BTCC Sponsorship | Taylor-Smith storms into the top ten
The 2022 British Touring Car Championship ventured northerly for the first time this season as the UK’s premier motorsport series visited the iconic Oulton Park. The circuit is nested amongst the trees in the beautiful settings of Tarporley and has always been one of the fans favourite tracks with the racing being action packed from start to finish. Round four of the 2022 championship did not disappoint with Aron Taylor-Smith producing a display of impeccable driving throughout the three races to record a seasons best result of 10th in race three.
The weekend got off to a rocky start for the Irishman after a troublesome qualifying session seeing the team struggled to find the sweet spot in the Cupra when it came to determining the grid order for race one.
The team pulled out all the stops to revamp the car ahead of race one as all eyes were on car #40 when he lined up on the grid with an entirely new set up on his Cupra.
The team got to show their true potential as the Irishman carved his way through the pack to gain nine places on a circuit that is renowned for being difficult for overtaking. The tight and twisty nature of the track make it even more difficult to overtake than at other circuits but the chassis developments allowed Taylor-Smith to be one to watch throughout the first race. He crossed the line in an eventual 16th place, narrowly missing out on points but more importantly, proving that the car was now in a place to be ultra competitive throughout the remaining races.
The 40,000 plus trackside spectators were once again treated to another show stopping BTCC race in race two. Taylor-Smith made what is becoming a typical lighting start for him, which saw him immediately jump into the top twelve and on the cuff of the coveted top ten. A rather robust move from another driver pushed Taylor-Smith wide which took away the opportunity for a seasons best result but instead, the Irish ace still managed to bring home his Cupra in an incredible points scoring position of 15th at the finish line. However, further progress was proved, as the Cupra was now capable of producing race lap times comparable to those on the podium for the first time this season.
Once again, Taylor-Smith proved to be right with his expectations ahead of the final race as he lined up on the grid in 15th. As in race two, he made another lightening start to immediately jump into the top ten and cross the line in an incredible 9th position at the end of the first lap. Taylor-Smith went wheel to wheel with multiple championship winner, Jason Plato. The Irishman put on a master class of a performance to fight tooth and nail to retain a coveted top ten finish. Taylor-Smith and Plato locked horns throughout the race with the Irish ace coming out on top, however while battling with each other they slipped down one position in the running order. Fifteen incredible racing laps from Taylor-Smith saw him fight his way to his first top ten finish in the Cupra, much to the teams delight at the finish line.
Taylor-Smith commented: “This is why I love the BTCC. Let's be honest, yesterday in qualifying was extremely tough but the team worked tirelessly to transform my car into one that was capable of fighting our way into the top ten. We have made a huge step forward in terms of chassis balance and I could not be more proud to have our first top ten finish of the season, as it is testament to the hard work that has gone in this weekend. We fought for every inch in race three and it’s great to be able to thank the team for the hard work with a result like this. It has been incredible to see the transformation over the course of the weekend and I feel we have momentum on our side ahead of Croft in two weeks.”
There is another quick turnaround with only two weeks until the next instalment of the 2022 championship at Croft, a circuit where Taylor-Smith was ultra competitive last season. The Cupra is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with as the team are unlocking the potential in the chassis, as the effects of the Hybrid System are being understood. The team will be crunching through the data over the next week to ensure the car is in its best shape ahead of the next encounter. Be sure to keep an eye on Aron’s social channels for regular updates ahead of Croft or tune in to ITV4 on Sunday the 26th of June to catch all of the live action.