Smith Jnr, an automotive design student at Swansea Metropolitan University, has been a top name in club-level Mazdas and Renault Clios these past few seasons.
Now it’s time for him to graduate to Renault UK’s Clio Cup – the final step for a young driver before making the move into the British Touring Car Championship (the UK’s premier motor racing championship).
All 18 races on this year’s Clio Cup calendar will take place at BTCC events meaning not only huge crowds and live ITV4 coverage but an opportunity for Smith to work alongside his father who will be on the touring car grid.
Indeed Smith’s arrival further strengthens the links between the Clio Cup and the BTCC. Top touring car team BMR is this year expanding to run a car in the Clio Cup (for rising star Ashley Sutton); reigning champion Mike Bushell is actively working as a test and development driver for new Clio Cup team Bubble & Kick Racing alongside his BTCC race commitments; and 2014 runner-up Josh Cook, also set to move into the BTCC, has formed his own team to race in the Clio Cup (with newcomer Rory Collingbourne).
Smith, testing today for the first time with Pyro at Leicestershire’s Donington Park circuit, commented: “Who better to do it with than Pyro who have won the title six times in the last seven years? I won on my first weekend in the club Clio Series with them and we’ve had a strong relationship since 2007 when my dad raced for them in the Clio Cup.
“Dad and I will be working together, going trackside during sessions to watch one another and advise each other on technique and lines.
“I’m coming in to win races and go for the title. I’d be very disappointed if I’m not in the top three. Mazdas really got me used to having lots of cars in close proximity which is something that you need to be able to handle in the Clio Cup – I’m up for a bit of a fight.”
Pyro, based in Leicestershire, has won every drivers’ title since 2008 bar 2011. Team Principal Mark Hunt said: “It’s clear Brett is not here to make up the numbers and we certainly aren’t as our track record shows. We really want to defend out title, of course, and I expect him to be at the sharp end.”
RACE DATES: 2015 RENAULT UK CLIO CUP
Sat 4th/Sun 5th Apr Rounds 1 & 2 Brands Hatch Indy, Kent
Sat 18th/Sun 19th Apr Rounds 3 & 4 Donington Park, Leics
Sat 9th/Sun 10th May Rounds 5 & 6 Thruxton, Hants
Sat 6th/Sun 7th June Rounds 7 & 8 Oulton Park Island, Cheshire
Sat 27th/Sun 28th June Rounds 9 & 10 Croft, North Yorks
Sat 22nd/Sun 23rd Aug Rounds 11 & 12 Knockhill, Fife
Sat 5th/Sun 6th Sept Rounds 13 & 14 Rockingham, Northants
Sat 26th/Sun 27th Sept Rounds 15 & 16 Silverstone National, Northants
Sat 10th/Sun 11th Oct Rounds 17 & 18 Brands Hatch Grand Prix, Kent