Smith gets maiden run in Motorbase NGTC
November 8, 2012 by Nicki Hickman
Motorsport Ireland Young Driver of the Year Aron Smith took his maiden run in the Motorbase Performance-built NGTC Ford Focus ST at the team’s local track, Brands Hatch yesterday (October 6).
David Bartrum’s Kent-based squad spent the day running both Focus ST models alongside its British GT title winning Porsche 911 GT3, and 22 year-old Smith took full advantage of having the Mountune-powered NGTC on hand to get behind the wheel ahead of a full test day this coming Thursday (October 8).
Dubliner Smith; recently named as ‘most promising newcomer’ by BTCC commentator Tim Harvey following his impressive debut BTCC season competing in the Motorbase-run S2000 Focus, was keen to see how the race winning NGTC compared for himself; “As soon as I got into the NGTC I could immediately feel the difference from the S2000. It’s got so much more grip, and as good as the car is in its current set up, you can tell that it’s still only running at about 70% of what it’s capable of.”
Having watched from the side-lines this season as the Motorbase squad constructed the NGTC Focus from scratch with team-mate Mat Jackson helping develop and go on to win races in it, Smith is full of praise for the machine that has been put together; “Even in just the 10 or 12 laps I got in around Brands I loved being in the NGTC. You can just sense that the car has potential to be unbelievably good – in the areas where the guys have cracked the set up, it’s mind-blowingly strong.”
Smith has made no secret of his plans and hopes of competing in a Motorbase NGTC Focus for the 2013 BTCC season, and his maiden run has further whetted the Irishman’s appetite; “I have no doubt that with some more testing and development over the winter, the Motorbase NGTC has the potential to beat the Hondas and MGs and win the Championship in 2013, and I’m working very hard to secure a deal to be in it!”