Renault UK Clio Cup

Smith Left Perplexed After Difficult Croft Outing

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Rob Smith had a tough weekend in the latest rounds of the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup at Croft.

Smith headed into the weekend hoping to add to his four top ten finishes of the campaign so far, however his efforts were made more difficult when a mystifying lack of pace in qualifying left the Telford-based driver twentieth and eighteenth on the grid for the two races.

The Total Control Racing driver was able to make some solid progress in the opening race, getting up to eighteenth overall on the first lap of the restarted encounter, eventually working his way through to fifteenth overall and ninth in the Graduate Cup at the finish.

The team made some changes to Smith’s Goodride Performance Tyres-backed Clio overnight and they seemed to be working, with the 21 year old enjoying an impressive first half to the second race. Up into the top twelve after just three laps, the Loughborough University students was knocking on the door of the coveted top ten.

His race ended on lap six though when he lost grip through the fast right-hand kink at Barcroft, with his Clio pitched across the grass at high speed. Recovering to the pits, Smith opted to retire from the race, after having lost a significant amount of time and flat-spotting his tyres in the spin.

“We thought we’d tightened the car up for the second race but it still felt a bit loose, a bit twitchy,” he explained. “At Barcroft it got too much in the end, I went sideways across the grass at 100mph or so and took out a couple of Dunlop boards and flat-spotted all of the tyres so decided to pit.

“I really think we were on for a good top ten, we’d got up into the top twelve after a couple of laps even though we didn’t have a great start. We just need to find some consistency now, I feel we’ve made good progress in some areas we just need to get back to where we know we should be consistently.”

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Simon provides coverage of the support championships for the BTCC, having been a fixture in the TOCA paddock for over six years.
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