COUNTY-based motorcycle racing team Smiths Racing, which entered the British Supersport race arena just two years ago, has had a season to remember.
Backed by local construction and waste management firm Smiths (Gloucester) Ltd, the Smiths Racing Triumph team ended their season in dramatic style with Glen Richards clinching the 2012 Motorpoint British Supersport Championship and team-mate Billy McConnell taking a superb double victory to end up third in the series.
To cap this fantastic performance in only their second season, the team has been confirmed as Triumph Motorcycles' official factory team for the 2013 season.
The new team will be known simply as Smiths Triumph.
The backing by the Hinckley-based manufacturer will add further impetus to the team, complementing their championship winning season.
Smiths' elevation to factory team status will enable it to work more closely with Triumph on race bike development, while supporting the UK manufacturer's ongoing investment in grass roots British motorcycle racing.
The closer ties to Smiths cements Triumph's commitment to UK racing, which sees the manufacturer also supporting young talent through its Young Guns initiative (now in its second year) and more experienced riders via the Triple Challenge series.
Team manager Rebecca Smith said of the season: "To be British Champions is a really fantastic feeling but it's fair to say it was a nerve-racking way to end the season.
"The result of the race and Championship was in doubt right up to the finish. It means so much to everyone concerned with the team and we're all absolutely over the moon so a big thank you to every single person that's been part of Smiths Racing Triumph in 2012.
"All the hard work of the team has now been rewarded, not only with the Championship but also with the news from Triumph. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to further develop our team with the commitment of the Triumph factory. After only two years in the British Supersport class, this is a huge testament to all of those who have been involved. We are eagerly anticipating the 2013 season and working alongside Triumph UK."