Rounds 13, 14 & 15 of BTCC at the Croft circuit proved to be a lot more challenging than first anticipated, mainly due to unexpected worsening of weather conditions. Heavy rain during the qualifying race for Round 13 lead to an extremely wet and slippery tarmac, making the cars slip and slide uncontrollably at almost every turn.
The sharp and wet Bancroft corner however, was too much to handle for MG Racing RCIB Insurance’s Aron Smith, Eurotech Racing’s Jeff Smith and Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo driver Luke Davenport. All three drivers suffered serious, yet not immediately life threatening injuries. Jeff Smith is in a serious but stable condition, with multiple chest injuries, extensive shoulder injuries and concussion. Luke Davenport is currently in intensive care in an induced coma, and is in a serious but stable condition, with multiple chest injuries, lung damage, broken right leg, broken pelvis, broken right arm and concussion. Aron Smith got away with a fractured leg and concussion and even though he was released the following day, he was unable to compete in any of the weekend rounds.
Triple Eight Racing Team had released a statement following the crash:
“Árón was taken to the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough and we are saddened to report that, following assessment, it has been confirmed that he has suffered a fracture to his left leg. Árón will remain in hospital overnight so he can be closely monitored for a concussion he suffered. We are however delighted to report, probably unsurprisingly to his many fans, that he is in remarkably good spirits and from his hospital bed has been issuing instructions to his mechanical and engineering colleagues on his expectations for the immediate repair of his stricken MG6!”
“Árón, his family and friends have been incredibly moved by the goodwill messages received from across the paddock and the wider BTCC family and have asked that we convey their sincere thanks. Everyone involved with the MG RCiB racing team would like to pay tribute to the Marshals, medical staff, Circuit and competition officials for their incredibly prompt and effective work managing such a serious incident. Our thoughts and best wishes go to both Árón and the other drivers injured in this incident – Luke Davenport and Jeff Smith – for a speedy recovery”
Bad news aside, this BTCC weekend proved to be very fortunate for the young Ashley Sutton, he managed to show the best performance during all of the three rounds and now stands in 4th place. Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden once again pulled it out of the bag and is continuing to be ranked 1st in the overall championship standings board.
Josh Cook, who came back to race for MG RCiB Racing, managed to climb his way to 13th place, following impressive p5 win during qualifying race and p7 win during 13th round. Team Triple Eight Racing are extremely delighted with this result and are looking forward to having both Josh and hopefully completely recovered Aron back for the next set of rounds taking place at Snetterton at the end of July.