BREAKTHROUGH BTCC PODIUM LEAVES CHRIS SMILEY ELATED

Chris Smiley was left over the moon after scoring a breakthrough podium finish in the second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Donington Park.

Starting seventh on the grid, the BTC Norlin Racing driver utilised the prime tyre to move head towards the front of the field, taking the lead from Dan Cammish at the midpoint.

Unable to fend off the advances of eventual race winner Tom Ingram, the Northern Irishman kept his cool to bring his Honda Civic Type R across the line in second – both his and the Independent teams best result to date in the series.

“I’m over the moon with that result,” Smiley told BTCC Crazy. “It is easy to forget that we have had limited running in this car and we are still learning, so to get a result like this is fantastic – the whole team have been working really hard.

“The car felt good and we were on the right tyres in that race. I knew that I had to take my chance when Dan [Cammish] was struggling but we couldn’t keep Tom back, he had a bit too much pace compared to us.

“We’ve had a great day though! Whatever we get in race three is a bonus now.”

Smiley’s team-mate James Nash was out of the race before it started due to a substantial oil leak, forcing him to be pushed off the grid.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jakob Ebrey Photography