Aron Smith was proud to have claimed his maiden Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship pole position on Saturday afternoon at Thruxton, and intends to convert the BMR Racing Volkswagen’s pace into race wins on Sunday.
The Irishman clinched his first qualifying pole position in BTCC with a late lap of 1m16.785s, pipping the Honda Yuasa Racing duo of Gordon Shedden and championship leader, Matt Neal.
The result fulfilled a personal goal of the BMR racer, who was proud to have clinched pole position at the fastest track in the country.
“Finally! It’s something in the back of my mind that I’d always wanted to do”, Smith told The Checkered Flag on his first pole position.
“To do it on probably one of the UK’s hardest tracks is something I’m very proud of. It’s faster than you could imagine so it’s really good for my confidence and good for BMR.
“I know the pace is there, the pace is in me and we can go and get the job done. I was giving it socks today!”
Smith admitted that both red flag interruptions limited him to just two respectable fast laps, utilising a slipstream from BMR team-mate Jason Plato to seal the deal in the final five minutes of the session.
In the prime position for Sunday’s action in Hampshire, Smith feels confident in the race pace of the Volkswagen CC, although he remained wary of the challenge posed by a Honda squad that have often thrived at Thruxton.
Smith added: “Jason did play the team game and he helped me out a bit there; we got the result for the team and I think we’ve got a strong fighting chance now.
“I would say that Honda have a very strong chance around here, but the Volkswagen is even better again. Straight from free practice one we did all of our race runs, I knew the balance was where it needed to be and now I know what to change for race one.
“I’ll have to save the tyres a bit but in the second half of the race I’ll hopefully to be able to pull away. We’ll fight it out but I just want to get a clear gap early on.”