BTC Racing’s new-for-2019 FK8 lapped beneath the official qualifying lap record (1m 15.612s) set by Matt Neal last year with the same machinery in its debut BTCC campaign.
“This morning was the first time I’d driven at this circuit in this car before and around real high speed corners,” said Smiley. “So, the first session was about trying not to cause any damage – driving the car to where I thought was safe. Despite losing the tyres towards the end, I was matching the times we were doing early on so that’s a good sign. “This is a track that you have to treat with respect and in the second session we’d looked back through the data and got a feel of things and had a better idea of what we had to do.”