BTCC race winner Aron Taylor-Smith steps away to target GT racing

British Touring Car Championship race winner Aron Taylor-Smith will step away from the series next year to pursue a career in GT racing

BTCC race winner Aron Taylor-Smith steps away to target GT racing

Taylor-Smith made his BTCC debut in 2011, contesting the final round of the season with Triple Eight.

He stepped up to the series full-time in 2012 and claimed his first victory that year in a Motorbase Ford Focus, before winning three more races between 2014 and '16 in Volkswagen CCs.

The Irishman spent the 2017 season with the MG Triple Eight Racing squad but endured a frustrating campaign that included his involvement in a horror shunt in qualifying at Croft, in which he suffered a broken leg and concussion.

"I've always wanted to explore a different world of racing," Taylor-Smith told Autosport.

"I've absolutely loved British Touring Cars. I aspired to get into it from the moment I started motorsport and it culminated in getting into it in 2012 with Motorbase and winning a handful of races.

"[But] this was always at the back of my mind to go on to a different chapter - I'm not necessarily saying it's a step up or a step down, but to do some other form of racing.

"Sometimes your calling card gets assigned to a team or a championship and all of a sudden you're looking outside that little bubble or spectrum.

"And that's why I wanted to do something where it was saying I'm really interested in doing something else."

Taylor-Smith drove for Team BMR in 2014 and '15 and achieved two victories in the first season, but was involved in a public war of words with team-mate Jason Plato after the Brands Hatch season finale in '15.

He moved to Team BKR, which inherited BMR's VW CCs, the following year before his switch to the MG Triple Eight Racing squad, which shares a Buntingford base with BMR.

"I've spent four years over here working under the BMR umbrella," he said.

"From a personal point of view, I want to move on to the next chapter in my own life.

"It brings moving back to Ireland, which is quite nice in itself, and I need to become an adult - more so than living on scraps of everything.

"I want to pave a life for myself in the working world and [have] a few other things that are a bit different that can't be achieved over here.

"The one thing I don't want to come across is that I'm in any way negative or condescending about the BTCC.

"I still think it's an absolutely amazing championship and Alan Gow and TOCA deserve a massive round of applause for building it up to the level it is.

"But from my own personal perspective, it's time for change."

Taylor-Smith said he is in talk with a Blancpain GT outfit and that would be his "first port of call" for 2018, while he is also considering options to race in America.

shares
comments
Teenage Australian Supercar racer eyes BTCC switch, tests Vauxhall

Previous article

Teenage Australian Supercar racer eyes BTCC switch, tests Vauxhall

Next article

Clio Cup champion Bushell to make BTCC return with Team Hard

Clio Cup champion Bushell to make BTCC return with Team Hard
Load comments
The increasingly varied CV behind a new BTCC title challenger Plus

The increasingly varied CV behind a new BTCC title challenger

A driver with limited funds behind him, it’s been a tough road to the top of the British Touring Car Championship for Jake Hill. Now he’s a title contender, accomplished historic racer and in-demand coach. It’s a great life for this self-confessed motorsport junkie

BTCC
Aug 26, 2021
The outright tin-top wins achieved by a forgotten tin-top great Plus

The outright tin-top wins achieved by a forgotten tin-top great

Already established as a formidable force in the British Saloon Car Championship, the Triumph Dolomite became a legend in 1977 when Tony Dron's Broadspeed machine frequently embarrassed the mighty Capris

BTCC
May 18, 2021
Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC Plus

Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC

It’s been a busy silly season in the BTCC since the chequered flag fell to end the 2020 campaign last November. While last year’s top two have stayed put, there’s plenty of talking points elsewhere, which should result in another fascinating year of tin-top action

BTCC
May 7, 2021
The giantkilling 'dad and lad' operation taking on the BTCC's best Plus

The giantkilling 'dad and lad' operation taking on the BTCC's best

The Lancashire squad of Ciceley Motorsport has been a BTCC race winner for several years with Adam Morgan and Mercedes. But the switch to WSR-built BMWs and addition of Tom Chilton as a true barometer for Morgan should see the team step up into title contention

BTCC
May 6, 2021
How a returning champion is feeling at home again in the BTCC Plus

How a returning champion is feeling at home again in the BTCC

After topping the times at the end of British Touring Car Championship pre-season testing, it feels like Gordon Shedden has never been away. But after plenty of changes behind the scenes, the three-time champion is bedding himself in to pick up where he left off

BTCC
May 5, 2021
Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out' Plus

Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out'

After a year of enforced absence from the British Touring Car Championship grid, Jason Plato is back and hungrier than ever. Despite stellar opposition and some familiar challenges, the two-time champion still has his eyes focused on the biggest prizes

BTCC
May 4, 2021
How Ingram's clean slate can end his BTCC title wait Plus

How Ingram's clean slate can end his BTCC title wait

After seven years together, Tom Ingram and Speedworks Motorsport have amicably split and gone down separate paths for the 2021 BTCC season. With engineer Spencer Aldridge joining him at the Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai squad, Ingram is confident he can challenge for titles from the off

BTCC
Apr 30, 2021
How the unlikely Capri-slaying Dolomite triumphed against adversary Plus

How the unlikely Capri-slaying Dolomite triumphed against adversary

The Dolomite Sprint was a potent giantkilling weapon during the 1970s in the British Saloon Car Championship, now known as the BTCC. Tin-top legend Andy Rouse explains how it became such a force

BTCC
Apr 25, 2021