Chris Smiley remaining realistic with expectations from reverse-grid pole

Chris Smiley remaining realistic with expectations from reverse-grid pole

Photo: PSP Images

BTC Racing’s Chris Smiley is keeping his expectations realistic as he believes he has little chance to compete against the soft-shod Ash Sutton despite starting from reverse-grid pole.

Smiley, who used the softer compound Dunlop rubber in race two to progress to eighth, has been drawn onto reverse-grid pole for the final encounter.

He shares the front row with Sutton who will enjoy the rear-wheel drive start advantage and the favourable soft rubber.

As a result, Smiley told TouringCars.Net he feels he has no chance of keeping the Subaru Levorg behind, and is instead aiming to be “best of the rest” or at least secure a podium.

“You’re not going to win against [Ash] Sutton on the soft tyre,” said Smiley.

“There’s no point [pretending]. We’re on the hard and he’s on the soft, I think earlier it was something like a 1.7 seconds a lap faster.

“You’re never going to hold up a car with that speed differential.

“All the cars up to tenth all have the hard tyre on, so finishing on the podium is our aim.”

Apart from Sutton, the remainder of the top ten – including Smiley – will be on the hard tyre, so Smiley believes letting Sutton run his own race will be key.

“We’ve been working on the setup all day, we’re making another few changes for race three here.

“We’ve got the hard tyre on but the people who we’re all racing around with us also have the hard tyre on apart from Sutton.

“We’ll let Sutton go on and do his business and we’ll be battling to be best of the rest.”