Chris Smiley secured a podium finish for the new Honda Civic Type R FL5 TCR on its racing debut in the TCR UK championship this weekend at Snetterton.
Chris Smiley Snetterton 2023
The new Honda showed its potential in qualifying, with Smiley putting the new car fourth on the grid on its first competitive outing, despite chasing a small issue with the car during the shakedown test and in Friday’s test. A large crowd turned out for the opening round of the championship, with a packed grid walk preceding the early afternoon race. At the start of the race, Chris briefly was challenging guest driver Josh Files for third before falling behind one of the Cupras as he conserved his tyres for the mid portion of the race. Smiley was able to retake the spot with two laps to go for what was now a podium spot following a retirement further up, achieving a fantastic result for the new Civic on its first appearance. Chris started eighth on the grid for Race 2, but his race lasted just one corner, as he lost the rear spinning on dirt kicked up by the car ahead of him and nudged the barriers, and was unable to continue with a broken undertray.

Chris Smiley, #1 Restart Racing Honda Civic Type R FL5 TCR

“It’s been a very good weekend. I don’t think we could have asked for much more, except for maybe a second race.
“We knew it was going to be tough coming here with a brand new car. We’re learning all the time, and we’re delighted with the car’s potential, and to come away with a podium in its first race is more than we expected.

“Unfortunately there was nothing I could do in the second race, as I just spun on the dirt that was thrown on track by the car in front of me and the rear just came around.

“The damage to the car was so light we could probably had continued if the undertray hadn’t come down.”

Photo Credit – Phil Laughton, Post Credit – Restart Racing