Jeff Smith: BTCC Experience Wanted For Third Eurotech Civic

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Jeff Smith confirmed that Eurotech Racing will have the first of their three new Honda Civic Type-R machines this week, telling TCF he hopes to bring in an experienced Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship racer for a proposed third car.

The returning Smith admitted that he had treated his additional role as team boss with a relaxed attitude, coupling it with his time behind the wheel of one of the team’s outgoing Honda Civics alongside Martin Depper.

The latter completed his second BTCC campaign 18th in the Drivers’ Championship, breaking into the top 10 during the season and outscoring team-mate Smith by 22 points in 2015.

Smith looked back on an eventful season, but one he said showed positives also, telling The Checkered Flag after the season finale at Brands Hatch: “I think it’s been a really good season to be honest.

“Position-wise it’s not been as good as we’d hoped to be. Me and Martin haven’t got the best out of the car in qualifying, so we’ve not started races probably where we should have been.”

Formerly a podium finisher in 2012, Smith added that qualifying had been Eurotech’s downfall, saying: “Our race pace has been good. When we analyse after meetings, we should be around the P6 to P8 area, so we know that the car and ourselves are good enough. We just don’t get that ultimate qually lap in.

“You’re on the back foot then straight away and, as you’ve seen, if I’m too far off the pack then I’ll compromise race one or bin it off completely for a good lap for race two.”

Jeff Smith 2015 1

Eurotech’s programme is set to expand in 2016 however, bringing in up to three of the latest specification Honda Civic Type-Rs with assistance from the works squad.

“We’re definitely going to have two of the latest Type-R Hondas”, Smith confirmed, with the first of the new shells expected to be ready this week.

“The first one; the new shell will be ready for [this] week, then we’ll hopefully roll out with the new RML parts in early November if we get a test day booked. We just need to see when they release the kits.

“Then of course we need to decide on whether to go with a third driver. If we get the right driver, then I’d like to roll a third car out to move the team along – but they need the right budget.”

With no intention to change drivers at the moment, a final decision would be settled on a third driver only when the green light is displayed for the final car itself – including the question over an additional TBL licence.

On possible candidates for the final seat, the Eurotech man gave his preferences, saying: “I’d prefer somebody with BTCC experience that’s quicker than me and Martin basically, because that would help us and step our game up a bit more.”

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