Chris Smiley has joined EXCELR8 Motorsport for the 2020 British Touring Car Championship, completing the Hyundai team’s line-up.
Smiley has moved to the Suffolk based squad, having spent the last three seasons with BTC Racing, where he took his first and only victory to date at the final Rockingham round in 2018.
He continued his form into 2019, scoring three podium results and finished 14th in the driver’s championship, but Smiley has decided to move to EXCELR8 into to progress further up the grid.
EXCELR8 have switched from the MG6 GT to the Hyundai i30 N Performance for 2019, and are aiming to be regular point scorers in 2020, having been working on their new cars since September last year.
Speaking about his move to EXCELR8, Smiley commented: “I’m very excited to be joining EXCELR8 Motorsport for the new season.
“It is going to be a good challenge to work with the team and bring Hyundai into the BTCC as a new manufacturer.
“I know the team at EXCELR8 have made an incredible effort with the new car over the winter months and have strengthened their engineering capabilities and brought in some very talented people to work on the project.
“Developing a new car is always a great challenge, and to do it with a brand that has a tremendous passion for motorsport like Hyundai means this is a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved to create something really special.
“The BTCC is an ultra-competitive championship and being a race winner in the series I know that I can mix it at the sharp end of the series.
“I fully believe that this new project will allow me to do that, and I am more motivated than ever to make this new partnership a success – not just for one season but as a long-term plan for us both.”
EXCELR8 Team Principal, Ollie Shepherd also added that he is pleased to have completed such a strong line-up for 2020, having already secured the signing of Senna Proctor, and he believes they can cause a few surprises during the year.
“Chris Smiley alongside Senna Proctor, what a driver line-up!” added Shepherd.
“We now know that we have the drivers to win BTCC races, we have the best looking operation to do our partners proud, we have a superstar engineering team to be announced and we have new cars that are ticking all the right boxes during the development and build process.
“2020 will be the year when we surprise the establishment! Overconfident, no way!
“Chris and Senna are two of the best young drivers in BTCC and this year we will do our very best to give them the tools to get the job done.”