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In February 2022, HBC Logistics announced a signed partnership to support multiple race-winner for the British Touring Car Championship, Árón Taylor-Smith.
Taylor-Smith, a professional racing driver from Ireland, will line up on the BTCC grid for what will be his eighth season in the prestigious championship with the support of HBC Logistics. The Dublin-based racer is the only Irish driver to win multiple races in the series in over thirty years and returned to the series for the 2021 season to drive the all-new Cupra Leon. Thankfully, the 2021 season did not disappoint as Taylor-Smith developed the car throughout the season and showcased its potential with several stand out drivers battling their way to the top ten. Now, with a season of development now well underway, with the first race weekend commenced on the 23rd and 24th April, the Cupra aspirations are high at the beginning of the 2022 season.
Taylor-Smith commented: “This time of the year is always so exciting as we prepare for the start of our season and I couldn’t be happier to welcome HBC into my BTCC program. I initially met Ben to discuss some potential options, as there was a clear synergy between the efficiency of the work that HBC provides and a motorsport program. It is shaping up to be a really exciting season and I’m looking forward to flying the HBC flag throughout the year.”
The British Touring Car Championship is set to host another action-packed season with a record-breaking number of race winners taking to the maximum capacity grid of thirty-two cars. One of the huge benefits of the championship comes in the form of its nationwide TV viewership. The 2021 season boosted a UK TV audience in excess of fifteen million and now with an expanded grid, these numbers are expected to grow even further. All thirty races will be shown on ITV4, free to air TV for UK citizens. The first race kicked off at Donington Park on the 23rd and 24th April, but now has a three-week break in preparation for the next weekend at Brands Hatch on May 14th and 15th.
The team at HBC Logistics is excited for this sponsorship to really get underway. We’ve already had an invigorating experience alongside Árón, with the brilliant social media interaction and our visit to the BTCC Media Day at Thruxton on the 13th April – where we got to finally meet Taylor-Smith in person and see the reveal of Team Cupra’s livery, including the HBC Logistics branding on Árón’s helmet.
Throughout the rest of the course of the 2022 BTCC season, HBC will be providing regular updates on race weekends and our collaborations with Árón, including an occasional visit to the circuits to enjoy the race weekends ourselves. Keep your eyes peeled on both Árón’s and HBC’s social media channels over the coming weeks for updates!
Ben Weldon of HBC Logistics commented: “We were blown away by what Árón had to offer us as a company within his BTCC program. First and foremost, we are motorsport fans, but this program goes far beyond that with the depth of the activation plan that Aron has structured for us. The partnership ticks several boxes for HBC Logistics from brand recognition to staff engagement. This type of innovative program is exactly the direction in which we want to take the company in 2022 and we can’t wait to support Aron throughout the season.”
On the 13th April 2022, HBC’s Director Josh and Head of Marketing Megan drove down to Thruxton Circuit for the day, to finally meet Árón in person at the BTCC Media Day.
The purpose of the Media Day is for the racers to head out on track to test out their new and updated vehicles in preparation for the first race weekend kicking off on April 23rd. With all of the latest Hybrid installations to help make their racing more sustainable, this day was particularly important for the racers and their teams to test the vehicle, making sure the racers feel completely comfortable with the behaviour of the vehicle and its performance.
The Media Day was completely open to the public that purchased tickets, so it was a very busy day for the circuit indeed. It was really great to be surrounded by BTCC fans and actually witness the excitement that the launch of a new season brings.
We spent the day exploring the circuit, getting well-known with the racers of the season, and of course meeting Árón and Team HARD! It was so great to finally be introduced in person and to watch his team work so he can get out on track – it’s amazing to see what they can do. We also got to see our logo on Árón’s helmet for the first time, which is placed on the chin of his helmet in perfect view for the on-board camera.
Overall, it was a great day out to meet our supporting driver and to witness the BTCC atmosphere for the first time. We can’t wait to see our logo on the screens.
The first round of the 2022 British Touring Car Championship took place over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of April at Donington Park. The eagerly awaited debut of the hybrid regulations catered for some of the exciting action that the championship has seen in many years with the teams and racers adapting to the new era of the BTCC.
Taylor-Smith did not disappoint at the opening round and put on a stellar performance to bring home three points upon the Cupra’s hybrid debut marking him as a driver to watch out for throughout the season.
For those of you that are new to the BTCC, the series has an action-packed race day with three races on Sunday where qualifying on the Saturday dictates the starting order for race one. The HBC Logistics BTCC car was looking strong throughout each of the practise sessions on Saturday but disaster soon struck when a third party component which controls the turbo boost failed on his second lap meaning Árón never got the proper opportunity to get a lap time and had to begin race one in the 22nd position.
Lining up in a lowly 22nd for race one allowed Taylor-Smith to put on a master class performance on how to race in the British Touring Car Championship, eventually crossing the line in 13th place. Great progress and still two races to go to get himself into the top fifteen finishers for points. In the second race, he battled hard and finished 11th place, giving him a comfortable position to really go for it in race three. The final race of the day was once again another “fighting Irish” display from the HBC Logistics driver as he fought from the beginning of the race against the most successful driver in the history of the BTCC, Jason Plato. The two drivers tussled throughout the race, swapping positions on a number of occasions but fortunately, Árón showed the best of him and came out on top to finish in an incredible 11th position, wrapping up a successful first race weekend of the year.
We were so proud to watch our favourite Irish driver-complete his first race weekend on a high. It may not have been a top ten position, but his resilience was admirable and it seems to pay off as he slots into a comfortable, point-giving position. Well done, Árón!