Crees looks back at debut season
Crees looks back at debut season

As Christmas approaches Michael Crees looks back at his debut season in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.

On the first day of the season Crees was like a kid at Christmas as he waited to start in a race series that he was a massive fan of.

Speaking about his achievement in his debut season to Kent Sports News and how proud he was of them, he said: “It couldn’t have gone any better with the 12th place and getting points in my first ever race, to a top 10 at Silverstone finishing P9 and winning the championship of the rookies! I don’t think I could have dreamt of that.”

There were two highlights for Michael in his debut season, he couldn’t have asked for a better start at Brands Hatch and showed it wasn’t a flash in the pan at Silverstone.

He added: “Both of those moments will stick with me for a very long time, Brands at the first round really connected me with the fans as they all could see what it meant. Getting the P9 racing with Turkington and Jorden in very tricky condition was a great drive and showed what I can do for the future.”

It is always a tough learning curve when you make the move into a new racing series and it was no different for Crees, but he learnt a lot from those experienced drivers on the grid.

“In a big way, since my racing career has started I’ve been on the very steepest learning curve possible coming from a Ginetta G40 to BTCC and being with the likes of Goff and not forgetting Mike Bushell in pre-season has been very productive in my first year.”

At the final round of the season at his home circuit it didn’t quite go to plan for Crees with a 23rd place finish the best result for him.

He said: “Well qualifying didn’t go to plan as I made a few mistakes and started P27 but first race the pace was good and as I came into the pits we were up to P20 but Bobby pitted at the same time which meant we had to wait for him to change tyres first.

“Which then put us a lap down which was a shame as we were on for a 15th then race two was one of the best drives I have had as only four of us started on slicks and I was setting purple sector’s at the end of the race but the dry line just didn’t come quick enough. In race three I had a gearbox blow on the start but I enjoyed watching the show down to be fair.”

In his debut season Michael became a firm favourite, and it took some getting used to signing autographs rather than asking for them.

He added: “It’s been pretty amazing to see so many people waiting in my line outside my garage to get autographs. I have to pinch myself but I’m still a massive fan and I was up taking pics at the final race of JP winning and Colin winning the title, remembering my roots.

“I’m still a massive fan but a fan that is lucky enough to be out there racing and I think that is massive to the people paying to come and watch us race as they can relate to me and I’m always accessible to them as I know what it’s like to be a fan and what thing I want to see and do when I was the other side of the fence.”

Crees is now looking to get the budget together to ensure that he is back on the grid for the 2020 BTCC season.

He said: “I have had a few weeks off with my wife Jodie and my kids Hugo and Bonnie and am now getting my deal sorted for next year which is looking good so far, so fingers crossed.”

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