克里斯-斯邁利北愛爾蘭車手在贏得TCR英國賽區冠軍後 "眼含熱淚

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克里斯-斯邁利北愛爾蘭車手在贏得TCR英國賽區冠軍後 "眼含熱淚

克里斯-斯邁利從8歲開始接觸卡丁車,就夢想着成為一名巡迴賽冠軍。

當這位30歲的年輕人在最後一場比賽結束後走出他的本田思域時,他的臉上刻滿了激動的表情。

"在生活中,你不會有很多這樣的時刻,你為之努力了整整一生,"斯邁利說。

"我從8歲起就開始參加比賽,沒有多少個賽季是你真正贏得冠軍的。

"這是一種偉大的感覺,我永遠也不會忘記。"

更令人印象深刻的是,斯邁利和他的Restart車隊在賽季開始前三天才收到他們的本田思域Type R,而勝利是在車隊經理伯特-泰勒從嚴重的健康問題中恢復後幾個月才取得的。

斯邁利說,這兩個因素使冠軍 "更加特別"。

"每當你的團隊就在你身後,你和他們一起經歷了這麼多不同的事情,我們在結束時幾乎眼含淚水,事實上我們可能確實如此,"他補充說。

斯邁利在英國房車錦標賽的六個賽季後轉戰TCR英國系列賽,他在2018年成為比賽冠軍。

TCR UK曾經被視為BTCC的弟弟,與前者在2018年成立相比,BTCC有70年的歷史。

然而,它正在迅速崛起,像斯邁利這樣的BTCC比賽冠軍的加入,為錦標賽增加了價值,因為它希望與年長的房車系列相抗衡。

"這筆交易完成得太快了,但在賽季開始時在如此短的時間內使這一切發生,我們都感到非常自豪,"斯邁利補充說。

"在那段時間裡把它放在一起是一回事,更不用說把它放在杆位上並贏得第一場比賽了--沒有多少車隊能做到這一點,這是我們永遠也不會忘記的事情之一。"

在七輪比賽中--從布蘭茲哈奇和多寧頓公園的坡度和速度,到康貝城堡和歐頓公園的緊張、扭曲的轉彎--斯邁利一直處於領先位置,在進入最後一輪時與艾薩克-史密斯的積分持平。

然而,史邁利通過獲得杆位和第一場比賽的勝利控制了局面--這是他今年的第二場勝利--並在濕滑條件下獲得第三名,以21分的優勢獲得冠軍。

"斯邁利補充說:"在英國的好天氣下,最後一個周末的天氣很好,也很潮濕。

"在整個最後一場比賽中,我基本上是在與我的主要冠軍對手爭奪,直到最後幾圈才真正決定。

"這是一場緊張的比賽,我只享受了最後兩圈,因為我知道工作已經完成,但這是一個偉大的周末,我們非常非常自豪。

我非常感謝很多人

由於在英國錦標賽中處於領先地位,斯邁利在贏得冠軍一周後被邀請到法國參加賽車運動運動會--被稱為 "賽車運動的奧林匹克"--與世界上最好的幾個TCR車手進行競爭。

儘管這是他第一次參加比賽,而且他的剎車出現了一些問題,但斯邁利表現出色,在法國的賽道上取得了第八名的成績。

"他補充說:"這是一次偉大的經歷,被要求去做這件事是一種榮譽。

他補充說:"能夠進入前十名並與前面的賽車爭奪,我們當然沒有讓自己難堪,我想如果我們再回去,我們可以進入前五名。我非常感謝我們有機會去做這件事。

"任何了解賽車運動或任何頂級運動的人都知道,你的壞日子比好日子多。對於我們來說,能夠回顧今年並說我們是英國房車錦標賽的冠軍,我非常感謝幫助我走到這一步的所有人。

"他們都是我贏得冠軍的一部分,所以我非常感謝很多人。"


Since he first started karting at the age of eight, Chris Smiley had dreamt about becoming a touring car champion.

When the 30-year-old stepped out of his Honda Civic after the final race, the emotion was etched across his face.

"You don't get many moments like that in life, where you have worked so hard for a full lifetime," said Smiley.

"I have been racing since I was eight years old, and there aren't many seasons where you actually win a championship.

"It was a great feeling and something I will never, ever forget."

What is more impressive is that Smiley and his Restart Racing team only received their Honda Civic Type R just three days before the start of the season and victory came just months after team manager Bert Taylor recovered from serious health problems.

Smiley said both those factors made the championship "even more special".

"Whenever your team is right behind you and you have been with them through so many different things, we nearly had a tear in our eye at the end of the day, in fact we probably did have," he added.

Smiley made the switch to the TCR UK series following six seasons in the British Touring Car Championship, in which he became a race winner in 2018.

TCR UK used to be seen as the younger brother of the BTCC, which has 70 years of history compared to the former's formation in 2018.

However, it is rapidly rising and the addition of a BTCC race winner like Smiley added value to the championship as it looks to rival the elder touring car series.

"The deal was done so fast, but making it all happen in such a short space of time at the start of the season is something we are all very proud of," Smiley added.

"Putting it together in that time is one thing, never mind turning up, putting it on pole position and winning the first race - not many teams could have done that and it was one of those things we will never, ever forget."

Across the seven rounds - spanning from the dips and speed of Brands Hatch and Donington Park to the tight, twisting turns of Castle Combe and Oulton Park - Smiley was consistently at the front and level on points heading into the final round with Isaac Smith.

However, Smiley took control by taking pole position and winning race one - his second victory of the year - and a third place finish in wet conditions secured the title by 21 points.

"With the good old British weather it was nice and wet for the last weekend," Smiley added.

"I was basically fighting with my main title rival throughout the whole final race and it wasn't really decided until the last few laps.

"It was a stressful race and I only enjoyed the last two laps when I knew the job was done, but it was a great weekend and something we are very, very proud of.

'I'm very thankful to a lot of people'

By leading the British championship, Smiley was invited to France a week after winning the title to compete at the Motorsport Games - dubbed the 'Olympics of Motorsport' - to compete against several of the best TCR drivers in the world.

Despite it being his first time at the circuit and teething issues with his brakes, Smiley put in a strong showing to take eighth place around the French circuit.

"It was a great experience and an honour to be asked to go and do it," he added.

"To be in the top 10 and be battling with the front cars, we certainly didn't embarrass ourselves and I think if we went back again we could be in the top five. I'm very thankful we had the opportunity to go and do that.

"Anyone who knows about motorsport or any top-level sport, you have more bad days than good. For us to be able to look back at this year and say we are British champions in touring car championship, I'm very thankful for everyone who has helped me get to this point.

"They have all been a part of it as much I have in winning the championship, so I'm very thankful for a lot of people."

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