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Jeff Smith returns to racing at Silverstone Classic after 2017 BTCC crash

British Touring Car driver Jeff Smith will race for the first time in over a year after injuries sustained in a 12-car pile-up left him in intensive care

The Eurotech Racing Honda Civic driver suffered nine broken ribs, concussion and extensive shoulder damage in a massive crash that occurred during a rain-soaked Croft qualifying session in June last year.

Smith will make his return in the Transatlantic Trophy for pre-1966 touring cars on the Sunday of the Silverstone Classic, driving an Austin Mini Cooper S.

"I've come back now because of how I've been feeling, [not because of doctors' advice]," he told Autosport.

"I had tendon surgery on the supraspinatus in my shoulder and then nerve surgery on the deltoid, so they took a tricep nerve away and connected it to my deltoid because the original one got crushed.

"I always feel that unless I'm winning something I don't want to compete in it.

"It got to the point now where my shoulder is probably 70% and my head 95% so we're good enough to try and win."

The last-minute deal to race will be Smith's first time in a historic race. He and co-driver Mark Burnett were the 11th fastest Mini in qualifying and 24th overall.

"It's my first time in a race car at a race meeting [since the crash], I did a track day at Thruxton in a Super Mighty Mini," he said.

"I've never been in the car before and I've never done this configuration of the grand prix circuit before."

Despite feeling ready to race again, Smith is not sure whether he will return to the British Touring Car Championship.

"If I can get fit enough, I would," added the 52-year-old. "Realistically, it's taken me a year to get back to where I am now and age is not on my side. I'm not setting my heights too high."

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