Snetterton race winner Aron Smith has praised a Herculean effort by his BMR-squad after revealing his Volkswagen CC machine was almost written off following a heavy testing accident at Pembrey.
As was the case in Oulton Park's third race, Smith majestically capitalised on his reversed grid pole-position slot after soaking twelve laps of relentless pressure from no less than five former BTCC-champions following in close company.
However, unknown to most, Smith admitted post race that he sustained a heavy crash at Pembrey a week leading up to the race. His Chrome Edition Restart Racing squad then faced a race against time in rebuilding his CC-challenger while also preparing the rest of his teams machinery.
His third ever career BTCC victory also propels up to ninth in standings and over 40-points of his highly distinguished team Alain Menu.
“We kept this under wraps but I had a really big crash at Pembrey a week last Friday, to the point where the shell had to get straightened out,” Smith revealed to crash.net. “So it was fully stripped back, everything taken off it. The car only came back to the workshop at half-seven on Wednesday morning!
“So my team built effectively a brand new car before shakedown on Thursday morning.
“They have built three new cars in ten days, and one of them has gone on to win, it's mental – no other team would have been able to do that! That's why I would not let go of that win for them. I was like, we can't let this go, and I'm winning this one – simple as that.”
Smith was subject to incredible pressure during the final race with both of the Airwaves Racing Focus' snapping at his heels but the Irishman said a measured approach to his race craft and managing the softer rubber was key in resisting the challenge.
“You've got to use your head and be smart about it,” Smith continued.
“That's the key, you don't over block, you defend where you need to and when you don't need to, you pull the pin. Once someone's close I defend but then if I get a two-car gap, I gun it.
“That's how I've always raced it, and I think that kind of logic probably won us that race. It took a lot of intelligence I guess I would like to say!
“Yeah, the tyres were a bit of an unknown. I just kind of managed them and they didn't drop off. If I'd of cained them from lap one we would have struggled. It was just a case of thinking don't push, just use your head and that's how it happened.”
The BMR-man admitted Mat Jackson and Fabrizio Giovanardi's tussle for second, along with championship leader Colin Turkington, played perfectly into his game plan.
“As soon as I'd seen them battling I put in two qualifying laps and then I'm gone up the road before backing it off again. Let them think they're catching, because they overuse the tyres, so as they get close, go again.
“It's just cat and mouse because then they think 'I've a chance, I've a chance!' then they end up ruining their tyres. Just a case of dangling the bait in front, win by as little as possible and you will win,” Smith concluded.