Eurotech Racing has confirmed that it is to run Matt Simpson in the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship as it expands to a three-car strong line-up of Honda Civic Type Rs for the season ahead.
The former European Hot Road champion returns to the BTCC for a third consecutive campaign, and will once again be piloting the Simpson Racing Honda, sponsored by Simpson Exhausts and Simpson Recycling.
“I’m really pleased to be back for a third year in the BTCC and I’m excited to be running with Eurotech Racing,” said Simpson. “We have much in common and I’ve been impressed with their achievements over the past year.
“We all want to win and we’re confident that this partnership will give us our best season yet.”
Simpson has been earmarked as the perfect fit for Eurotech by Team Principal Jeff Smith, as the 2017 Independent Teams’ runners-up return to a three-car operation.
“We kept the core team and infrastructure in place to field three cars as it has always been our intention to revert when the right opportunity came along,” said Smith. “Matt currently owns a Honda Civic Type R, which works perfectly. Our mechanics already have the car back at the workshop, stripped down and currently being updated to the same specification as our existing pair of Type Rs.
“We’re looking forward to working with Matt, he’s proved a capable driver in the BTCC. Using our knowledge and experience, we will be doing everything we can to develop him – the aim being to have all three cars right at the sharp end.
“Having the drive confirmed at this relatively early stage allows us to press on with the car build and plan a full test schedule, with the intention of hitting the ground running for the 2018 season.”
The Eurotech Team made an incredible impact on the 2017 BTCC season with the Jack Goff/Jeff Smith duo proving to be the most successful driver combination of recent times for the team.
4 Pole positions
4 Independent Wins
2 Jack Sears Trophies
Jeff Smith stunned the crowds and commentators alike by taking pole position at the season opener at Brands Hatch. Jack Goff followed this up by putting his Type R on the front row of the grid for Round 2 at Donington. By Round 3 at Thruxton the silverware was rolling in with two podiums for Jack and the Independent Teams Championship win for the team. Jack then secured another pole position and podium at Snetterton and further podium at Rockingham. On to Silverstone, another pole position, a podium and a dominating win. Concluding the season as they started it with yet another pole position for Jack and a podium in the final race of the year on the Brands Hatch GP circuit.
Eurotech achieved more pole positions than any other team this season.
After a strong BTCC Round 8 at Rockingham with three top 5 finishes for Jack Goff the team are 3rd in the Independents Team Championship with just 13 points separating the top three heading in to the penultimate round at Silverstone National Circuit on 17th September.
Brett and the Eurotech Team sealed the Championship with a second place finish in race 1 at Oulton Park on Saturday. After dominating throughout 2017 with consistent poles, fastest laps, wins and podiums with three races still remaining of the season Smith was enough points clear of his nearest competitors to take the JCW Championship crown. Brett will still partake in the final round coming up at Donington Park on September 23/24th.
Eurotech come back fighting with success at Snetterton
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship returned to Snetterton in Norfolk for Round six after the seven week summer break. Following the unfortunate events that heavily effected Eurotech at the previous round at Croft the team needed to bounce back.
With the injuries sustained by Jeff Smith in the Croft accident ruling him out for the remainder of the season his son Brett Smith takes over the reins of the Honda Civic Type R alongside Jack Goff. During the summer break the Eurotech engineers have worked hard to rebuild the third car (previously driven by Daniel Lloyd) for Brett to use, currently leading the MINI Challenge Championship Brett quickly adapted to the BTCC machinery during the two day tyre test at Snetterton.
Eurotech headed in to qualifying with confidence as both cars showed good pace in the free practice sessions with Jack topping the laptimes in FP2. In perfect dry qualifying conditions Jack put in an outstanding lap, half a second clear of the rest of the field to get his first BTCC pole position and the second pole position start of the season for Eurotech. Brett finished his first BTCC qualifying session in a very respectable P23 on the 31 car grid leaving the team lifted and looking forward to race day.
Race one saw the sun shining down on the 3 mile long Snetterton 300 circuit in front of a large crowd. Jack made an impressively quick start out of the pole position grid box but the rear wheel drive BMW of Colin Turkington typically managed to out drag the front wheel drive Honda and Turkington took the lead on the opening lap, Jack settled in to a comfortable second place until Turkington spun across the grass at Coram allowing Jack to take the lead, to the huge cheers in the Eurotech garage. He pulled a gap on the following pack and lead for the majority of the race and looked like he was going to take the win, however he was on the soft tyre option which had started to go off and second placed Ash Sutton was closing him down, Jack held off the more powerful Subaru for as long as he could but with two laps to go Sutton took the lead with Jack taking a podium finish in P2 and the Independents trophy. Brett had a baptism of fire for his first race suffering damage on lap one following contact with Stephen Jelley, leaving him with no option but to retire the second Honda with damage.
After his P2 finish Jack had another front row start for race two, this time it was Ash Sutton on pole who was soon gone into the distance and the rear wheel drive BMW of Andrew Jordan from row two also out dragging the Honda off the line. Jack managing to get the place back but was then hunted down by the rear wheel drive duo of Colin Turkington and Rob Collard despite Jack’s best efforts he couldn’t hold them off with Mat Jackson also forcing his way through, in a rough race Jack held also off pressure from Gordon Shedden to eventually finish in P5. Brett’s baptism of fire continued having to retire in the early laps with an unusual mechanical failure, the first non-mandated part failure the team have suffered since 2015.
The reverse grid draw for race three meant Jack started from P5, after being pushed out on the first lap elbows out typical race 3 fashion Jack was knocked back some places which he valiantly clawed back getting back up to finish in P8 rounding out a fantastic day of good results. Brett had a really strong race, starting from the back in P30 due to his previous DNF he fought his way up through the field to an incredible P14 finish scoring points on his debut round.
The strong points haul has put Eurotech 3rd in the Independent Teams Championship and 5th in the overall Teams Championship. Jack is back up to 9th in the close Drivers Championship and joint 2nd in the Independent Drivers Championship. Team Principal Jeff Smith said; ‘It has obviously been a difficult time for all of us and this weekend was the lift that we all needed, everybody has just got their heads down and got on with it, I am very proud of the whole team who have all done a great job, we are looking forward to the rest of the season with the aim being wins and more podiums which we have shown we are more than capable of achieving.’
Brett’s thoughts on his first BTCC round; "I knew that the BTCC was going to be a huge step from the Mini's but I definitely made it harder for myself than I needed to! Qualifying 23rd I was actually a little disappointed, 4 tenths separated me from a top 10 position but that just goes to show how competitive the BTCC is! Race 1's early finish was my fault 100%, I stalled at the start and wanted to make up the places that I had lost as quick as I could and was thusly a little over zealous, resulting in a mistake and caused race ending damage by hitting Stephen Jelley. Race 2 however was going much stronger, up to about P25 at the time from P31, but an extremely rare mechanical issue for Eurotech put pay to any further progress! Race 3 saw a change of fortune and a richly deserved thank you to the team as I made up for the sorry Sunday I was having! A strong start and early overtaking manoeuvres coupled with others cars seemingly driving off the circuit and out of my way I found myself in a points scoring position whilst a late challenge from Plato was the cherry on top, being able to hold Mr. Touring Car himself off was fantastic!"
Eurotech Racing has today (29 June) confirmed that Brett Smith, son of regular driver and Team Principal Jeff, will take over driving duties in the team’s Honda Civic Type R for the remainder of the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
The severity of Jeff’s injuries sustained during the qualifying crash at Croft Circuit earlier this month have unfortunately ruled out the experienced racer for at least the rest of this campaign.
After careful assessment and consideration, the squad has decided to place Brett in the car, alongside team-mate Jack Goff.
Brett is currently leading the MINI Challenge Championship with Eurotech Racing in only his second season in the series, having racked up three pole positions, five wins, ten podiums and six fastest laps so far. The 25-year-old has also previously successfully competed in the UK Clio Cup, BARC Clios and Mazda MX5 Championship.
“I am naturally extremely disappointed for my season to be ended in this way,” said Team Principal Jeff Smith. “Having assessed a number of driver options the team are in agreement that Brett gives us the best opportunity to provide a strong second half to the season.”
Brett will get his first serious taste of BTCC machinery during next week’s (5/6 July) official group test at Snetterton. His race debut will then take place at the same venue with rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the championship scheduled over the weekend of the 29/30 July.
Eurotech took a clean sweep of wins in Round 3 of MINI Challenge at Snetterton. Jeff Smith took race 1 from P3 on the grid with son Brett making it up to the P3 step from a P12 start after a heavy downpour before qualifying made for a mixed up grid. In race 2 Brett took the lead from Jeff on lap 1 making it a spectacular father/son 1-2 finish and in race 3 Brett again stormed away to his second win of the day, giving him the lead of the Championship by some 54 points clear of second placed Max Bladon.
Eurotech Double Podium Success at Thruxton
Eurotech Racing headed to Thruxton in Hampshire, the fastest circuit in the UK over the weekend for Rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. With the team confident following the test day at Thruxton where Jeff Smith topped the lap time sheets, the aim was converting their recent strong pace in to podiums.
Jack Goff laid down the gauntlet in Free Practice 1 setting the P1 lap time early on with Jeff Smith in P11, struggling to find the balance in the car that they had achieved on the test day. Goff cemented his intent in Free Practice 2 finishing P2.
The two Eurotech Type R’s were strong in Qualifying, with Jack finishing P3 and Jeff P6, making it a Honda 1,2,3 with the Factory Team Dynamics Hondas in P1 and P2.
Conditions were dry and sunny for race day. Race 1 saw Jack get a good start off the line from his inside row 2 starting position, keeping comfortably with the two works cars of Neal and Shedden, fending off Tom Ingram for much of the race who nearly made it past when Jack was held up by a back-marker in the closing laps. Jack successfully held on to bring the Type R home in a well-deserved P3, the first podium of the year for Jack and the Eurotech Team, also taking the Independent Teams win. Smith struggled to get his car cleanly off the start line, dropping some places which he spent the race trying to claw back, suffering with understeer he held off pressure from Andrew Jordan and Aiden Moffat with some great defensive driving, bringing the second Eurotech Type R home in a solid P11.
Race 2 was blighted by a huge crash on Lap 1 which brought out a red flag when the MG of Dan Lloyd hit the barrier hard at Church, causing a long delay. A cause for concern over the safety of this barrier had already been raised by a number of drivers, in the drivers briefing on Saturday morning. On the restart the rear wheel drive BMW of Rob Collard out dragged Jack off the line to take 3rd, on the approach to the chicane Jack spectacularly made it three wide with Collard and Shedden, with Jack gaining back P3 and with Shedden losing out, Shedden immediately fought back and recovered the position going in to the Complex. Jack regained P3 again when Matt Neal pulled in to the pitlane with a steering problem, it looked like Jack was going to be on for another podium but Ingram managed to pass him at the chicane and then another red flag ended the race early with Jack finishing in P4. Jeff had again been in the thick of the action eventually finishing in a hard fought P10.
The reverse grid for Race 3 had promoted Jack to a P3 start, with Jeff remaining in the P10 grid slot. Another good start from Jack meant he pulled away from the fighting Rob Austin and Shedden behind him settling in to a comfortable P2 behind Colin Turkington, staying clear of Tom Ingram who was chasing him down for second place until Jack picked up some debris on his tyres and ran wide enabling Ingram to pass, Jack bought it home to make it a second podium finish in P3. Jeff was going well holding P10 with a couple of laps to go, defending from Tom Chiltern when he had a huge moment, Chiltern got the run on him on the outside going into Noble which meant Jeff had to lift slightly more to avoid contact which caused the back end to step out sending the Type R spinning one way then the other across the front of the ensuing pack, thankfully Jeff managing to keep it out of the barrier, rescuing it to finish P27.
A successful points haul for Eurotech sees Jack retaining P6 overall in the Drivers Championship and the Team 3rd in the Independents and 4th overall in the Teams Championship.
Eurotech said ‘It has been a fantastic weekend for us, we knew we had the pace and we were confident the podium was well within reach. Jack and Jeff have been putting in such strong drives and all of our team put in so much effort we feel it is very well-deserved but we won’t stop there this is just the beginning, we will keep building on the momentum and will be pushing for wins now.’
Brett Smith stormed to a P2 finish in the opening round of MINI Challenge at Oulton Park on Easter Monday in changeable conditions, securing the first podium of the year for Eurotech. Followed up with a strong P4 in race 2.
Eurotech Promising Form Continues
The BTCC stormed in to Donington Park for the second event of the season under dramatic skies on Easter Weekend.
Eurotech immediately made an impression with Jack Goff placing P2 in Free Practice 1 and P1 in Free Practice 2 with teammate Jeff Smith finishing P13 in both sessions within the hugely competitive field. The bar set at keeping both cars up in the top ten was met with Jack qualifying an impressive P2 and Jeff in a strong P9.
Despite ominous skies the rain held off for race 1. With a Eurotech car qualifying on the front row of the grid for the second round in a row the whole team were feeling confident. Both cars made great starts off the grid but Jack on the outside of the front row was pushed off on to the grass by the barging front pack at turn 1 and then took a hit on the back corner from Gordon Shedden resulting in him tumbling down the field, he made a great recovery back up to a P12 finish. Jeff had a good race long battle with Adam Morgan and despite struggling with diminishing tyre grip in the latter stages of the race he managed to hang on to finish P9.
Jack fared better in race 2 progressing up through the field to a good finish in P9. Jeff was on the hard tyre option and was on track to finish behind his team-mate in P10 when some dubious overtaking under double waved yellows on the last corner which went unpunished meant he finished in a frustrating P13.
Immediately before race 3 the heavens opened and the rain came down, with the whole grid on wet tyres the extent of the surface water became apparent when cars were aqua-planing off the track on the green flag lap. Despite the monsoon the race was not delayed (much to the dismay of most competitors) and the grid lined up to take at start that was only ever going to end up in carnage! Jack starting from pit lane after a delay changing to wet set up meant he missed the allotted time to exit the garage ahead of the green flag lap – unbeknown at the time this then proved to be a god send.
The race started and the inevitable happened with cars going everywhere on the first lap resulted in a red flag and a complete restart which enabled Jack to retake his P9 grid position. Jeff suffered heavy front end and steering damage, which the team managed to repair as best they could on the grid to enable him to restart. In treacherous conditions the Type R of Smith was sent sliding across the grass at turn 1 putting him way down the field to try and battle his way back through but a coming together with Chris Smiley causing further damage ended his race with a DNF. Goff was relishing in the wet conditions and put in a commendable drive up to a P6 finish securing a good points haul for the day.
The Eurotech Team are riding high in a strong 5th place in the overall Teams Championship with Jack now 6th overall in the Drivers Championship. The team are looking ahead to Thruxton buoyed by their current form with the confidence that podiums are well within reach.
IMPRESSIVE START FOR EUROTECH RACING
Eurotech Racing made a big impact on the opening round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch Indy circuit with the first Pole Position of the year sensationally going to Jeff Smith.
Smith and new team mate Jack Goff running in the two TOCA Swindon powered Honda Civic Type R’s entered round one feeling confident following a successful pre-season testing programme. Goff topped the lap times for much of Free Practice 2, finishing 3rd fastest with Smith 7th fastest in a 32 car field separated by just over a second.
Qualifying was unpredictable and thwart with red flags and ominous looking grey clouds, but Smith managed to put in an incredible 48.36 sec lap despite the tricky conditions, before another red flag and then the rain came down sealing the pole position time to the delighted Smith and the Eurotech team. Goff also qualified well in P7 but frustratingly had his fastest lap blocked, leaving a taste of ‘what could have been’ for a potential Eurotech front row lock out.
Race day was dry and sunny in front of a near-capacity crowd around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit. Race 1 pole-sitter Smith got a good start and clean get away tucking in behind Tom Ingram, having to take it steady in the early laps to preserve the previously opted for soft tyres he was overtaken by Gordon Shedden and Adam Morgan leaving him comfortably in P4, despite pressure from Rob Austin behind Smith was holding his own and two thirds of the way through the race when the soft tyres had started to come in Smith had pulled a gap again when disaster struck with a mandatory TOCA issue wheel nut failing, forcing him to pit and retire. Goff who had worked his way up from his P7 start capitalised on Smith’s departure and eventually got the better of Rob Austin after a long battle finishing in P4 bringing home a good result and points haul for at least one side of the garage.
Early controversy and chaos on lap 1 brought about a complete restart for race 2. Goff had been spun from behind and lost places but was able to restart from his P4 position. Unfortunately damage sustained to the rear suspension caused Jack to drop back at the restart but with a valiant effort hung in there and finished 12th. Smith made good progress through the field having to start from the back following his DNF and made it up to a P16 finish just outside of the points.
Race 3 was a typically rough and tumble end to the day, Goff running the soft tyre and with the damage repaired was able to press forward and battled his way up to a great P8 finish. Smith was also pushing forwards but was turned sideways at Graham Hill bend by Ash Sutton causing him to drop 8 places and had to work his way back up again to finish in P17.
Eurotech Manager Marvin Humphries said ‘We have had to deal with some disappointing factors beyond our control this weekend but what a fantastic promising start to the season, to get the first pole was a massive boost to the team. We are happy that the pace is there, Jack and Jeff have shown they are confident and capable of putting the cars at the sharp end and looking like a formidable combination, this is the start of a great season’.
After round 1 Jack is 8th in the Driver’s Championship. Eurotech are 4th in the Independent Team’s Championship and 7th overall.
Eurotech Racing are pleased to announce Jack Goff as their new signing for the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Goff will partner Jeff Smith in the team’s second Honda Civic Type R.
Eurotech Team Principal Smith said ‘We are delighted to have been able to put together a deal with Jack, we have been in talks with many drivers over the winter which has been a long process but we wanted to get it right, our aim was always to put a talented young gun in to the second seat which we have undoubtedly managed to achieve with Jack. We have been impressed with the performance and professionalism he has shown over the past few seasons in BTCC and are confident that Jack’s race craft combined with our Type R will be a force to be reckoned with. We know our cars are capable of winning the Championship and with Jack’s proven ability we are confident this is an achievable goal. We have a comprehensive pre-season testing programme in place and will hit the ground running, from the first round at Brands Hatch we intend to be on the podium.’
Jack Goff; ‘This is a really exciting opportunity for both myself and all of my loyal sponsors. I have been fortunate to have raced with many successful teams during my short time in the BTCC and having met the Eurotech Racing team and visited it's very impressive facilities, it is already very clear they have all the personnel and resources to give me a great chance to be fighting for championship honours in 2017.
The car is a proven winner, with Gordon having won the past two championships and with the Swindon engine I think we have a very competitive package for the 2017 season.
I am under no illusions that the championship is going to be as competitive as ever this season and there is going to be a large number of drivers fighting for the trophy, come Brands Hatch in October, we just need to make sure we are mathematically in contention.
I must say a huge thank you to all of my loyal sponsors and Eurotech Racing for giving me this opportunity.’
We are very honoured that the Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R BTCC Car of Jeff Smith has been immortalised forever as a Scalextric car. Available in March and to pre-order now from the Scalextric website there is a whole new set of BTCC cars available from Scalextric.
Eurotech Racing have been busy preparing for their 2017 British Touring Car Championship programme.
The team remain hopeful of again running three cars next year and currently have opportunities available for drivers with realistic budget.
Two out of their three Honda Civic Type R’s have already been stripped back to bare shells ready for the latest 2017 updates. The third car is already complete and undertook an extensive days testing in October fitted with the latest 2017 specification TOCA engine. Further tests are planned before the end of this year to include comprehensive analysis of the new 2017 tyre compounds.
Team Principal Jeff Smith commented “We have had great race pace this year and the true qualifying pace of the car was clearly proven by Daniel Lloyd when he put it on the front row in two out of three rounds he competed in. You can’t stand still in this championship, back at base in our new 8,000 square foot state of the art workshop the team have been flat out since we finished the last round at Brands Hatch. We are already planning next year’s test programme which includes a week long test in Spain at the end of February, so I believe we will be in a strong position to move forwards in 2017.”
Frustrating Silverstone for Eurotech
Eurotech Racing took to their home circuit as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rolled in to Silverstone for the penultimate round of the 2016 season.
The two Honda Civic Type R’s driven by Jeff Smith and Martin Depper showed strong pace early in qualifying but were hampered by a red flag five minutes from the end just as they were about to go on their hot laps, having to pit and losing tyre temperature meant they didn’t fulfil the full potential they had shown in free practice. Despite this both cars qualified inside the top 20 on the incredibly close grid with just a second separating the top 25 cars, with Depper in P14 and Smith in P18.
Race 1 saw the whole grid stay within close proximity on the short circuit, both Eurotech cars showing good form, progressing nicely through the pack, four laps from the end both were sitting comfortably in strong positions Depper in 11th and Smith in 14th looking like a good finish was on the cards when the run of bad luck struck again with Depper being sandwiched between Rob Collard and Aiden Moffat resulting in an upright failure, the wheel and drive shaft breaking free and sending him sideways at speed on to the grass at Becketts. This was followed swiftly by Smith getting a puncture, trying to avoid pitting and losing a lap he nursed it home managing to salvage a 15th place finish and some valuable points.
For race 2 the track temperature was rising as the sun beat down, determined to make up for the race 1 disasters Depper having to start from 27th on the grid made impressive progress gaining nine places to finish 18th. Smith was also putting in impressive drive and was up in to 11th place when unbelievably he suffered another puncture which exploded taking with it most of the Type R’s front left quarter, resulting in a safety car being deployed to recover the tyre and bodywork debris from all over the track. This allowed Smith to re-join after a lightening quick tyre change from the Eurotech team eventually finishing in 25th.
Smith battled his way through in race 3 from 25th to finish in 15th just in to the points and this time Depper in 18th suffered a puncture, unbelievably making it three punctures in one day for Eurotech.
Team principal Jeff Smith said “to get a puncture is unlucky, to get three in one day is unbelievable. We’ve been on a real run of bad luck but we have a great team of guys and great cars under us, we keep showing that the pace is there, so we just have to keep our heads up and push on”
The BTCC heads to Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit for the grand finale on October 1st and 2nd Eurotech are holding 5th place in the Independent Teams Championship and will head to Brands Hatch looking to end the season on a high.