Chris Smiley has been re-signed by BTC Norlin Racing as it switches to Honda machinery for the 2018 British Touring Car Championship as Dave Newsham retires from racing.

Last week the British squad announced its Honda switch for this year with its driver line-up set to be confirmed in the coming days and Smiley has become the first name in its 2018 driver line-up after finishing his first full BTCC season 21st in the drivers’ championship.

Smiley’s 2017 team-mate Newsham has opted to retire from racing in order focus on his son Callum’s racing career. Newsham has bid farewell to BTC Norlin Racing and BTCC having secured 14th in the drivers’ championship last year with the highlight of pole position and third place in race three at Silverstone. Newsham’s best campaign in BTCC came in just his second year in the series when he finished ninth in the championship having secured two wins, and four further rostrums for Team ES Racing.

“We achieved some great results together last year and I have to say it was my most enjoyable season in the championship,” Newsham said. “I hope I played my part in establishing the team and helping to make it one of the best in the paddock. I wish everyone involved success in the future.”

Smiley is relishing a leading role in the BTC Norlin squad and getting up to speed with its new Honda Civic Type R cars this year.

“I’m over the moon to be back with BTC Norlin Racing – even more so with the Honda Civic Type R for 2018,” Smiley said. “This is a hugely exciting time for me, the team and our sponsors, with the Honda being a double championship-winning car.

“My expectations for the coming season are high after producing top tens consistently in the second half of the 2017 season. I can’t thank Norlin and Bert Taylor enough for everything they have done for me and ensuring I have the best package possible this coming year.”

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