The Home of British Motorsport was the chosen track for the penultimate round of the 2022 British Touring Car Championship. The international circuit is well known for being a tight lap and action packed, so if the Safuu Racing cars were going to achieve their desired results, they were going to have to work for it.
Aron Taylor-Smith and Nic Hamilton both arrived at Silverstone after a troublesome Thruxton, ready to finish the season strong.
Qualifying was an odd affair and to the untrained eye it may have looked like Race 1 had been moved to the Saturday afternoon. The drivers were encountering traffic that rivalled the M25 at rush hour which made it very hard to put together fast lap times with any momentum. Aron was actually hit during a hectic qualifying session and unfortunately Quali didn’t really come together for Nic either, as he failed to improve on his lap time in Free Practice.
Both Free Practice sessions had promised so much for Nic and he seemed to be in a much more positive place in comparison to some other rounds.
Nicolas Hamilton, #28, said:
“We actually went slower in qualifying than we did in practice, and we are going through the data as we speak to dig deep and find out why. So yes, disappointing in terms of today and a bit of head scratching but hopefully we can figure out the main reasons for our performance drop off as like I said in practice today, we were looking really competitive.”
Árón Taylor-Smith, #40, said:
“It was a bumpy and tough qualifying I’ll be honest with you. Weirdly enough it felt like a race. We were blocked, we were hit, and it was intense. The car at the moment is on a knife-edge and if you look at our ideal time it was good enough for the front row of the grid. It’s horrible to think that it’s capable of being at the front if it wasn’t for traffic, and a few individual errors that I made as well but the car is fast, and we are chasing a tenth. It’s such fine margins and you aren’t always going to get it right.”
As always with the BTCC, Race Day provides the perfect tonic after a tough Quali day. Three races that are bound to be filled with drama leaves you with plenty of opportunity. Aron did not waste any time, jumping from P23 to P15 in one of his best drives of the season. Silverstone is a particularly hard track to overtake on and when moving forward you always feel at risk of contact and ultimately your race ending early. Nic picked up places courtesy of some retirements and was involved in a coming together of his own, but thankfully finished the race in P23.
Aron’s day then went from strength to strength, an amazing performance saw Aron progress from P15 to P10, securing his second top 10 finish of the season. Race 3 we saw more incredible action and Aron managed to hold off a train of cars that were on the attack while also maintaining his own focus of heading forward, however Ollie Jackson proved a tough nut to crack. Another P10 finish was a fitting reward for all the hard work that the team have put in and Aron himself showed his class as a driver. If only the luck was with us from a reverse grid point of view, there could have been podium honours, however what a perfect way to roll into the Brands Hatch finale in two weeks’ time.
Unfortunately in Race 2 and 3, Nic ran into problems which meant he was unable to finish either race. The 2022 BTCC season continues to be a challenge for Nic, but our Safuu Racing duo go into Brands Hatch looking to finish the season on a high.
Árón Taylor-Smith, #40, said:
“It feels like a dream to have another top ten finish off the back of a very tough qualifying session but again, that is thanks to the team and my car crew. They have done an outstanding job today and given me exactly what I needed in order to be able to race against the very best touring car drivers in the world. Three points finishes is something that we can all be very proud of.”