Oulton Park race three winner Aron Smith was overjoyed after claiming a ‘special’ first win for the BMR Chrome Edition Restart Racing squad in the British Touring Car Championship’s fourth round of the season.
The Irishman was drawn onto the race three reverse-grid pole after claiming an eighth place finish at the last corner of the day’s second encounter at Cheshire on Sunday, and drove faultlessly from the front in tricky conditions made worse by a heavy downpour prior to the race to grab a popular win.
Smith held off the attentions of former champions Gordon Shedden, Colin Turkington and Jason Plato to claim the BMR team’s first win in the BTCC, also the maiden win for the Volkswagen Passat machine.
Speaking to The Checkered Flag after his success, Smith himself said: “Once you get out front then you can manage the pace of the race. If I decided to go a second a lap faster, then it’s their job to try and keep up.
“Once I got that gap, then I could relax and look after the tyres where I knew it was going to be tough. The slow stuff was really where we could stretch our legs.”
The win is Smith’s second in the BTCC, having previously taken victory in the penultimate race of his first full season in 2012 in a wet Brands Hatch encounter with Motorbase, but he said that his most recent success at Oulton Park outranks that purely on the team’s achievements.
“Because it’s the first win ever for Team BMR Chrome Edition Racing then that makes it more special to be honest.
“Not just for me, but for the team in general because everyone thought, ‘are we going to get it soon or not’. To be the first one to get it makes it so bloody sweet because I have pretty strong competition in the team. These guys needed it more.”
BMR team boss Warren Scott was equally delighted with his team’s maiden BTCC triumph after just 12 races of 2014, saying that the win was something they had instantly believed they could achieve since the season opener.
“It’s justified for the lads”, Scott told TCF afterwards. “They’ve done a great job and I’m over the moon for them.
“I knew and they knew that it would come at some point; Aron, Alain [Menu] and Jack [Goff] have all been saying that the cars are quick but it was just a matter of getting in the right place.
“Yes, he had a little bit of luck with the reverse grid, but he held it out there in front of everybody. He drove brilliantly, took his opportunity and won the race. We’ve got to keep pushing on and hopefully we’ll now get more wins.
Scott also enjoyed a strong performance in his Vauxhall Insignia during the same final race, securing a personal best 14th place. “I loved that last race. I’m glad they didn’t tell me how well Aron was doing or I might not have done so well myself!” he added.
Smith’s win elevates the Volkswagen driver to ninth in the championship standings, the Chrome Edition Restart Racing squad now sixth overall in the Teams’ Championship.