Smith Aiming To Kick-Start Season During Home Clio cup event

Shropshire racing driver Rob Smith is aiming to kick-start his maiden season in the AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup when the all-action championship resumes at Oulton Park in Cheshire next weekend, 9th/10th June, for rounds seven and eight of the 2012 campaign.During the five weeks since the last event at Thruxton in Hampshire, the Total Control Racing driver has been revising almost non-stop for essential exams at Loughborough University – where he is studying Automotive Materials – although he did manage to find time to enjoy his 20th birthday!Ahead of the visit to Oulton Park, very much his favourite track, the Telford driver is 20th in the standings after posting only his second non-score of the year during round six at Thruxton last time out when an unfortunate excursion, in dreadful wet weather, led to heavy contact with the barriers.Such is the competitiveness of the championship though, the Goodride Performance Tyres and Grouptyre-backed racer is only 10 points shy of the top 15 and little more than 30 points outside the coveted top 10. In terms of the ‘Rookie Cup’ classification, he is currently in eighth position.Confident of his strongest weekend yet in the Clio Cup when he races at his ‘home’ track for the first time in a Renault Clio Cup car, Rob’s challenge will also be boosted by support from Merseyside based Oak Tyres Ltd – the UK’s leading regional independent distributor to the fast-fit tyre industry.Established in 1980, the family-owned Rainhill business operates throughout North Wales and the North West of England and stocks more than 120,000 tyres from all major brands covering cars, vans and 4x4 vehicles.“I’m looking forward to next weekend more than any other so far this season”, said Rob, “Oulton is my favourite track, I’ve done thousands of miles there in the past in Formula Ford and I had my first Clio test there too, plus a really positive trackday with Jonny Adam. The car is being re-shelled after the Thruxton accident so, hopefully, we’ll be able to kick-start the season with two strong results.“We’ll also have Oak Tyres supporting us, alongside our regular partners Goodride Performance Tyres and Grouptyre, so I’m aiming to give them something to celebrate. Oulton is always one of the biggest events of the year for the BTCC [British Touring Car Championship] package, hopefully it can be our best yet in the Clio Cup.”Rob’s first time back in his 2.0-litre Renault since the previous two rounds at Thruxton will come during pre-event testing at Oulton Park’s Island Circuit on Friday, 8th June. Qualifying will follow on Saturday, 9th June, at 11.00 with round seven set to take place at 16.05.Round eight is scheduled to get underway at approximately 15.15 on Sunday, 10th June, and will be screened live on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4, in High Definition on ITV4 HD and online at itv.com/btcc

2012 AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup Driver Standings (after Rd6):20th Rob Smith, 27pts2012 AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup ‘Rookie Cup’ Standings (after Rd6):8th Rob Smith, 27pts


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