Chris had a difficult second race meeting at Croft for the second round of the 2023 TCR UK championship, with failing to finish Race 1, but had a strong recovery in Race 2, driving through into the points in an action-packed finale.
Chris Smiley Croft 2023
The weekend started positively with Smiley qualifying his Honda Civic Type R FL5 TCR in fifth place, just two-tenths of a second off the pace in a close session. In the race, Smiley had a fantastic start and was straight up to third, and was in touch with the leaders who were battling throughout, with Smiley waiting for an opportunity to capitalise. Trouble hit Smiley on lap 11, as he slowed with a technical issue putting an early end to a race which showed much promise. The car was fixed for Race 2, now with Smiley starting all the way down in 19th in a 20-car field. Smiley again had a fantastic start, and was up to 11th by the end of the first lap. By lap six, Smiley was up to ninth place, which was where he’d go on to finish the race, ten places up from where he started. While the team showed great pace throughout the weekend, the DNF was no doubt a set back, but the team has time to regroup before the one-day round of the championship at Oulton Park on June 10th.
Chris Smiley Restart Racing 2023
Chris Smiley, #1 Restart Racing Honda Civic Type R FL5 TCR “Unfortunately we had an electronic problem in Race 1 while were on target for a pretty safe third place, so that made the weekend a lot more difficult. “It meant we were able to have a great recovery drive in Race 2, coming through from 19th to finish ninth.  “I made quite a few spaces in the first few laps, and then I just got my head down to the finish, but ultimately we shouldn’t have been there. “It’s a weekend about what could have been, as we could have left here with a third and maybe a top five finish, which would have been a good weekend. “However, this is sort of what we expected at the start of this season. The car’s still very new, and we’re racing against cars here that have been developed over quite a few years, so we didn’t expect to blow everyone away with a brand new car.”

Photo Credit – Phil Laughton, Post Credit – Restart Racing