Chrome Edition Restart Racing’s Árón Smith was fresh with confidence after the championship’s six week summer break. Looking to return to the podium again after a disappointing weekend at Croft, the Oulton Park race winner was hoping that Snetterton would reward his efforts as it did in 2013.
Despite a mixed set of free practice sessions on Saturday morning, qualifying came together for the Irishman as the rain just held off for the session. Qualifying his MicksGarage.com supported machine in seventh, this put Smith in an ideal position to move into the podium mix early in the race.
Glorious sunshine set the scene for round 16 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at noon. An eventful opening race to the weekend where Árón was initially running as high as fourth eventually resulted in a sixth place finish at the line.
Starting from the outside of row three for race two, the Safety Car was deployed for the first four laps just after the start as contact between Adam Morgan and Alain Menu left the Swiss driver’s Passat CC on the track and in need of recovery. When racing got back underway, Árón made the most of his restart to challenge Fabrizio Giovanardi for seventh position. Despite a clean and fair battle, Smith was unable to find a way past the Italian and brought his Restart Energy Drinks Volkswagen Passat CC across the line in eighth place.
However race three would be the highlight of Árón’s weekend. Benefitting from a reverse grid draw for the second time this season, Árón found himself on pole position for the final race of the weekend. Converting pole to a race victory in Oulton Park, Smith pulled up to the front of the grid looking typically cool and collected, knowing a clean start was going to be key in securing a repeat performance. With a brace of Motorbase Ford Focus’s around him, Smith did indeed make a good getaway but was under some heavy scrutiny from Giovanardi during the opening laps of the race. As the Motorbase pair started their own battle, Árón opened up a slender advantage in front but approaching the closing stages of the race, Mat Jackson was now starting to look for a way past the Team BMR driver. Smith, who looked very comfortable in his Passat all weekend, performed a master class in defending his lead while at the same time trying to conserve his tyres. A dive coming into the last corner on the penultimate lap was Jackson’s final attempt to take the lead before Árón managed to secure his advantage over the final lap to take the chequered flag and secure his third British Touring Car Championship career victory and the second for Warren Scott’s Team BMR.
Árón Smith - #40 Restart Racing Volkswagen Passat CC:
“I have never won in the dry in the BTCC so this win was a sweet one and I now feel I can conquer it all! Both Motorbase cars kept me honest and I tried to keep as much distance between us as possible. The team made it happen. I had a bit of an off earlier in the week testing and they turned it around and into a race winner - no other team could have done that.”
Words by John Smyth
, MicksGarage Marketing Guru!