Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship débutant Rob Smith enjoyed his maiden media day outing and test session for the popular British series at Brands Hatch.
Both Rob and his team Excelr8 Motorsport are new to the championship, therefore any opportunity to get track time in their MG6 GT is valuable and a strong morning session created encouragement for the newcomers.
With the twentieth fastest time in the first session and just 0.8 seconds off first place, Rob also managed to set a faster time than both 2017 BTCC champion Ashley Sutton and two time champion Jason Plato.
With the faster afternoon session to come after the lunch break, a hub failure at the end of the morning test couldn’t be fixed and the driver from Telford had to sit out the afternoon action.
Despite this, Rob remained upbeat and even acknowledged that there are areas of the car where they could improve. Saying,
“I’m reasonably happy with how everything went in the morning session, to be just under 0.8 seconds off was good and I was only a tenth [of a second] away from what Rory Butcher did in qualifying at Brands in the MG6 last season.
“Importantly, I think we found in the data what we need to change to make the car more how I want it. As a baseline, the car is really good so it’s just a matter of fine tuning that and then I think we’ll be punching above our weight in the BTCC.
“As I expected from the Excelr8 guys, they’re doing a great job and we’re only going to get quicker.”