BURTON racer Graham Smith was delighted to end a 10-year wait as he lifted the 2013 Caterham Classic Grads championship in Belgium last month.
The 37-year-old from Stretton needed a third-place finish or better at Spa-Francorchamps to claim the title for the first time in a decade of competing, and picked up back-to-back victories to see off closest rival Andrew Outterside.
Smith said: “The pressure was on going into the race at Spa.
“But I won both races.
“There was a lot of luck over the course of the season, but it’s like that in any sport and it feels great to win.”
Smith, an engineer by trade, did not get off to the best start as he failed to finish the first race of the season at Pemberley.
Three third-place finishes followed before his maiden win at Oulton Park, and he then went on to top the podium in both races at Castle Combe.
He dipped to fourth in the first Brands Hatch race, but stormed back to win the second, and every race from then until the end of the season, completing doubles at Donington Park, Cadwell Park and Spa.
And he revealed he was relieved to claim the championship for more than one reason.
“It was a shame that the final race fell on my daughter’s first birthday,” Smith said.
“So I had to win it really or my wife would have killed me!”
Smith is keen to build on this success but says needs more sponsorship.
“All this was only achievable due to friends, family and sponsors, and I would like to thank CC Tuning, Castle Comercials, CGH Imports, DA Hulse, Extec, MH Vehicle Services, Tony Press Cars, Dan, Clive, Spense and Paul.
“I would welcome any new sponsors for 2014.” Anyone interested in sponsorship can contact Smith on 07792 177591.