BTC Norlin Racing's Chris Smiley has described his maiden British Touring Car Championship race victory scored during a dramatic final Rockingham race as a 'fairy tale'.

The Honda Civic Type-R driver became the twelfth different winner of the 2018 season after rising from fourth to first in what proved to be a chaotic reverse grid finale at Rockingham.

Despite starting from the second row, Smiley immediately scythed his way into the lead when light rainfall caused a number of drivers to fall off the circuit - most notably pole-sitter Tom Chilton -  at the Deene hairpin during a bizarre opening lap.

"I’m over the moon," Smiley told Crash.net. "We’ve worked exceptionally hard. This has taken us over a year to get to this point. We’ve been through a lot of tough times but this is one of those great days.

"This is something you dream about when you’re 8 years old, you want to go and win a BTCC race. That was nothing to do with that being a reverse grid race. We’ve been in the top five all day with genuine pace.

"My team manager [Bert Taylor] told me I had to win this one! I had a really good feeling before I went out. It’s a fairy tale!"

Having grabbed the lead early on, Smiley was forced to defend the position from the MG of Rory Butcher during the opening exchanges, but managed to gap the rest of the field by over three-seconds after successfully weathering that brief period of pressure.

"He [Rory Butcher] took all the chances. He had nothing to lose. I had. The track was a little bit slippery at the start. As the first car it’s very easy to make a mistake and go off. I basically just used my head, got my head down and built that gap," Smiley continued.

"I drove those last five laps to absolute perfection. It felt like five years. Whatever I know about driving a touring car, I used it in those last five laps! I didn’t make a single mistake. That’s what got me the win."