The Championship makes its first visit to Brands Hatch for round 7,8 and 9 on June 26/27.