Tom Chilton upgrades to a 4 seater Multimac
Tom Chilton is a British racing driver famous for competing in both the British Touring Car Championships (BTCC) and the FIA World Touring Car Championships (WTCC). In 2017 he came third in the WTCC. He currently drives for Bristol Street Motors in the BTCC.
In 2018, without any prior communication with our team, Tom Chilton placed an order for a 3 seater Multimac (Superclub). We instantly recognised his name when the order came through and couldn’t believe it! After having a fourth boy and realising a 7 seater didn’t work for his family Tom decided it was time to upgrade to a 4 seater Multimac. Luckily, whilst Tom’s shiny new multimac was being securely fitted into his Hyundai Santa Fe we had the chance to sit down and chat with him.
When did you first begin racing and why?
I started racing when I was 8 years old.
I blame my father, he went to the pub with a couple of friends one evening, they were a little bored so he suggested “why don’t we find failed MOT Ford Escort Mk 2’s and race around the field?”
One afternoon his friends wives were thinking this is a bit unfair we’re stuck at home whilst they’re out racing on the field so let’s go and race. My Mum didn’t want to so my dad suggested I, as his eldest son, got in the car instead of my mum.
So there I was, 8 and a half years old racing around a field against my dad’s friends wives - and I got the bug from there.
I was the youngest person in the world to get a racing car license at 13 and the rest was history.
What’s a race you’ll never forget?
When I raced in Qatar in the 2017 World touring car championships.
I ended up taking the overall Independent drivers championship and finished third overall in the FIA WTCC. I cannot tell you what a fantastic race it was.
I went from fifth to first, overtaking my teammate in the same kit as me, and it was the race of my life!
To this day I don’t think I’ve had a race that has been as good as that. It meant so much not only for my place in the championship but also the way I drove through the field and overtook my team mate - I will never forget it.
Which world touring car championship track has been your favourite and why?
My favourite World touring car track is all of them - they’re all brilliant!
But if I was to go back to one tomorrow it would definitely be the Nordschleife track in Germany. It is the best racing track in the world!
It’s the most dangerous - which is probably why I like it the most, and it’s also the fastest.
The circuit, when you’re driving it on the limit is like nothing else - there’s not one point where you’re not really drifting or all four wheels are in the air - and when you land even though you go sideways in sixth gear you don’t want to lift because it gets worse so I have to control it with the brake whilst drifting and you just have to set the cars up really loose.
What’s been your favourite career experience off the track?
It has probably got to be when I went to the FIA prize giving awards at the Palace of Versailles in France.
When we arrived they said “Sir could you just go up the stairs and turn right into the hall where we’ll be giving out the prizes.” 30 minutes later I was still walking up the stairs to get to the giant hall where we picked up our prizes.
This is the FIA prize giving awards so Lewis Hamilton was picking up an award, Sebastian Vettel was picking up an award so it’s everyone in the FIA world touring cars, Formula one, world rally car championship etc. the best people in the world were there!
And there I was picking up my blue globe, which has now taken the prize position in my lounge cabinet and I’m constantly hoping my kid’s don’t knock it out.
Has your career in motorsports impacted your attitude towards car seat safety?
When you’re involved in motorsport obviously we’re driving absolutely flat out and if we didn’t have safety I’m going to be completely honest I could either be burnt alive on fire or be crushed to death.
Obviously on the roads we drive a lot slower which helps - but it doesn’t mean you aren’t going to get hurt, accidents do happen, and nothing is more important than the safety of my children.
I’ve looked at car seats forever and when it comes to a child they have very weak necks so obviously they need the head support and if you’re ever in a crash and the children are pushed forward you don’t want them to just have a lap belt and what does a booster seat even do - if they’re in a crash the children are still going to fly forward.
That’s why I was very lucky to have found Multimac. I know that my children are in a 5 point harness, they’re not going anywhere, they have a head support and for me that means it's the safest car seat in the world.
How did you initially hear about Multimac back in 2018?
So back in 2018 I needed a Multimac.
I ended up searching google on my phone for hours at night looking for seats and the results brought up loads of different seats.
But, there was only one that was 50+ kilos of solid steel, improved the strength of your chassis, prevented all 3 of my children at the time from bumping heads, and had seat belts long enough to get your kids in.
It was Multimac. So, finding Multimac was literally just from me doing a lot of research online.
Although you received a new Hyundai Santa Fe (7 seater) from Bristol Street Motors which could ift all 4 of your kids in, you still chose Multimac again, how come?
It’s a good question.
So, my brilliant sponsor Bristol Street Motors initally provided me with a Hyundai Tucson, when I had my baby boy I rang them up straight away and said “I’ve just had a baby boy please could you upgrade me to a 7 seater.” Literally the next day there’s a Hyundai Santa Fe on my driveway. It’s a fantastic 7 seater and actually has a higher safety rating by 3% than the latest Land Rover Discovery but I soon realised it’s not that safe because the rear seats aren’t ISOFIX.
So there’s always going to be one child more unsafe than the others and I have to decide which child I don't care about as much, which one do I want to put in the boot. That doesn’t work for me - I want them all to be safe.
At first I also actually went and got 4 child seats, the best ones I could find, and I soon realised that you can’t actually get the seatbelts plugged in because you can’t get your hands between the sides to put the belts on. I was late for the school run this morning because I was trying to twist the seat out sideways to get behind them and clip the belt in to twist them back around - it’s ridiculous!
So I came here today to get a 4 seater Multimac because it’s the safest and most convenient choice for me.