Aron Smith told TCF that bad luck has been the damning factor of his 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season so far, after mechanical problems hit in his recent meeting at Croft last weekend.
The Team BMR driver was plagued by gearbox problems throughout Sunday’s action at the North Yorkshire venue, leaving him outside the top 10 as he pointed towards a simple lack of lady luck as his downfall.
Lamenting his Croft dramas, Smith told The Checkered Flag afterwards: “The car is very, very strong – it’s literally just bad luck.
“It isn’t the fault of anybody in this team at all, it’s just so bl**dy unfortunate. Hopefully we’ve got it all out of our system now, we’ll start fresh in the second half of the year and give it the big one!”
After qualifying 11th on the grid for Sunday’s opening race in a trying session for the BMR squad on Saturday afternoon, Smith’s first encounter was struck by a gearbox problem that saw him fall to as low as 17th in the pack, before climbing again to 11th by the flag.
Race two then saw another charge to 16th, but this time from the pit lane after the subsequent repairs in between races meant he could not make it to the grid in time. 12th place was the final result of the weekend for Smith in another mechanical-affected race, the Irishman left equally unimpressed by the action further down the field he was embroiled in.
Case Study: Smith’s Lost Points In 2015 So Far…
|Brands Hatch||Contact with Jack Goff's MG at Graham Hill Bend in race two dropped him to 12th, but he recovered to third in race three.|
|Donington||Contact with Josh Cook battling for lead in race three sent both off-roading, Smith recovered to sixth.|
|Thruxton||Pole position, but suffered puncture while third on the road.|
|Croft||Gearbox problems left him battling to results of 11th, 16th and 12th.|
“Race one; I had an issue with the gearbox, so that was why I couldn’t really get it off the line well and struggled in the first laps. Then it picked up, but because of the gearbox problem I didn’t make it onto the grid for the second and had to start from the pit lane.
“Came from last to 16th which was good, then in race three I had another gearbox problem.”
On his battles in the mid-pack, Smith commented: “Once you’re not inside the top six it’s a real struggle. I’m not giving out about anybody’s lack of experience – just a slight lack of awareness at times.
“Croft isn’t the friendliest circuit to the Passat. We probably didn’t have the maximum out of it in qualify, but normally I feel I can find that elusive last tenth – [Saturday] i just didn’t and it put with with some of the drivers that are not quite up to the standard which was a shame.”
The disappointment of Croft sees Smith head into the summer break lying 11th in the championship, the field next heading to the same Snetterton 300 circuit he claimed a popular BTCC win at last season.