BTC Racing has announced the return of Chris Smiley for the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, while confirming significant new investment from businessman Steve Dudman.
The forthcoming campaign will mark Smiley’s third full season in the series. He established himself as a regular inside the top ten in 2018, showing strong pace in the Honda Civic Type R (FK2) on the way to a number of career highlights including a maiden BTCC podium, back at Donington Park, and his first BTCC race win at Rockingham Motor Speedway in August. The Northern Irishman rounded out the campaign 13th in the Drivers’ tally, sixth in the Independent Drivers’ Championship, and second in the Jack Sears Trophy.
“I am over the moon to be back with BTC Racing,” said Smiley. “I was there from the start, and I look forward to continuing my BTCC career with BTC Racing. “I made great strides in 2018 and am focussing on the Independents’ Championship this year, as well as supporting all the team at BTC Racing. “I have never been happy to make up numbers, so 2019 will only be a success for me if I have collected more wins. I can’t wait to get started and have been working hard over the winter to support these targets.”
Team Manager Zoe Timbrell added: “We are so pleased that we have been able to keep Chris with us for a third year. We have all got to know him well, and his goals match those of BTC Racing perfectly. We are a close-knit team of people and he is part of the family now!”
Additionally, the team detailed that Steve Dudman, an ambitious businessman with a passion for motorsport, has become joint owner alongside Bert Taylor, following significant investment back in October. The winter period has been busy for the squad in all regards, with a second driver announcement also on the horizon. “Bert and I have been friends since 1996 and we have shared the same passion for running race cars at the highest level throughout our respective careers,” said Dudman. “The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a 50 percent stake in BTC Racing was unexpected when it came up at the end of last season and I duly made no hesitation. I look forward to working with Bert and the rest of the team, who are all great people and professionals, as we strive for success in the 2019 BTCC. ”
Furthermore, the outfit announced its move into all-new facilities, with the new base in Brackley currently undergoing major development works ahead of a planned open day prior to the start of the season.