Chris Smiley keeps points coming on damage limitation weekend at Oulton Park

Jun 12, 2023Race Reports

Chris Smiley secured two top ten finishes at Oulton Park, battling at the front despite some teething issues with his new Civic Type R, which replaces the test car that was used at Snetterton and Croft.
Chris Smiley Restart Racing Oulton Park 2023
The team took delivery of the new car just a few days before the race – as is seemingly becoming the norm for the team, which started 2022 the same way, and then this year, as it became the first team ever to run the new Civic, then the JAS Motorsport development car.

The team took delivery of its full-time car on the Monday before Oulton Park, and barely had time to shake it down before the race weekend.

The team showed good pace in qualifying, with Chris qualifying fourth on the grid, making some improvements late in the session.

Scott Sumpton also qualified well in 11th running in the older FK7 Civic, and the 18-year-old JAS Motorsport development driver was set for an exciting race, but unfortunately a technical issue meant the car had to be withdrawn from the rest of the weekend.

In Race 1, Chris made a fantastic start and was almost challenging for the lead, until the two cars ahead lined up side-by-side into Turn 1 and prevented his progress.

He settled down in third, but soon dropped back to fourth where he started, where he ran a defensive race, keeping back the car behind him (who’d earned himself two track limits penalties trying to pass Chris), and secure the position.

From seventh on the reversed grid race, Chris continued to score useful points, keeping with the pack to finish in seventh, and keeps himself well-placed in the championship.

The team will aim to reset and get ready for the second leg of the season, with the next round a three-race event at the Knockhill circuit near Fife in Scotland on July 22-23.

Chris Smiley Restart Racing 2023
Chris Smiley, #1 Restart Racing Honda Civic Type R FL5 TCR

“It’s been a challenging race meeting for us. We struggled with a misfire all weekend, but we managed to keep our position in both races and raced well all day, so there’s that to take as a positive.

“The new car’s not 100% yet but we’re working very hard. I’d like to say a big thanks to JAS Motorsport and Restart Racing for all their hard work and dedication. This weekend was all about damage limitation, and we’ve done that and scored good points all weekend.

“We have a bit of a break before Knockhill, where actually we’ll be working harder than ever to be ready for the final races.”

Bert Taylor, Restart Racing Team Principal

“The team have worked brilliantly this weekend, and it’s a shame that the results don’t really show how much work went into this weekend. First, taking delivery of another new car just days before the race and us having to work our socks off to have it ready – it was a shame we ended up chasing a minor technical issue all weekend which prevented us from being competitive, so a fourth and seventh for Chris after all that is actually a great result.

“It was a shame we had a problem with Scott’s car which prevented him from being able to race. Hopefully that’s all his bad luck for the season now out of the way as we look forward to sunny Knockhill in July!”


Chris Smiley Restart Racing
Restart Racing Oulton Park 2023
Chris Smiley
Scott Sumpton Oulton Park 2023

Photo credit Phil Laughton Photography.


Restart Racing

Restart Racing has prepared, raced, and won at some of the most famous race circuits in the world. The team has built up a wealth of experience in the motorsport industry and made it its business to consistently build and run race-winning cars.

Over the years the team has run cars by manufacturers such as Honda, TVR, BMW, Chevrolet, Vauxhall, Porsche, Hyundai and Volkswagen in the BTCC, GT3 sports car series, and Hot Rods.

In 2022, our Essex-based professional team competed in the hard-fought TCR UK Touring Car Championship with Chris Smiley at the wheel, pitted against a total of 16 other teams. Having collected our race car from Honda’s specialist preparation company in Italy only days before the start of the season, Chris went on to secure pole position and win the first race at Oulton Park, and would go on to win the championship at Snetterton at the final round.

It turned out to be a great season of racing at some of the UK’s premier circuits, culminating in the team being chosen to represent the UK at the prestigious FIA Motorsport Games at the Paul Ricard circuit in France, where Chris Smiley finished in eighth position against competitors from around the world.


First Response Finance

Founded in 1998, First Response Finance is a leading UK vehicle finance company, with offices in Nottingham, Leigh, and Glasgow. Offering Hire Purchase for cars, vans and motorbikes.

The company philosophy is ‘People, Service, Profit’, which is at the core of everything they do. The company is a people centric business with a team of over 300 highly skilled employees, sharing the same values, so they can deliver the best possible service to their customers.

First Response Finance provide credit solutions for its customers, while creating an extremely positive and trust-based working environment for its employees.

Their unique way of thinking and customer service has seen First Response Finance rated (4.9/5) as the UK’s number one motor finance lender on the Review Centre website.

First Response Finance are also highly rated (4.9/5) by its clients for “Customer Experience” on the feefo reviews website.


Launched in 2018, the TCR UK championship is one of the UK’s most exciting new categories. Utilising the highly-successful TCR technical regulations, of which more than 1,000 cars have been built, the TCR UK championship is going from strength-to-strength, with free-to-air online broadcasting, manufacturer-supported customer racing programmes, and most of all, thrilling, door-to-door, classic touring car racing.


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