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VAUXHALL'S TOM CHILTON IS FITTEST OF THE FIT

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  • VAUXHALL'S TOM CHILTON IS FITTEST OF THE FIT

    Tom Chilton did the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car paddock proud this afternoon (Tue 10 October 2006) – beating the best MK Lightning’s ice hockey team had to offer in a challenge to find the fittest athlete.

    In a three-against-one competition Vauxhall’s Chilton, who will be competing in the BTCC's grand finale at Silverstone this weekend, scored 27 out of a possible 28 points in a series of tests monitoring everything from upper-body strength to stamina.

    “The art of being fast is to get every inch of the circuit perfect,” said the 21-year-old, who was competing against MK Lightning’s two forwards, Gary Clarke and Grant McPherson as well as the player-coach, Nick Poole. “If you’re not fit you can’t do that.

    “When you’re under extreme heat and G-force eventually you’re going to go into a corner and misjudge it by one foot. It doesn’t sound much but it will affect your lap time by two-tenths. The fitter you are, the longer you can avoid losing that time.”

    The challenge, which was hosted at the Milton Keynes Holiday Inn, Saxon Gate, involved four tests and MK Lightning’s best marks from each were put together to give a top possible result of 26 – one behind Chilton. “I think there was a lot of cheating going on here this afternoon!” joked Clarke, who said he would not underestimate the fitness levels of racing drivers. “When you’re a sportsman you appreciate what other professional athletes have to do in their field.”

    MK Lightning has a squad of 18 players who train four times a week on the ice and the same again in the gym. “We work pretty hard on training nights,” said Poole, who also coaches the junior team at the Planet Ice Arena in Milton Keynes. “But the games are pretty good work-outs in themselves!”

    In this weekend’s final round of the BTCC at Silverstone, which will be shown live on ITV, Chilton is hoping to set right the missed opportunity at Brands Hatch two weeks ago. After leading the last race of the day from pole position, a gearbox problem forced him to retire two laps from the finish.

    “I’m confident I can make amends,” said Chilton, who holds the record for the youngest-ever BTCC race winner. “The team has been working hard all season and the car has gone in the direction that I wanted it to go. I’m only sorry there aren’t more races to prove how good we are.”

    The fitness test was devised by Holiday Inn’s Spirit Health Club. For more information on joining please visit www.spirit-fit.com
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