Dan Lloyd fought back to usurp a fast-starting Ollie Taylor and win the opening TCR UK Touring Car Championship race at Brands Hatch, his fifth on the bounce.
Lloyd’s WestCoast Racing-run Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR made the slower start of the front row starters, with Taylor easing his Honda Civic Type R FK7 into the lead on the outside of Paddock Hill Bend.
It all kicked off behind as Lewis Kent – who similarly bested the sister WestCoast machine of Andreas Bäckman off the grid into third – made contact with Lloyd on both the entry and exit of Druids, before sliding wide at Graham Hill Bend and allowing the top two to escape.
Taylor held firm for a handful of laps, but the Pyro Motorsport racer left a gap into Clearways and Lloyd cemented his slight pace advantage and extended the gap to 1.8 seconds at the chequered flag.
That result gives the former British Touring Car Championship and TCR International Series racer an even greater point advantage in the standings.
Kent drove a reasonably lonely race thereafter but marked his local event with a season-best result of third – his first podium in the championship – and also the first for a Hyundai i30 N TCR in the UK.
Josh Price’s BMR Autoglym Academy Honda Civic FK2 was initially hit with a five second time penalty for falling foul of Motorsport Vision’s track sensor system and exceeding the circuit limits, but the timing screens later wiped the message.
This would have ensured he finished ahead of Jessica Bäckman, but a mystery problem on the run to the flag caused him to slow, dropping him back to ninth.
Bäckman duly claimed fourth on her first competitive outing at the 1.2 mile Indy circuit.
Stewart Lines was fortunate to make the start after an issue with the air jacks forced his CUPRA to stop on the crest of Paddock Hill on the formation lap, but swift work by the Maximum Motorsport crew put him in the race, and he drove through in composed fashion to fifth.
That came after besting Jessica’s sibling Andreas, who did well to drive around damage caused as a result of contact at Surtees to register sixth at the flag.
Finlay Crocker looked competitive in the closing stages but ultimately claimed seventh in the sister Pyro machine, with Carl Swift (CUPRA), Price and Howard Fuller (Civic FK2) rounding out the top ten.
Darelle Wilson was classified 11th in the Vauxhall Astra, with Alex Morgan a retiree on the Renault Megane TCR on its competitive debut in the UK.
The second race of the weekend gets underway at 15:45 BST.
|1||23||Dan LLOYD||WestCoast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||36||30:21.782||49.609||1|
|2||32||Oliver TAYLOR||Pyro Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||36||1.860||49.703||2|
|3||38||Lewis KENT||Essex & Kent Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||36||3.774||49.971||4|
|4||26||Jessica BÄCKMAN||WestCoast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||36||9.639||49.835||5|
|5||95||Stewart LINES||Maximum Motorsport||CUPRA TCR V3 DSG||36||12.019||49.944||8|
|6||19||Andreas BÄCKMAN||WestCoast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||36||13.287||49.919||3|
|7||8||Finlay CROCKER||Verizon Connect Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||36||16.406||49.734||7|
|8||45||Carl SWIFT||Endurance Financial Racing||CUPRA TCR V3 DSG||36||18.618||50.319||9|
|9||28||Josh PRICE||BMR Autoglym Academy||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||36||25.143||49.939||6|
|10||65||Howard FULLER||Sean Walkinshaw Racing||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||36||34.735||50.318||10|
|11||50||Darelle WILSON||DW Racing||Vauxhall Astra TCR||36||48.273||50.973||12|
|R||5||Alex MORGAN||Wolf-Power Racing||Renault Mégane TCR||19||DNF||51.098||11|
|NS||76||Robert GILMOUR||DPE Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||–||DNS||N/A||13|
|NS||61||Derek PALMER||DPE Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||–||DNS||N/A||14|