Lewis Kent claimed his first race victories in the TCR UK / Touring Car Trophy series at Croft, taking home maximum points from North Yorkshire as Henry Neal and James Turkington emerged as his closest challengers.
Pole-sitter Lewis Kent made a strong start in his Hyundai and led into the first corner, as behind him Alex Day made the most of his rear-wheel drive Audi to leap from fifth on the grid into second and the top position in the TCT class.
James Turkington dropped to third and spent the early laps defending heavily from the Volkswagen driven by Hong Kong driver Sunny Wong, who tried several times to pass Turkington, but struggled to hold the track position in the process each time.
Wong then went off the track on lap three and retired from the race with an apparent problem with his Golf GTi.
Henry Neal dropped to sixth on the first lap and spent the early laps making up lost ground, passing Richard Woods on lap three and then gaining another place with Wong’s demise.
Day, running in second, came under pressure in the mid-stage of the race from Turkington, who forced a pass through the high-speed Sunny In section on lap six, with Neal following through after reeling in the battling pair.
Neal then passed Turkington for second four laps later, getting the inside line for the Jim Clark Esses. By this stage Kent had cleared off at the front, leaving Neal to settle for second.
Turkington completed the podium ahead of Day and Darelle Wilson in fifth.
Woods ultimately retired to the pits after seven laps with a mechanical issue with his CUPRA.
Drama once again struck Alex Day at the start of the race as the Audi driver initially appeared to make a strong start, only for his car to then break before the first corner.
That left Kent once again leading the race, with Turkington slotting into second and Neal initially running in third, until he suffered from a front-left puncture on lap five and went into the gravel trap at Tower, just after a one-lap safety car period.
The safety car was immediately called again on lap six, and racing resumed after a brief pause.
The top four ran in status quo until on lap 11 Sunny Wong clipped a tyre stack and retired from fourth position whilst chasing Darelle Wilson and the final podium place, giving the place to Richard Woods.
Kent thus doubled up, with Turkington and Wilson completing the podium.
Kent now leads the series with 85 points, ahead of Turkington on 83 and Wilson on 60.
The next round of the TCR UK / Touring Car Trophy series is at Brands Hatch on 27 – 28 July.
Race one result
|1||38||Lewis KENT||Essex & Kent Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||18||25:23.262||1:23.937||1|
|2||42||Henry NEAL||Team Dynamics||Honda Civic Type-R||18||8.876||1:23.820||4|
|3||61||James TURKINGTON||Ciceley Motorsport||SEAT León||18||13.351||1:24.155||2|
|4||101||Alex DAY||HMS Racing||Audi A4||18||35.498||1:24.168||5|
|5||50||Darelle WILSON||DW Racing||Vauxhall Astra TCR||18||57.822||1:25.585||7|
|R||4||Richard WOODS||Maximum Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||7||DNF||1:25.524||6|
|R||12||Sunny WONG Yat Shing||Teamwork Huff Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||3||DNF||1:24.570||3|
Race two result
|1||38||Lewis KENT||Essex & Kent Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||25:23.869||1:24.239||1|
|2||61||James TURKINGTON||Ciceley Motorsport||SEAT León||16||3.921||1:24.252||3|
|3||50||Darelle WILSON||DW Racing||Vauxhall Astra TCR||16||12.206||1:24.885||5|
|4||4||Richard WOODS||Maximum Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||16||22.608||1:25.517||6|
|R||12||Sunny WONG Yat Shing||Teamwork Huff Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||DNF||1:25.177||7|
|R||42||Henry NEAL||Team Dynamics||Honda Civic Type-R||4||DNF||1:24.663||2|
|R||101||Alex DAY||HMS Racing||Audi A4||0||DNF||N/A||4|