Eurotech Racing’s Brett Smith admitted that he exceeded his own expectations by scoring his best British Touring Car Championship result in race one at Donington Park.
Speaking to TouringCars.Net after securing ninth position in qualifying in wet conditions yesterday, Smith said he could ‘do some serious damage,’ but finishing fourth was better than he’d imagined.
“When I said I could do damage from P9 I was expecting sort of seventh to be honest with you! Trying to get maybe a top six but I would have been absolutely chuffed with top eight,” said Smith.
“I’ve had some advice from my Dad in terms of tyre warming setup, and that’s made a huge difference – switching the tyres on quickly. It looked like I basically drove past everyone at the start, but I’m sure wasn’t quite like that on the TV.”
After making a strong start, Smith progressed and eventually finished just half a second shy of Aiden Moffat’s Mercedes.
“I made all those positions straight away and then obviously Tordoff halfway through had his DNF so that promoted me to fourth.
“Barring a couple of little mistakes it was a really strong drive. I could’ve had Moffat right at the end there, one more lap and I could have had him!”
Smith has elected to run the hard compound tyre in the reverse grid race, as has the majority of the BTCC grid.
“Because it’s been raining a lot, the track is pretty green. Obviously the sun isn’t out – it’s nowhere near as sunny as last year, so the track temp is incredibly low and grip levels all round are just incredibly poor.
“It favours the medium tyre. I believe we’ve made the right choice in going for race three. ”
The second race of the day will be the first time Smith has carried weight in race conditions, but he is quietly confident after extensive pre-season testing with ballast on board the car.
“We’ve actually done arguably as much ballast runs in pre-season testing as we have without ballast,” explained Smith.
“The aim is for me, I want to get inside the top ten and I want to be doing that consistently.”
After a half-season in the championship last season, Smith is pleased that the hard work he’s putting in is now paying dividends with solid results.
“As my team would tell you, I’m not the most self-confident guy,” said Smith. “I believe that I’m quick. But I don’t believe I’m the next best thing – I don’t believe I’m Ash Sutton or Colin Turkington.
“But I also believe that everyone can achieve what they’ve done if they put the hard work in. It’s starting to pay off now. First time here properly in a touring car, apart from the media day, and it’s going really well.”