Rob Smith to drive in BTCC 2019 season

Nantwich racer Rob Smith has realised a lifelong dream after being signed to drive in the 2019 British Touring Car Championships (BTCC).

The Bentley Motors worker was today confirmed as the first driver for Excelr8 motorsport squad for the 2019 season.

The 26-year-old, who has been a multiple MINI CHALLENGE winner, will drive the MG6 in his debut BTCC campaign which starts in April at Brands Hatch.

Smith is no stranger to the Excelr8 ranks having competed with the squad for the past four years in the MINI CHALLENGE as part of the official MINI UK VIP Customer Team.

Now the Norfolk squad has made its step-up to the pinnacle of British motorsport after purchasing two MG6 cars and the required licences.

Smith’s focus now is to work on bringing additional partners on board before the annual ‘Media Day’ season launch next Spring.

Smith said: “It’s an absolute dream come true to be stepping-up to the British Touring Car Championship for 2019, and especially to be doing it with Excelr8 Motorsport.

“As soon as I joined the team in 2014 it was clear we both saw our future in the BTCC, so it’s fantastic to finally make it a reality.

“We’ve been working hard behind the scenes all year, and it’s fantastic to be in a position to confirm we’ll be on the grid at such an early stage.

“We’re in the process of finalising a couple of deals, and still have a number of sponsorship packages available, so we should have an exciting range of partners to reveal at the Season Launch.

“I have no doubt it will be a steep learning curve for both myself and the team, but continuity is key so hopefully by extending our relationship we will be able to add to the success we’ve already achieved.

“The MG6 is a proven package and one of the most successful cars of the NGTC era, so we have an excellent platform to build from and I know the team has some exciting plans for the future.”

Rob Smith BTCC driver MG6

Smith’s MG6

Smith joined Excelr8 in the MINI CHALLENGE part-way through the 2014 season following a switch from the Renault UK Clio Cup.

He earned his first victory at Silverstone in only his third appearance in the category.

Since then he has been a title contender every season, claiming six wins and 18 podiums.

Excelr8 team manager Oliver Shepherd said: “We’re well aware of his ability and the effort he puts in to be successful, so we were very keen for him to make the step up with us.

“Working with a driver we know means we have one less variable to think about while we get to grips with the demands of the BTCC.

“He was involved in the development of the MINI CHALLENGE JCW and our endurance car, so that experience should help us get an understanding of the MG6 over the winter.

“Rob knows exactly what he needs from the car and if we can deliver that then the results are sure to follow.

“He’s also very strong commercially, so we can be sure that our partners are going to be well represented both on and off-track.”

Smith and Excelr8 Motorsport’s maiden season in the BTCC will begin at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent over the weekend April 6-7.

He’ll also be lining up against Tarporley-born Tom Oliphant, who enjoyed a successful debut BTCC season with Mercedes.

Visit www.robsmithmotorsport.com to view his Partnership Proposal and packages on offer.

2019 BTCC Calendar
6/7 April – Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, Kent
27/28 April – Donington Park National Circuit, Leicestershire
18/19 May – Thruxton Circuit, Hampshire
15/16 June – Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire
29/30 June – Oulton Park Island Circuit, Cheshire
3/4 August – Snetterton 300 Circuit, Norfolk
17/18 August – Thruxton Circuit, Hampshire
14/15 Sept – Knockhill Circuit, Fife
28/29 Sept – Silverstone National Circuit, Northamptonshire
12/13 October – Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit, Kent

Rob Smith signs for BTCC 2019 season

Rob Smith signs up to BTCC 2019 season

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