Excelr8 Motorsport’s Justina Williams was pleased to see the team record its first double points finish in the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch, with Senna Proctor and Chris Smiley taking points in races one and two.
Fresh from having secured a maiden podium finish with Smiley in the team’s first-ever meeting with its new Hyundai i30 Fastback N at Donington Park, the Suffolk-based team went to Brands Hatch with confidence high.
In Saturday’s qualifying session it was once again Proctor who managed to out-qualify his team-mate, posting the seventh best lap time which was just four tenths from pole, whilst Smiley ended up in 15th.
Proctor had to take avoiding action at the start of race one when BMW’s Tom Oliphant had a grassy moment at Westfield, which dropped the 22-year-old back to ninth.
However, Proctor fought back over the closing stages of the race, passing Jake Hill’s Honda after a safety car period before gaining another place when race leader Rory Butcher dropped out with a puncture, leaving Proctor in seventh.
At the same time Smiley took home a point for 15th, unable to make progress from his grid position.
Despite being pushed into the gravel in race two and dropping to last, Smiley was able to move up to 13th by the end of the race, whilst Proctor, now carrying 24 kg of ballast, slipped back a place to eighth by the end of the race.
The final race saw Proctor benefit from fifth place on the reverse-grid, but an incident on the opening lap with Jack Goff and Tom Ingram dropped him to tenth by the end of the opening tour.
Proctor fought back and claimed ninth by the end of the race, ensuring he took home three top ten results.
Smiley, however, made a mistake in race three and spun into the barriers with three laps to go.
Team Manager Justina Williams was pleased to oversee another first for the team, which is in just its second season in the BTCC.
“Our first double points finish with both Hyundai’s, what an achievement,” said Williams. “The speed shown by Senna during qualifying underlines raw pace the team has been able to produce since the start of the season.
“Chris’ drive through the field in race two and three are testimonials to how easy this car is to mix it with the front-runners.
“On a day in which the higher temperatures affected our rivals, I am proud of the Excelr8 team for the work they have put into the car to make it race worthy.
“Unlucky for Chris at the end after such an amazing drive, both him and Senna have proven that we can be a regular threat for silverware throughout this season.
“We’ve now got a two-week turnaround before the next one, giving us a chance to further improve on the package we’ve got.”