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Lloyd set to join Smiley on grid until season end

 

By Sammy Hamill

Carrickfergus racer Chris Smiley will have a new team-mate for this weekend's rounds of the British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park.

Smiley's rapid rise up the grid has also triggered a switch which sees Daniel Lloyd replace James Nash in the second of the Northern-Ireland-owned BTC Norlin team's Honda Civics for the rest of the season.

Nash moved from the World Touring Car series but failed to match the fast improving performances of Smiley, the 26-year-old Carrick driver now a consistent top 10 runner and having banked his first podium when second at Donington.

He heads to the Cheshire circuit tenth in the standings and is just 26 points behind fellow Ulsterman Colin Turkington.

Turkington bounced back from an inconsistent start to the season with two podium places in the last meeting at Thruxton, moving him up to fifth in the championship, 28 points behind leader Adam Morgan.

The tight track is one where he has won numerous times before and he goes there buoyed by the West Surrey Racing BMW's performance at Thruxton.

It is an important weekend for Daniel Harper too, as he looks to redeem himself after crashing on the first lap of the GB Porsche Carrera Cup round at Monza.

Meanwhile, Citroën started their first World Championship Rally without Kris Meeke in Sardinia last night after a poor performance in the shakedown test. Craig Breen was tenth fastest.

Tomorrow sees round three of the McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Championship with Derek McGarrity heading a smaller than usual line-up for the Newry Club's Modern Tyres Mourne Rally (9am start).

Belfast Telegraph

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