Rob Smith - Clio CupAirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup rookie Rob Smith aims to sign-off his maiden season in ‘tin-top’ saloon car racing with a flourish at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit next weekend, 20th/21st October, when the final two rounds of the 2012 campaign take place at the renowned Kent track.

Going into the eighth and final race meeting of the championship with his confidence as high as it’s been all year, off the back of a fantastically competitive run at Silverstone last time out, the Telford 20-year-old is determined to maintain his strong momentum during rounds 15 and 16.

Rob’s best result of the season so far came during his debut weekend at Brands Hatch, albeit on the shorter Indy Circuit, where he recorded a top eight result in round two. Last weekend’s outing at Silverstone though was by far his most consistently competitive event of the year – with a best finish of ninth place in round 13 – and he’s aiming to replicate that standard at the fabled Brands GP track.

“After such a strong run at Silverstone we’re taking a lot of confidence into Brands Hatch and I’m sure we can continue the recent improvements we’ve made”, said the Loughborough University student, “We’ve definitely made some big steps forward over the last two events, just going back to basics a bit and doing what comes naturally instead of being too reliant on the data.

“One of the biggest things we’ve had to improve is qualifying, our race pace has been pretty good all year, and at Silverstone last weekend we did manage to qualify much better. If we can break that top 10 in qualifying at Brands, or get as close as possible to it, I’m confident we’ll have the ability to fight for two strong results again.”

For the season finale Rob will receive additional commercial backing from EG Wholesale Ltd, the wholesale arm of leading tyre distributor Elite Garages Ltd, who will join his regular 2012 backers Grouptyre and Goodride Performance Tyres.

Covering a wide catchment in the South East of England, from Bournemouth across to Kent and up into south London, EG Wholesale offers an extensive range of high performance tyres and also has its own motorsport division.

“It’s great having the support of EG Wholesale for next weekend’s racing”, added the Total Control Racing driver, “It’s going to be one of the biggest rounds of the season, if not the biggest, so I really want to end my first season in Clios on a real high and give all the sponsors something to celebrate.”

Officially timed testing will take place at Brands Hatch on Friday, 19th October, with qualifying and the first of the weekend’s races following on Saturday, 20th October, at 10.45 and 17.15 respectively. On Sunday, 21st October, the final encounter of the season will begin at approximately 14.35 and will be screened live on ITV4, in High Definition on ITV4 HD and streamed online at www.itv.com/btcc

2012 AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup Driver Standings (after Rd14):
16th Rob Smith, 90pts

2012 AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup ‘Rookie Cup’ Standings (after Rd14):
7th Rob Smith, 90pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.