Smith joins Jordan at Pirtek
Pirtek Racing will retain its driver line-up for a third consecutive British Touring Car season with Jeff Smith joining Andrew Jordan at the Tamworth-based squad for the 2013 campaign.
Smith joined the team in 2011 following a brief foray into the BTCC with Triple Eight the previous year. A maiden full season behind the wheel of a Pirtek Vauxhall Vectra brought some success for Smith, before the team switched to the NGTC Honda Civic last year. He claimed a first ever BTCC podium at Knockhill last August, on his way to finishing 12th in the overall standings and helping his squad take the Independent Teams’ Trophy.
Smith is again set to contest the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship for the Eurotech-run outfit, but this time with a full testing programme behind him. “It is great to be back. It’s fantastic to keep the continuity of the team going and keep moving forward,” he said. “Mileage is crucial for me so to get back in the same car and environment, with this team behind me, is absolutely brilliant.”
The former Clio Cup racer reflects fondly on his first season driving NGTC machinery, but feels the time is right to further improve the car and his results.
“We had a really good start to the season last year and things seemed to be progressing really well,” Smith told btcc.net. “Then we went to Oulton Park – I love the circuit but it unfortunately doesn’t love me! Overall it was a pretty good year though and obviously the second place at Knockhill was a real highlight.
“I wanted to finish in the top ten overall and we just missed out on that, but this season I want to push on and get myself in and around the top six. I have the equipment to do it, so it’s just down to the driver to deliver!
“I think there’s a number of things with these NGTC cars that haven’t been explored yet so to have a real testing programme this year is important. It really is about unlocking the full potential of this car now and that’s what we’ll be focussing on over the next few weeks.”
Following the team’s test at Brands Hatch last week, Pirtek will be running for two days at Thruxton this coming Wednesday and Thursday (20/21 February), as part of its pre-season programme that will also include outings at Snetterton and Donington Park.
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