Chris Smiley and Jessica Hawkins share TCR UK wins in season opener

Restart Racing’s Chris Smiley and Area Motorsport’s Jessica Hawkins shared the victories in the TCR UK season opener at Oulton Park on Easter Monday, as the series boasted its biggest grids to-date.

An impressive field of 25 cars entered for the first event of the year in Cheshire, although Hugo Cook would fail to take the start of either race in his Audi due to technical issues.

In qualifying, Northern Irishman Smiley put his Honda on pole position by just over two tenths of a second from the Volkswagen Golf of Isaac Smith.

- Advertisement -

Smiley is making his début in the series this year after having previously raced full-time in the BTCC for the past five years.

Chris Smiley, Restart Racing, Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR
A strong first TCR weekend for Chris Smiley. Photo: TCR UK

Race one

At the start of race one, Smiley came under early pressure from Smith but was able to eke out a comfortable margin, as Race Car Consultants’ Smith came under increasing pressure from the chasing Hyundai of Max Hart in third.

Smith held out for over half of the race, but on lap nine Jamsport Racing’s Hart got a better run out of Old Hall corner and catapulted into second into the first corner, although Smith did try to fight back.

After the change of position, however, Hart could do nothing to catch and prevent Smiley claiming a first win in his maiden race in the series.

Irishman Hart, now in his third year in the series, claimed second, with Smith completing the podium.

Area Motorsport’s Bruce Winfield stole fourth from Essex & Kent Motorsport’s Lewis Kent on the penultimate lap, when Kent put his Hyundai Veloster slightly wide at Island corner and gave Winfield a better run in his CUPRA.

Kent was fifth, in what is the first outing for the Veloster N outside of Asia or North America.

Power Maxed Racing’s Jac Constable was sixth in his CUPRA, ahead of team-mate Callum Newsham in seventh.

One of the most exciting battles of the race came as a result of the JamSport Subaru of Ant Whorton-Eales holding up the field in eighth early on.

On lap four, Adam Shepherd passed Hawkins’ CUPRA going into the final corner after Whorton-Eales made a poor exit ahead, and the three diced closely for two laps, with Shepherd’s Hyundai emerging in front two laps later, quickly followed by Hawkins with a door-banging move into the Knickerbrook chicane.

Shephewrd later lost power steering and went off the road, dropping him out of the top ten.

Jack Depper then pressured Whorton-Eales before the Subaru retired after eight laps, with Depper ultimately claiming eighth in the race ahead of Hawkins and her team-mate Jamie Tonks.

Andy Wilmot retired from the race after ten laps when he clipped a tyre stack exiting the Knickerbrook chicane and damaged the front-right corner of his car.

Race one result

POS NO CL NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP GD
1 22 Chris SMILEY Restart Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 15 26:06.182 1:42.714 1
2 101 Max HART Jamsport Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 1.526 1:43.129 4
3 123 Isaac SMITH Race Car Consultants Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 15 4.654 1:43.231 2
4 37 Bruce WINFIELD Area Motorsport CUPRA TCR 15 7.316 1:43.179 3
5 1 Lewis KENT Essex & Kent Motorsport Hyundai Veloster N TCR 15 8.848 1:43.735 5
6 257 Jac CONSTABLE Power Maxed Racing CUPRA TCR 15 9.121 1:43.328 11
7 16 Callum NEWSHAM Power Maxed Racing CUPRA TCR 15 12.032 1:43.673 8
8 33 Jack DEPPER Capture Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 15 32.864 1:44.017 14
9 21 Jessica HAWKINS Area Motorsport with FASTR CUPRA TCR 15 35.876 1:44.518 9
10 74 Jamie TONKS Area Motorsport with FASTR CUPRA TCR 15 36.972 1:44.878 15
11 31 Matthew WILSON JWB Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 15 39.091 1:44.244 17
12 117 Adam SHEPHERD Jamsport Racing with Shepherd Motors Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 48.840 1:43.632 6
13 50 Darelle WILSON DW Racing Vauxhall Astra TCR 15 50.690 1:45.398 19
14 27 Scott SUMPTON Essex & Kent Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 53.437 1:45.611 18
15 72 Russell JOYCE Power Maxed Racing with Joyce Design CUPRA TCR 15 54.930 1:45.915 20
16 35 Steve GALES Playerlands Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 1:42.811 1:47.548 22
17 40 Simon TOMLINSON Jamsport Racing CUPRA TCR 14 + 1 LAP 1:48.785 23
18 47 Kieran GRIFFIN JWB Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 + 1 LAP 1:47.397 21
19 52 Chris WALLIS Power Maxed Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 14 + 1 LAP 1:51.112 24
R 210 Andy WILMOT Jamsport Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 10 DNF 1:44.825 16
R 11 Ant WHORTON-EALES Jamsport Racing Subaru WRX STi TCR 8 DNF 1:44.987 13
R 5 Bradley KENT Essex & Kent Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 2 DNF 1:58.118 10
R 94 Rob BUTLER JWB Motorsport with Maximum Networks Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 0 DNF N/A 7
R 17 Bradley HUTCHINSON BOND-IT with MPHR Audi RS3 LMS TCR 0 DNF N/A 12
NS 29 Hugo COOK Hugo Cook Audi RS3 LMS TCR DNS N/A 25
Jessica Hawkins, Area Motorsport with FASTR, CUPRA TCR
Jessica Hawkins bagged race two honours. Photo: TCR UK

Race two

Tonks claimed the reverse-grid pole for race two, with team-mate Hawkins alongside.

Hawkins immediately claimed the lead before the first corner when the lights went out, with Tonks dropping to third as Constable claimed second around the outside line.

Tonks then fell back to sixth over the opening lap, but the safety car was called upon due to an accident where Kieran Griffin and Andy Wilmot squeezed Steve Gales on the startline, pitching Griffin and Wilmot into each other and ending with Griffin in the barriers.

Racing resumed on lap four with Hawkins making a good getaway, but Tonks would drop down to 18th when he went wide at Cascades, allowing Smiley into sixth.

Another safety car period came at the end of lap five when Gales was hit by Wilmot at the final corner and turned into the gravel, ending both driver’s races.

At the restart on lap seven, Constable in second made a poor restart, possibly hampered by a technical issue which saw him stop further around the lap.

That saw Hawkins enjoy a huge margin, as Hart assumed second with Smith following in third.

It took just two laps for Hart to cut Hawkin’s two-second lead to nothing, but try as he might the Hyundai driver could not find a way through, as Hawkins went on to claim her first TCR win in her first weekend in the series.

For Hart, it was another second-place finish, with Newsham completing the podium after he passed Smith heading into the final corner three laps from the end.

Smith was thus fourth, ahead of Smiley in fifth and Lewis Kent in sixth.

The next TCR UK event takes place at Donington Park on 28 – 29 May.

Race two result

POS NO CL NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP GD
1 21 Jessica HAWKINS Area Motorsport with FASTR CUPRA TCR 13 26:11.834 1:43.573 2
2 101 Max HART Jamsport Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 0.261 1:42.840 9
3 16 Callum NEWSHAM Power Maxed Racing CUPRA TCR 13 5.699 1:43.799 4
4 123 Isaac SMITH Race Car Consultants Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 13 7.126 1:43.859 8
5 22 Chris SMILEY Restart Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 13 7.288 1:43.514 10
6 1 Lewis KENT Essex & Kent Motorsport Hyundai Veloster N TCR 13 7.906 1:43.543 6
7 33 Jack DEPPER Capture Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 13 10.814 1:44.228 3
8 117 Adam SHEPHERD Jamsport Racing with Shepherd Motors Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 12.547 1:43.849 12
9 17 Bradley HUTCHINSON BOND-IT with MPHR Audi RS3 LMS TCR 13 16.874 1:44.950 24
10 31 Matthew WILSON JWB Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 13 17.818 1:44.993 11
11 72 Russell JOYCE Power Maxed Racing with Joyce Design CUPRA TCR 13 21.030 1:45.103 15
12 27 Scott SUMPTON Essex & Kent Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 21.307 1:45.043 14
13 74 Jamie TONKS Area Motorsport with FASTR CUPRA TCR 13 21.863 1:44.946 1
14 11 Ant WHORTON-EALES Jamsport Racing Subaru WRX STi TCR 13 24.177 1:45.262 21
15 37 Bruce WINFIELD Area Motorsport CUPRA TCR 13 30.506 1:43.858 7
16 40 Simon TOMLINSON Jamsport Racing CUPRA TCR 13 45.368 1:48.303 17
17 52 Chris WALLIS Power Maxed Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 13 48.538 1:48.061 19
18 35 Steve GALES Playerlands Audi RS3 LMS TCR 12 + 1 LAP 1:48.333 16
R 50 Darelle WILSON DW Racing Vauxhall Astra TCR 10 DNF 1:45.366 13
R 94 Rob BUTLER JWB Motorsport with Maximum Networks Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 10 DNF 1:45.022 23
R 257 Jac CONSTABLE Power Maxed Racing CUPRA TCR 6 DNF 1:44.544 5
R 210 Andy WILMOT Jamsport Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 4 DNF 2:33.827 20
R 47 Kieran GRIFFIN JWB Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 0 DNF N/A 18
R 5 Bradley KENT Essex & Kent Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR 0 DNF N/A 22
NS 29 Hugo COOK Hugo Cook Audi RS3 LMS TCR DNS N/A
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected

7,273FansLike
6,669FollowersFollow

Must Read

- Advertisement -

Related News

- Advertisement -