The 2021 season was the first in a rear-wheel-drive touring car for experienced British racer Tom Chilton as he combined his efforts elsewhere with his campaign in PURE ETCR with Hyundai Motorsport N.
Reunited with many of the team members with whom he became FIA World Touring Car Trophy winner in 2017, the 36-year-old charged hard throughout the year as he sought to become King of the Weekend at each of the five events.
He scored his first Battle victory in Round 1 at MotorLand Aragón – the second event of the season – in June in a hotly-disputed race at the Spanish circuit.
He then ended the year on a high as he finished second in DHL SuperFinal B at the Pau-Arnos finale, dutifully sitting behind team-mate Jean Karl Vernay as the Frenchman attempted to wrest the world’s first all-electric touring car title from Mattias Ekström.
There were heartbreaks along the way, however.
The first such incident came at the season-opener at Vallelunga as a puncture – a legacy of his team setting his tyres to a pressure below Goodyear’s recommended rate – led to him losing an easy second-place finish in DHL SuperFinal A.
A million-to-one chance – running over of a drain cover with a sharp edge while running second in his his DHL SuperFinal in Copenhagen – lost his Hyundai Veloster N ETCR an identical result mid-season and contributed to his 12th place in the standings.
Throughout it all, however, Chilton kept smiling and won plenty of new fans with his attitude and speed.