BTCC LEG­END RE­TURNS TO RACING

Smith and Pol­ley to take on Mini Se7ens in 2019 cham­pi­onship bid.

Mini Magazine - - News -

Jeff Smith has con­firmed plans for a racing re­turn in the Mini Se7en Cham­pi­onship. For­mer BTCC driver Smith, who was side-lined for over a year with mul­ti­ple in­juries fol­low­ing a huge ac­ci­dent at Croft in 2017, will re­turn to a full sea­son of racing in 2019. He’s join­ing the Mini Se7en Cham­pi­onship, along with part­ner Jo Pol­ley, who will move up to the Mini Se7en S-Class fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful sea­son in the Su­per Mighty Mi­nis.

Look­ing for­ward to get­ting back be­hind the wheel for a cham­pi­onship as­sault, Smith com­mented: “Af­ter do­ing a cou­ple of guest drives in Mi­nis dur­ing the sec­ond half of this sea­son peo­ple al­ways say to me how does a lit­tle clas­sic Mini com­pare to a BTCC car? But it’s all rel­a­tive, you have less power but less grip and less brakes, th­ese cars are great fun to drive and the racing is side­ways, close and com­pet­i­tive. My aim, of course, is to win the cham­pi­onship, which I will be tak­ing very se­ri­ously, but I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to just go­ing racing in a more re­laxed en­vi­ron­ment, away from the pres­sure and stresses of run­ning a top level BTCC team and with a much more sensible bud­get.”

The cou­ple have both had suc­cess in Clas­sic Mi­nis and will be an in­ter­est­ing ad­di­tion to the Mini Se7en and S-Class grid. Smith took both wins at Oul­ton Park in the last Su­per Mighty Mini round and Pol­ley had a win at the open­ing round at Sil­ver­stone and a string of podi­ums through­out the sea­son. They won the Mini Grand 24hr class to­gether at Spa in 2016 and also hope to com­pete in some his­toric en­durance mini racing in 2019.

Jeff Smith in the BTCC. Jo Pol­ley, Jeff’s part­ner, will join him next sea­son.

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