MOTORSPORT: Carrick’s Chris Smiley stars at Cultra Hillclimb

Chris Smiley at Cultra Hillclimb. INCT 24-800CON

Chris Smiley at Cultra Hillclimb. INCT 24-800CON

Carrickfergus driver, Chris Smiley, was one of the leading attractions as he powered a brand new Lexus GS-F up the world’s oldest active hillclimb on Saturday.

The Carrick driver powered up the Co Down tarmac, based at Cultra Manor, carrying out two showcase runs throughout the day alongside Belfast-based Porsche driver, Charlie Eastwood.

“It has been a great day,” said the 24 year old, “it has only rained a wee bit and the weather has been kind. It is an excellent event and great to see all the fans!

“It is an honour to have been asked to come down and take part, the Cultra Hillclimb is an event that has a lot of history. Thanks to Charles Hurst Lexus for giving us a car to put on show today.”

The Hillclimb, which was celebrating its 111th year, also gave Smiley the opportunity to drive in front of his local fans who cannot make it across the water for a round of the British Touring Car Championship.

He added: “It is great to see everyone here as there is not a round of the BTCC in Northern Ireland. It gives fans of the British Touring Cars an opportunity to come see some local action.”

It was Smiley’s first opportunity to drive the Lexus, with the TLC run Toyota Avensis driver enjoying the experience,

“It is a great car to drive. If you are looking to buy a big, fast, saloon car there are not many better things to have. 470 Brake Horse Power and a really fun circuit, what is there not to like!”

Meanwhile, Smiley is back in action this coming weekend, as the British Touring Car Championship series rolls on to Croft, “Hopefully we can get a bit of luck but I am looking forward to getting the car where it should be!”