Smith signs to top British motorsport team for 2012
Motorsport Ireland Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Year for 2011, Aron Smith, has secured a place on top British Touring Car team Motorbase Performance for 2012. The 22-year-old Dubliner will race alongside Mat Jackson and Liam Griffin in his debut season in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).
Smith, who ended 2011 as runner up in the AirAsia Renault Clio Cup collecting three wins and nine podium positions, had one race in the BTCC last year when he finished in the top ten in a race at Knockhill in September before going on to be named Ireland’s best young racing driver in 2011 by Motorsport Ireland.
The 22-year-old, who will race in a Ford Focus starting in Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on April 1st, is delighted with the move. “It’s an absolute dream come true,” said Smith. “I have looked upon the BTCC for years, and all that I have ever aspired to be is a British Touring Car Championship driver. To know that I will be lining up on the grid in 2012 is a pretty surreal feeling. I can still hardly believe even now that it has become a reality.”
Team Principal of Motorbase Performance, David Bartrum, was quick to welcome Aron into the fold. “To welcome Aron to the team is fantastic. Aron has settled straight in to the team and has impressed us all in testing. I’m sure he will be competitive very quickly this year.”
Alex Sinclair, Chief Executive of Motorsport Ireland, believes this is a big move for the young Dubliner; “This is a great move for Aron and a huge boost for his career after winning the Motorsport Ireland Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Year in 2011. For Aron to be able to ply his trade in the BTCC for a year will be a huge learning experience for him and give him an opportunity to test himself against the best drivers in these isles. Hopefully Aron will grow in the Championship and move towards becoming one of Ireland’s next top international motorsport drivers.”
The Dunlop British Touring Car Championship will be covered live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD and more information on Aron can be found onwww.aronsmith.com