Bradley Smith hopes his ‘unexpected’ maiden Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup victory at Croft will be the start of a successful spell in the championship with his Mectech Motorsport team.
The former Radical champion’s first Supercup season had so far been blighted by mechanical problems and bad luck, but everything went his way during a dramatic final race on his first visit to the North Yorkshire circuit.
From eighth on the grid, Smith produced a sensational drive to pick his way through the field into second, before closing down a five second gap to the leader, overtaking him, and then pulling clear to win by over six seconds – a sensational success he hopes is a turning point in his season.
“This was our first ever visit to Croft, so it was completely new, turning up saying ‘where’s the paddock, where’s the pitlane’. We knew that this was going to be a tough weekend because of that, so we were hoping to just stay consistently in the top five,” Smith told TCF.
“The win was certainly unexpected, but it’s a massive confidence boost and hopefully it has given us a platform to build on for future meetings and we hope we can be in the battle at the front more often.”
Prior to the trip to Croft, Smith had been restricted to just a pair of fifth place race results in the opening eleven races, and he admits that the challenge of competing at the front in the Supercup has been tougher than he initially anticipated.
“When we signed up to the championship we were under no illusions as to how difficult it would be, going from more sportscar endurance racing to short, GT races was always going to be a big challenge, particularly with some new circuits we’d never been to before,” he commented.
“We knew it would be a steep learning curve, but it’s taken us a little bit longer to understand the car than we wanted to, we’re still learning and getting the car where we want it. The team have worked absolutely flat out from day one and I’m really thankful to them.”
With the maiden victory under his belt, Smith is in confident mood heading into the second half of the season and has more race wins in his sights, starting at Snetterton in five weeks’ time.
“Snetterton is a track I know quite well, we did the majority of our Radical testing there so hopefully if we can sneak a day there over the summer break to try a few things with the car, we can head into that meeting fairly comfortable of getting some good results,” Smith concluded.
“When we started off we wanted to go for the championship, but we’ve had some unfortunate incidents and bad luck so far this year which has left us too far behind to go for the title. We’ve got to focus on trying to get as many podiums, as many race wins as we can now and see where we end up at the end of the year.”