Aron Taylor-Smith was able to salvage some points from a mixed visit to Brands Hatch in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship last weekend [6-7 May].
The Irishman arrived at the 1.2-mile Kent circuit, the scene of his debut victory in the BTCC back in 2012, buoyed by the arrival of new daughter Oaklie, and after a promising start to the 2023 campaign for the CarStore Power Maxed Racing squad.
That was only heightened after the 33-year-old came within a whisker of making it into the coveted top-ten shootout in qualifying, with Taylor-Smith just 0.090 seconds adrift in a session interrupted consistently by red flags, and in treacherously wet conditions.
In race trim, however, ‘Lady Luck’ went against the four-time race winner. After a bright start and places gained in the opening contest, a small component failure limited Taylor-Smith’s progress, and he did well to bring the car home where it started – P12 – and add to his points tally for the season.
That would be where the day’s action, in effect, ended however, with an engine problem forcing Taylor-Smith to park up early in race two and, despite the best efforts of the team, the subsequent turnaround time before the final race left them with an impossible task to return Aron to the fray.
Snetterton’s 300 circuit hosts the next three rounds of the championship on 20-21 May.
Aron Taylor-Smith (#40) said:
“On weekends like this, all we can do is take the positives. We were nine hundredths off making the top-ten shootout, so we can safely say we’ve unlocked a little bit more one-lap pace in the Vauxhall Astra.
“All was going well in the first race, but there was a small component failure on the car – nothing the team could have controlled or foreseen – and that limited how much I could progress from there. Even to come home with the points is something I’m really happy about.
“Race two started quite well, but as early as the opening lap, I could feel something was astray with the engine. From deep-diving into the data, we had two separate issues, both of which unfortunately brought about an untimely end to said engine.
“The team did all they could to get me back out, but with only an hour turnaround, it wasn’t to be. But we have a very fast car, and I know we can build on that. It feels worse when you’re at the back thinking ‘we’re struggling for pace’, but this isn’t that. The stars just didn’t align for us today, and that’s life, but we’ll re-group and come back stronger in two weeks’ time.
“It’ll also be the first time I’ve had little Oaklie at the circuit with me, and Lauren will be back too, so I’m sure that’s going to give me an extra spring in my step – and hopefully an extra tenth or two out on track.”