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BTCC's Aron Smith ready to get his revenge on Plato at Brands Hatch

Thursday, March 24 2016

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race-winner Aron Smith returns to the scene of his famous final round bust-up with Jason Plato next weekend (2/3 April), racing for a brand new team.

Last October a disgruntled Plato said live on TV that "Aron Smith had just got himself the sack" after the Irishman had failed to let his title-contending team-mate past. Since then not much had been heard from Smith, and when Team BMR confirmed James Cole as the fourth driver for its Subarus, it was assumed that he would be out of the BTCC.

However at the BTCC Media Day last Tuesday it was announced that Aron would drive for new squad BKR, which make its debut with two ex-BMR VW CCs for Smith and former Clio racer Mark Howard.

Aron confirms that contrary to Plato's words he did not get the sack. "We had a contract in place with BMR from October," he said. "But we didn't know if it was going to be Touring Cars until two weeks ago, so it's nice to get back behind the wheel into a car that I know, and we can do our best."

So late is the deal that the VW CCs, originally intended to race in the postponed B-TEC series for older BTCC cars, will run the older GPRM-spec control parts. Far from expecting to be at a disadvantage, Aron feels that this could help them early in the season, especially in a car that has powered him to two race wins.

"I know the kit and the setup," he said. "So now it's a case of making sure we can get it absolutely spot-on. Once we can fine-tune it to within an inch of its life, I know it can be quick everywhere I go. We go to Brands pretty optimistic, I know everyone [in the team] will get up to speed and the team will keep learning. We'll be quick."

There's a good chance that Aron could be quicker than his former team-mate and nemesis, who will be debuting the delayed Subaru Levorg. Aron admits that he may have a wry smile if he passes Jason on track "I will," he laughs, before adding: "I'm out to try and give everyone a run for their money, it's part of this championship, but I think I would like to beat everyone out there!"

Tickets for the opening rounds of the BTCC at Brands Hatch on 2/3 April are available in advance from £27, with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.