Safuu Racing arrived to the finale of the 2022 British Touring Car Championship with a buzz of excitement in the air. The chance to put on a show for the last time this year was something on every drivers mind regardless of their position within the championship. Aron and Nic have made no secret about their ups and downs this season, however with the end in sight, sponsors, family and friends were out in force to celebrate the finale of yet another amazing BTCC season.
Brands Hatch was the familiar setting for the final round and at the business end of the championship we saw a fantastic climax to a pulsating season as Tom Ingram took top spot in a three horse race.
Qualifying has been the achilles heel for the Safuu Racing duo all season and Brands Hatch GP circuit proved a similar story. Aron was on for a lap to rival team mate Bobby Thompson who managed P6, an incredible result, however some traffic and then an unfortunate puncture scuppered his plight. Aron managed to battle back to a P21 and as usual was left needing to fight through the pack come race day. Nic had another troublesome Quali session after a promising morning during Free Practice 1 & 2. Unfortunately Nic’s car suffered some technical issues which meant his Quali laps were hindered. Nic was fairly philosophical after a tough day.
Nicolas Hamilton, #28, said:
“I was having a really good day. FP1 and FP2 were strong for me, FP2 was especially good. I went faster than I’ve ever been around here by a good six tenths so I was going into qualifying full of confidence and my aims set on finishing in the top 20 which would have been a great result for us. Unfortunately, we had a few technical issues heading into qualifying which meant that we didn’t maximise our potential today which is of course a shame. Especially as this is the last qualifying session of the season, but we win and we lose together as a team and these issues happen sometimes.”
Árón Taylor-Smith, #40, said:
“I’ve quickly learnt that qualifying is the hard point of the weekend. Bobby has done a fantastic job and showed the cars progression. We were just a tenth shy on our final run before a slower car got in our way and some contact produced a puncture which I far from ideal. I think without that, the two of us would be comfortably inside the top 10 tomorrow which is a shame and leaves a lot more work for me to do.”
The first laps of Brands Hatch are always tough for a touring car driver, 29 cars on such a tight track ill ultimately leave the team shielding their eyes from any potential danger. Our worst fears came to fruition as Aron failed to complete the first lap after a fantastic start. Contact saw Aron pushed into a wall and he was lucky to not suffer more severe damage. Nic managed to negotiate the first race without any incident and came away with a P21. Race two and race three meant more issues for our Safuu Racing pair. Aron had another DNF in Race 2 after a puncture stopped his progress, Nic too did not complete the race. Race 3 then ended with a Aron in P20 and Nic finishing off 2022 with another DNF.
Árón Taylor-Smith, #40, said:
“My focus is already on 2023. We showed what we can do when the car is in the window this season and I have no doubt that we can return to the podium with the plans that are coming together for winter development. This championship is the pinnacle of British motorsport, if not touring car racing around the world, and I am truly excited to see what I can achieve in 2023.”