On the back of a 2016 season that exceeded all expectations, Aron Taylor-Smith headed into 2017 confident of fighting towards the front of the BTCC field.

Returning to the Triple Eight team that had given him his series debut, the Irish racer was seeking to impress at the wheel of the teams MG6 GT, with the target being to add to the four wins he had secured by that point in his career

What followed however was arguably one of the toughest seasons of his career – including the monster accident at Croft that involved almost half of the grid…

“Even now, I don’t remember what happened on the day and only know what people told me about it afterwards, so it didn’t really affect me,” he said. “It’s [wife] Lauren I feel sorry for, because she was the one who saw it happen and had to go through it all.

“The accident showed how safe a modern day BTCC car is, and it’s become a bit of a running joke with Lauren – which she hates – that I must be indestructible now having come through it.

“Getting back behind the wheel after what happened didn’t bother me, and it isn’t something that has crossed my mind since. If it did bother me, then it would be time to walk away.”

You can read the full feature with Taylor-Smith as he reflects on his career to date and his return to the grid this season with Team HARD in the February edition of Inside BTCC, which is on sale here for just £2.49