2022 TCR UK Touring Car Champion Chris Smiley will be back to defend his crown in the 2023 season, staying on board with Restart Racing as part of an expanded two-car line-up for the team.
Having already confirmed Scott Sumpton in the second car earlier this week, Smiley will be reunited with the Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR for the second season in a row, this time with a team-mate on board.
Staying with the Ben Taylor-led Restart Racing squad for next year gives the Northern Irishman a good start, already familiar with the team and the car that he took to two wins and four pole positions in TCR UK, as well as taking a top eight finish in the FIA Motorsport Games Touring Car discipline held at Paul Ricard back in October.
The 2022 Champion is already looking ahead to what is expected to be an even bigger and better season for the TCR UK Touring Car Championship, with new drivers, new teams and new cars expected to challenge the Honda driver.
“I’m excited to be staying on with Restart Racing and everyone with the team for a second consecutive season, where our goal is to carry on from where we left off in 2022 and defend the Drivers Title next year. We’re going to do the best job that we can in every event with the aim of repeating that title success,” Chris explained.
“It’s great to see the championship move back into being a headline act for next year and racing at the best circuits in the UK, where we can really take the show to the fans. 2023 is already looking like a more competitive year than 2022 was and I’m keeping an eye on the new Honda Civic Type R FL5 TCR that will be released next year, it’s a great-looking car.”
Restart Racing’s Team Principal Ben Taylor is pleased to be able to work with Chris again in 2023.
“The team went through a whirlwind journey in 2022, starting from nothing, to winning the 2022 TCR UK Drivers Title at Snetterton and competing in the FIA Motorsport Games seven months later. We learned a lot in that time and that experience will be put to good use as we work on our 2023 programme,” explained Ben.
“To be able to work with Chris again and defend the title is fantastic for the team. The move to a two-car line-up for next year shows our commitment not only to TCR UK but also to Honda as we look to repeat the success we enjoyed last season.”