After the news of their switch to Honda, BTC Norlin Racing have announced that Chris Smiley will race again for them in the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Whilst Smiley will drive one of the teams Honda Civic NGTC cars this year, 2017 team-mate Dave Newsham has confirmed that he will not be returning for the 2018 season, leaving the second seat free in the team for the coming season.
The driver from Northern Ireland, who will take part in his third season of BTCC competition, explained his excitement over the confirmation that he will drive for Bert Taylor‘s squad for a second consecutive season.
“I am absolutely over the moon to be back with BTC Norlin Racing and the new Honda Civic Type R machinery. This is a hugely exciting time for me, the BTC Norlin Racing team and our sponsors with the Civic Type R being a double BTCC Championship winning car.”
“My expectations for the up and coming season are high after having top ten race pace 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 for the up and coming year.”
2017 BTC Norlin driver Dave Newsham has announced that he would not be competing in the 2018 season but will be concentrating on his son Callum’s racing career.
Newsham, who has competed in seven consecutive seasons in the British Touring Car Championship with six different independent teams, explained his decision not to return to the BTCC.
“I was almost ready to retire from BTCC at the end of 2016 when out of the blue I was handed a lifeline from BTC Norlin. We achieved some great results together last year and I have to say it was my most enjoyable season so far.
“I hope I played my part in helping to make this team one of the best in the paddock and wish everyone involved success in the future. Thank you BTC Norlin!”
Bert Taylor, BTC Norlin Team Director, added:
“I’d personally like to thank Dave for joining the team. From the start, he brought a wealth of experience to us in our first season, scored our first points, grabbed our first independence win and got our first podium and for that we’ll be forever grateful. I’d like to wish him all the very best for the future.”
Richard Irwin, owner of BTC Norlin Racing added:
“We are delighted that Chris has agreed to race again for us in 2018. He has the character and commitment to grow year on year and I have no doubt he will be challenging for podiums at each round in the Hondas.”
“I also want to personally thank Dave Newsham for last season and holding us through a very competitive first season in BTCC. His racing consistently lifted the garage, team and all our guests and he will be sorely missed by us all.”