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Jeff Smith attributes qualifying success to Eurotech work ethic

Jeff Smith paid tribute to his Eurotech Racing engineering staff after securing pole position for the first round of this years British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch.

Smith, who edged out pre-session favourite Tom Ingram by 0.086 seconds, made the most of a dry track to set a competitive 48.367 lap time before changeable weather conditions deteriorated.

The potential existed for Smith’s time to be challenged as the rain started to clear with half the session to run, but a red flag for Ashley Sutton’s beached Subaru Levorg GT, combined with another downpour, ensured track conditions would remain too wet for anybody to better their lap.

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It marked the first pole position of Smith’s career with defending champion Gordon Shedden and works Honda team-mate Matt Neal comprising the second row behind.

With team-mate Jack Goff in seventh after the latter elected to crossover his rear tyres first, the potential exists for Eurotech to take their strongest race result since Thruxton last year.

Matt Neal was in front of me and I just managed to tuck in behind him for a couple of laps,” explained Smith.

“One of them was quick enough for pole as it turned out. It’s just mega.

“I’ve been on pole before from a reverse grid but I head into every qualifying session believing we can do it, it’s just about executing it sometimes.”

Smith also paid thanks to Eurotech for their comprehensive winter testing programme which helped the team unlock the performance in the Honda Civic Type R to get the job done.

“The guys have done a mega job. FP1 was a bit of a disaster for us but since then, the car came into its own and it’s been stunning this afternoon.

“I must admit, I’ve left it to the guys over the winter to sort things out behind the scenes and they’ve done just a fantastic job. A lot of work has gone in and on my side, I’ve been focussing out on track and getting the laps in over the winter.”

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