Oulton Park turned around ‘disastrous’ Brands Hatch weekend for Jelley

Team BMW’s Stephen Jelley found the 330i M Sport to handle better at Oulton after not achieving a comfortable setup at Brands Hatch Indy.

Stephen Jelley was the highest achieving works BMW car throughout the Oulton Park weekend, behind Adam Morgan in a customer BMW 330i for Ciceley Motorsport.

His teammates Colin Turkington and Tom Oliphant suffered less than ideal results after Oliphant was involved in an accident in the first race, and the four-time champion struggled to make places.

“I needed that after Brands Hatch, which was a disastrous circuit that we should have gone well,” said Jelley after claiming a P2 finish in the final race.

“We just went the wrong way with the car (at Brands Hatch), we got the setup wrong and struggled, and you can’t afford that in this championship now because everybody’s so quick.”

At the Brands Hatch Indy weekend, he qualified 10th but lost positions in the opening race to score just one point, his only one of the kind throughout that race day.

He continued to reflect on the Oulton Park weekend.

“I did a [qualifying] time [of] P8 that would have been pole last year (1m25.775s).

“You can’t afford to have a bad handling race car. So we’ve got it nailed and we’ve come come away with a good haul of points.”

(L to R) Dan Rowbottom, Gordon Shedden, Senna Proctor, Stephen Jelley [Race 3] – Credit: BTCC
In Race 1, he climbed up three positions to fifth ahead of Aiden Moffat in his Infiniti Q50.

The 39-year-old continued his points streak with P7 in Race 2 followed by a trip to the podium in Race 3.

“I think some of the other front wheel drive cars seem to have come on leaps and bounds in the last year [or] two years.

“And our performance has stayed the same… our car hasn’t had a lot of development since it appeared first of all (in 2018), so it stayed the same whereas other new cars have come out and they’re quicker.

“This is traditionally a rear-wheel drive circuit and rear-wheel drive car hasn’t won a race.”

His P2 result was the best for any BMW throughout the weekend as Adam Morgan took two third-placed results.

The next rounds at Knockhill on 14/15 August will be a circuit to favour the rear-wheel drive cars.