With flashes of promise shown at sporadic moments in the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, Sam Smelt had a solid début year in touring cars. Despite not scoring points, he is hoping for another chance in 2019 to prove his worth.
Whether it was the car or his immediate jump from the F4 British Championship into the BTCC which led to the lack of points, it’ll be a shame if this was the only foray into the championship for the AmD with Cobra Exhausts driver.
Finishing in nineteenth place for the second race at Brands Hatch last weekend, hope was there again for the possibility of points. However another factor in the lack of points, bad luck, was there again and Sam ended his 2018 in twenty-sixth.
“I didn’t get the most from the car in qualifying which meant I was on the back foot going into race day, but I think I came back well from in the races.” Elaborated Sam about his final weekend in the BTCC this year.
“I made a few errors in race one that cost me, but then the second race went really well and to get into the top 20 was a solid result.
“I really wanted to try and get some points from race three but being forced wide on the opening lap dropped me right back and that was my chance gone, which was just one of those thing that happens.”
Looking back, Sam believes that luck has been the main reason why certain opportunities weren’t grasped with both hands.
“I feel I have learned a lot and improved in leaps and bounds from when the season started. It’s a shame that I couldn’t get the results from those weekends where we were at our strongest, but luck hasn’t always been on my side. Hopefully I can come back and have another crack at it next year.”
Aiming for a return in 2019, this author’s opinion would be that a season in the Renault UK Clio Cup could be beneficial for Sam regarding confidence and racecraft. Away from the judgemental pressures of top tier British Touring Cars.