Artist's impression of Rob's 2013 livery.
Renault UK Clio Cup challenger Rob Smith has today, Friday, 22nd February, officially confirmed his return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship support category for a second season, thanks to continued backing from key sponsors Goodride Performance Tyres, Grouptyre and BMTR.
The 20-year-old from Telford, who away from the track is studying at Loughborough University for a degree in Automotive Materials, will remain with multiple championship winning team Total Control Racing for his sophomore campaign in front-wheel drive saloon car competition.
Making good progress during 2012, Rob ended his debut season eighth in the Rookie Cup standings, just a single point outside the top six, and was equal 16th in the main title battle from 30 registered competitors. He posted a best overall result of eighth position during round two at Brands Hatch and went on to claim two other outright top 10 finishes during the 16-round championship.
Confident of mounting a sustained front-running bid this year in the prestigious one-make saloon car category, former single-seater racer Rob is delighted to retain the support of Goodride Performance Tyres and Grouptyre. So pleased were both companies with the reaction of customers who attended Clio Cup meetings in 2012, each has been only too happy to provide continued sponsorship.
“I felt we started to make some real progress towards the end of last year so it’s fantastic Goodride and the GroupTyre members have agreed to support me again in 2013”, said Rob, “It’s great being back with TCR for another year, Lee [Brookes – team principal] and the guys prepare a great car and we now have a much better understanding of how I need the car to be to get the best out of it.
“Testing has been going well so far this year, despite the weather, and I am sure the experience I gained in front-wheel drive saloons last year, after moving from rear-wheel drive single-seaters, will enable me to challenge at the front in the Clio Cup this year.”
For the 2013 season, Dunlop is the new official tyre supplier for the Renault UK Clio Cup and the move has been warmly welcomed by Rob after initial test outings at Donington Park in the East Midlands, earlier this month, and again at Thruxton in Hampshire this week.
Rounds one and two of the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup will take place at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent over Easter weekend, 30th/31st March. Prior to the season curtain-raiser, an officially timed test and Media Day will be held at Silverstone in Northamptonshire on Thursday, 21st March.