Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rookie Sam Smelt continued his education in the top series of British tin-tops with a weekend of mixed fortune at Oulton Park. Progress continued as he broke into the top twenty for the first time this season in race three.
A poor qualifying saw Sam need binoculars for the first race as he languished in thirty-first place, he held this position to the flag in an uneventful drive.
In race two, Sam managed to take six drivers on the first lap and all was going well until contact at the front of his Audi S3 Saloon meant he had to retire to be able to repair the car in time for race three.
Avoiding the incident at the start of race three, Sam worked his way through the rear of the field to finish seventeenth and his first top twenty finish of his BTCC career.
AmD Team Principal Shaun Hollamby was pleased with Sam’s progress, “It’s also good to see Sam get his best result so far in the sister car.
“It wasn’t an easy weekend and we know he still has a long way to go but he continues to make progress and is working his way forwards like we knew he would as the season goes on.”
Looking back. Sam commented, “I really need to work on my qualifying as that is what has held me back this weekend.
“Starting from the back of the grid it was always going to be difficult but we made some changes to the car ahead of race day that improved things and I was able to find more speed.”
“Although the first two races weren’t the best, it was good in race three to be in the mix and I’m pleased to have got my first top 20 finish under my belt.
“I think where we have finished this weekend gives us a good place to start when we go to Croft.”