Stilp lies fifth in the current championship standings heading into this weekend’s (Sat 6/Sun 7 June) seventh and eighth rounds at Oulton Park in Cheshire.
The 20Ten Racing ace has more points on the board than he had 12 months ago and it could have been substantially more: as a gaggle of cars tripped over one another at Donington Park’s final bend he tumbled from a potential second to sixth in the sprint to the finish line while an incorrect gamble on car set-up put paid to his chances of a podium result at Thruxton.
Stilp said: “I’d pushed Paul Rivett all the way in race one at Thruxton despite a lot of understeer – he was in the fight with Ant Whorton-Eales for third in race two but the changes we made to the car made the rear very loose and I ended up tenth.
“That, plus the race at Donington – there are anywhere between ten and 20 points lost right there, but at least we’ve been in there fighting everywhere which wasn’t the case at the start of last season.
“I know I need to fight back against the top three but I did it in 2014 and was in with a chance of the title right at the final rounds. First and foremost I go racing to enjoy it but we are taking it even more seriously than we did last year. You can’t lose your head and think you’re going to win it right from the start, though.”
Stilp believes his moment is yet to come in 2015 and that other drivers are bound to get stronger and cause a thorn in the sides of the current top three, Whorton-Eales, Ashley Sutton and Ash Hand.
He added: “The new Dunlop tyre compound that’s come in for this year has made a big difference to our car set-up. It caught us out a bit in the pre-season Media Day test but I’d say we’re just about there now. We’ll be winning at some point…
“Once some of the others get their heads round a car set-up that gets the most from the new tyres then they are really going to start mixing it up at the front. Rivett’s an absolute class act, Jack Mitchell is clearly going to get very strong and you could see Dan Holland and Charles Ladell were going to be good as soon as they came in last year.
“OK, Hand and Sutton took those 1-2 results for Pyro at Thruxton but two drivers in the same team fighting for the title is a recipe for controversy at some point. They want to beat the other, just as much as they want to beat any driver in any other team. As soon as you put your helmet on you’re not pals any more in this game.”