Photo: PSP Images

Matt Simpson: “Nothing comes close to the feeling of victory”

Matt Simpson admitted that he was thrilled to secure a first win in the BTCC despite his race day at Oulton Park ultimately ending in disappointing fashion.

The Eurotech Racing man had produced a stunning performance in qualifying to put his Honda Civic Type-R in pole position and then was able to lead from the front when the lights went out in the opening race of the weekend.

The only cause for concern for Simpson came as the race drew towards a close when smoke started to be visible from the front end of the car, with it becoming apparent after the finish that there was an issue with the engine.

That issue was enough to rule Simpson out of the remainder of race day although he wasn’t too down given the earlier success on track.

“It’s great to have got the win and nothing comes close to the feeling and the emotion,” he said. “I felt quite relaxed beforehand and it was only when we were on the slowing down lap that I allowed myself to shed a little tear and went a bit quiet on the radio.

“I hoped that we would be in a position to take a win this season but I didn’t expect it to come here. As it was, we were a bit lucky with the engine because when it started to smoke, I didn’t know if it would hold on and just wanted to get to the end.

“To be honest, I didn’t expect it to be something that was terminal and with the time it was going to take to sort the problem and fit the new engine, we decided to call it a day. I’m not going to be down about it because I’ve got my name in the record books as a BTCC winner and it feels fantastic.”