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Árón Smith ‘delighted’ with qualifying effort

Árón Smith was overjoyed to have secured second place on the grid for the opening round of the British Touring Car Championship season, but insisted that there was more to come from him and his car.

The 25 year-old was just 0.069s shy of Andy Priaulx’s pole time, as he dragged his Team BMR Volkswagen CC ahead of his new teammates, Jason Plato and Colin Turkington, for a place on the front row of the grid.

With much of the pre-season attention on the team centring on the arrival of his more illustrious teammates, Smith, who won twice in 2014 for the team, told TouringCars.Net that he was thrilled with his qualifying effort.

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“I’m delighted,” he exclaimed. “For the last few weeks the other two [Plato and Turkington] have had most of the attention on them – and rightly so, their performance last year justified it.

“We just kept our heads down and kept plugging away and this is the session where all of the weights are at the base and everything is equal so I had it in the back of my head that this was the one that we wanted to come out on top in and that’s possibly the hardest job I’ll have to do all year so I couldn’t be happier.”

But while the Irishman was pleased with the result, he felt that he could have gone even quicker had circumstances played into his hands.

“We were there or thereabouts, but when we tested here a week or two ago we were quite a fair chunk quicker than today so the track probably held us back, the red flag held us back – I feel there was more in it – but Andy did a good job and to line up alongside someone like him is something I’m really proud of.”

And with that in mind, Smith insisted that there was no reason to suggest that he couldn’t fight for victories tomorrow and throughout the year.

“I think we have a fair chance at it,” he declared. “What’s nice is that I have the other two around me, we can work together and get a team result – I think we might be able to get a lockout at some point which I’d be pretty happy with.”

“I just want to do well. Three solid results every weekend and we can do this; we can win the championship.”

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