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Aron Taylor-Smith optimistic on championship chances in race-winning car

Aron Taylor-Smith is targeting a championship push after confirming his return for this year’s British Touring Car Championship in a race-winning machine.

Taylor-Smith, who underlined his potential by taking a maiden race victory for fledgling outfit Team BKR at Rockingham last September, also claimed a further brace of podium finishes en route to 15th overall in the standings in the Volkswagen CC.

The entire quota of TBL (TOCA BTCC Licenses) went up for renewal at the close of last season, and with Team BKR not among those listed in December by championship organisers TOCA, Taylor-Smith is set for a switch to pastures new.

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The Volkswagen CC he piloted last season has since been sold to Tony Gilham’s Team.HARD stable, but with Taylor-Smith having been unveiled as part of a two-year deal at the official Season Launch last March, he admitted he is looking forward to pushing for championship honours in “a car that won races last year”.

With race-winning seats becoming increasingly scarce amid another capacity 32-entry grid, the current unconfirmed seats available to Taylor-Smith include a Subaru Levorg GT at Team BMR, an MG6 GT at Triple Eight Racing, a BMW 125i M Sport at West Surrey Racing and, on the less likely end of the spectrum, his old machinery at Team.HARD.

Recently married, and now armed with a car having undergone the compulsory RML control component upgrade, Taylor-Smith told at the annual Autosport International Show that a definitive announcement on his plans is due in the short-term.

“A hundred percent on the grid next year, in a car that won races last year, which is nice.” he admitted.

“There’s a few options out there, but either way we’ll be in a car that has won a race, so it’s a case where we’re just waiting for everything to fall into place. We were very close to announcing it at the [Autosport] Show, but we’ve decided to just hold out for another week or two, in the next few weeks we’ll know exactly what’s happening.”

Taylor-Smith also paid tribute to the work of Team BKR and it’s Team Principal, Nico Ferrari, after the small independent outfit graduated to the UK’s premier motorsport series at short notice, having previously aimed to enter the now-delayed B-TEC Development Series, and spent the majority of the season giving more established runners a headache.

“I think what they accomplished [last] year, Nico [Ferrari] summed it up so well, they wanted to start out, get in the top ten, get on the podium, get an Independents win, a win, and they did it all in the first year.” he commented.

“The next thing after that is to try and chase for a championship. Probably budget constraints may have limited that in 2017, so the route that we’ve gone with the guys will put us in a position where we’re able to challenge for a championship.

“Nico did a job that is second to none last year, he’s one of the best guys I’ve ever come into contact with, not only just in the paddock, but in my day-to-day life. He’s been instrumental in this season as well, putting it together.”

The official Season Launch takes place on March 16th at Donington Park.

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