Smiley’s Race Switch To Germany.

March 4, 2014 by Tony Gregory  

Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup - Hockenheimring (Finale)Carrickfergus racing driver Chris Smiley will be spending the forthcoming season racing in Germany, after securing a drive to compete in Volkswagen’s Scirocco R Cup. 

Smiley, 2013 JCW Cup Champion will have a 10 race program consisting of 6 race weekends each supporting the world renown DTM series, which will see Smiley racing at some of Germany’s most historic race circuit’s, such as the Nurburgring and Hockenheimring. The main maxim of the series is equal opportunities and to that end the whole grid are competing in identical 285bhp Scirocco Rs, currently the most eco-friendly racing car in the world. Its 2.0-litre TSI engine is powered by compressed natural gas, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 80 per cent in comparison to conventional fuels.

As well as the circuits being new to Smiley the cars innovative push-to-pass system will also be a new aspect for him to master. With the touch of a button located on the steering wheel, he can use this system to increase the charging pressure of the turbocharged Scirocco engine and raise the output by 50 hp. All cars have a display in the rear side window and a blue signal light in the front windscreen so that other drivers can keep track of how often a driver has used the push-to-pass button.

Smiley commented, “ After winning the JCW Cup in 2013 and being awarded driver of the year, I’m delighted and excited that I will be competing with Europe’s best young talent and motor sport legends who have previously been successful in Formula 1, the DTM or Le Mans. The Scirocco R-Cup is also seen as a great talent factory, with so many previous drivers from Volkswagen Cups successfully managing the transition to the DTM, the World Touring Car Championship or the GT Cup, a path that I would also like to follow.”

“ Travelling to and from Germany and the use of a foreign language will be a new aspect that I haven’t encountered before, not forgetting the technical differences, such as the ‘Push to Pass’ system employed in the Scirocco R and the general increase of power, an extra 45bhp compared to last years mini. Overall this move will be the biggest of my racing career to-date.”

Smiley’s first chance to drive his car will be at a 2 day test held at the Oscherslaben circuit on the 14th and 15th of April, with the first round being held at the Hockenheimring 2-4 May.

Smiley’s switch to tin-tops came after a highly successful career in Karts were he achieved multiple Irish, Scottish and British Championships. In more recent times Smiley was named Scotland’s Young Driver of the year in 2011 by the Scottish Motor Racing Club after his second season of competing in the Scottish Celtic Speed Mini Cooper Cup. In 2013 Smiley became JCW Cup Champion and took part in a touring car test with the leading Triple Eight Touring car Team, who currently run MG’s works effort in the BTCC.

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