Motorsport: Bradley Smith left to reflect on what might have been after frustrating end to his NASCAR Euro Series debut at Brands Hatch (From Echo)
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Motorsport: Bradley Smith left to reflect on what might have been after frustrating end to his NASCAR Euro Series debut at Brands Hatch
BILLERICAY racing driver Bradley Smith was left pondering what might have been after his NASCAR Euro Series debut ended when he was unceremoniously dumped off the Brands Hatch track.
The Mectech Motorsport driver had driven a superb qualifying session to put the VGJL Motorsport Toyota Camry sixth on the grid in the wet.
And he made a blistering start to the race and was running second before he became a casually of the rough nature of the series.
Bradley Smith racing (red car number 17) in the NASCAR Euro Series at Brands Hatch
"It was a shame because I made a good start and got up to third and then second.
"I made a move up at Druids and the car in front started to under steer and I got knocked.
"I was still third but going into Clearways I was shoved off on purpose. The same thing happened at the hairpin and it finished my race.
"I think I could have had a really good race. The car had been really good and (team bosses) Joe (Lax) and Victor (Gonzales) have worked really hard "We were just lacking a bit of power but I know we were quick and I feel we could have won it."
Smith made a blistering start to the race as he powered his way off the grid to come out of Paddock Hill Bend in third place, having gained a trio of places.
Race leader Francesca Linossa went off on the third lap, meaning Smith inherited second place and pressurised new leader Paulo Bonifacio.
But the Brazilian span at Druids and blocked Smith, who recovered to restart in third place.
That was short lived as he was shunted off the track seconds later at Clearways, where he rejoined in 10th place.
And Smith's race came to a conclusion on lap six when Gianmarco Ercoli overlooked it at Druids and ploughed into the side of the Essex driver and left him parked up at the exit to the hairpin on lap six.
French driver Wilfried Boucenna won the 26-lap race, which was marred by multiple deployments of the safety car following a series of crashes around Brand's Indy circuit.
Smith was the only British driver in the race and as he surveyed the damage to the car in the garage, he added: "It was the first time out for the team and we have learned a lot and made good progress.
"The cars are quite different to what I'm used to and I have learned a lot from that, but it's a shame that the racing is lacking what is usually acceptable.
"It was an opportunity to do something new and I will take away the positives from it."
Smith returns to duty for Mectech in the Radical European Masters at the Hungaroring on July 4 to 6. He is currently second in the championship, six points behind leader Tristan Viidas.