Top 10 BTCC Drivers of the Year 2012:9:
Ford Focus (S2000)Wins:
0Championship points – Overall/Independents:
204/257Championship position – Overall/Independents:
Having made his debut in the BTCC with a one-off outing with Triple Eight in 2011, an impressive campaign in the supporting Renault Clio Cup was good enough to ensure that Aron Smith graduated to the touring car grid full-time in 2012 with Redstone Racing.
The Irish driver didn't enjoy the easiest start to life as a BTCC driver with his fair share of problems through the first half of the season – including an accident in the first race of the year at Brands Hatch and mechanical problems that meant he wasn't able to show his true potential at Croft before the summer break.
However, in the second half of the season, Smith came to the fore with a series of impressive performances that were highlighted by victory at the final meeting of the year at Brands Hatch – a matter of weeks after breaking onto the podium at Rockingham.
Only twice in the second half of the year would the youngster fail to finish inside the top ten and while there was a controversial clash with Jason Plato at Knockhill thrown into the mix, Smith really came of age as the year went on and could be a thorn in the side of the established order if he returns with Motorbase's NGTC-spec Focus in 2013.Crash.net's BTCC Driver of the Year:10. Tom Onslow-Cole