Area Motorsport’s Bruce Winfield and Chameleon Motorsport’s Lewis Brown shared the spoils in the opening weekend of TCR UK action at Snetterton, with two exciting races.
Essex & Kent Motorsport’s Bradley Kent had seemingly qualified his Hyundai Veloster on pole on Saturday, only to lose his place after a technical infringement, leaving him to start from the back.
That gave Area Motorsport’s Josh Files pole for race one, but at the start it was team-mate Winfield who leapt into a lead he would not lose.
For Winfield, his fourth TCR UK career victory was especially emotional after he lost his father during the off-season.
Files kept Winfield honest in the race, but never really challenged him for the lead, the multiple TCR champion going on to finish second in his first-ever TCR UK race.
Restart Racing’s Chris Smiley brought his brand new Honda Civic Type-R FL5 home to complete the podium in third, the reigning champion benefitting when Adam Shepherd’s Hyundai slowed on lap five.
Brown was fourth, having got the jump on Alex Ley on the opening lap, although Ley brought his Area Motorsport-run Hyundai home in fifth.
Former BTCC racer Carl Boardley was sixth in his CUPRA, ahead of the best second-generation Audi of Joe Marshall-Birks in seventh.
Series rookie Jenson Brickley brought his CUPRA home in eighth, and Restart Racing’s Scott Sumpton would have been ninth but he was later excluded for a technical infringement.
That gave Audi racer Bradley Hutchison ninth, and CUPRA driver Alistair Camp got tenth, therefore handing the duo the front row of the grid for the second encounter.
Race one result
|1||37||Bruce WINFIELD||Area Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||13||25:49.665||1:58.237||2|
|2||9||Josh FILES||Area Motorsport||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||13||0.469||1:57.719||1|
|3||1||Chris SMILEY||Restart Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FL5 TCR||13||4.887||1:58.375||4|
|4||39||Lewis BROWN||Chameleon Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||13||8.156||1:58.460||6|
|5||76||Alex LEY||Area Motorsport with Daniel James||Hyundai i30 N TCR||13||10.598||1:58.571||5|
|6||41||Carl BOARDLEY||Zest Racecar Engineering||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||13||13.509||1:58.991||11|
|7||99||Joe MARSHALL||Rob Boston Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||13||14.672||1:58.947||9|
|8||246||Jenson BRICKLEY||Jenson Brickley Racing||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||13||19.289||1:59.245||8|
|9||17||Bradley HUTCHISON||BOND IT with MPHR||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||13||33.993||1:59.472||13|
|10||45||Alistair CAMP||Pro Alloys Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||13||34.179||1:58.823||15|
|11||4||Bradley KENT||Essex & Kent Motorsport||Hyundai Veloster N TCR||13||34.537||1:58.999||24|
|12||14||Daniel KIRBY||Zest Racecar Engineering||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||13||42.303||1:59.870||14|
|13||31||Matthew WILSON||JWB Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||13||54.541||2:01.294||17|
|14||223||Garry TOWNSEND||Paul Sheard Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||13||1:13.257||2:02.010||20|
|15||285||Darron LEWIS||Darron Lewis Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||13||1:22.068||2:00.164||16|
|16||117||Adam SHEPHERD||Area Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||12||+ 1 LAP||1:58.150||3|
|17||35||Steve GALES||MPHR||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||12||+ 1 LAP||2:09.105||22|
|18||28||George JAXON||JWB Motorsport with Trade Nation||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||11||+ 2 LAPS||2:05.058||21|
|R||72||Rick KERRY||Team AFM Racing||CUPRA TCR||12||+ 1 LAP||2:01.537||19|
|R||11||Jac CONSTABLE||Rob Boston Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||10||DNF||1:59.168||23|
|R||16||Callum NEWSHAM||JH Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||7||DNF||1:58.593||7|
|R||50||Darelle WILSON||DW Racing||Vauxhall Astra TCR||6||DNF||2:00.522||18|
|R||98||Oliver COTTAM||Paul Sheard Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||4||DNF||2:00.418||12|
|EX||27||Scott SUMPTON||Restart Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||13||31.822||1:59.927||10|
At the start, reverse-grid pole-sitter Camp was beaten to the first corner by the Audi of Hutchison, who had started alongside on the front row.
Area Motorsport’s Files found himself in fourth by the exit of the Montreal hairpin, pressuring the Audi of Marshall-Birks, who had gained a place off the line to third.
Marshall dived inside Camp at Agostini half-way around the first lap, followed by Files, who then passed Marshall for second at Williams before the yellow flags then flew.
Behind them, reigning champion Smiley lost the rear of his Honda at the first corner, bouncing over the inside kerb and into an uncontrollable slide which saw him nerf the inside Armco head-on before bouncing back across the circuit, thankfully being avoided by the field.
Nonetheless, the Northern Irishman was out of the race and a one-lap safety car period was required.
“Unfortunately there was nothing I could do in the second race, as I just spun on the dirt that was thrown on track by the car in front of me and the rear just came around,” explained Smiley.
“The damage to the car was so light we could probably had continued if the undertray hadn’t come down.”
Files became caught behind Hutchison when racing resumed on lap three, allowing Marshall-Birks to attempt a late lunge at Murrays.
With Files baulked exiting the corner, it became a five-car scrap for second. Brown tagged Files Hyundai at Riches, knocking the local racer into a slide, but it was Marshall-Birks who emerged ahead of Files leaving the hairpin, all the action meanwhile allowing Hutchison a small break at the front.
Marshall-Birks dived for the lead past Hutchison at The Esses but made a mistake and lost the rear of his Audi, losing a dozen places in the process.
Files then echoed the move Marshall-Birks had pulled on him a lap earlier to snatch the lead at Murrays a few corners later, as Brown then passed Hutchison for second around the outside of the hairpin on lap four.
Files led the race for seven laps, with around a second advantage over Brown, before the CUPRA driver closed in three laps from the finish.
Then, heading out of Riches on the penultimate lap, and with Brown all over his back bumper, the engine expired on Files’ Elantra.
That handed a clear run to a maiden victory for Brown, who won by over five seconds from Area Motorsport’s Ley in second.
Race one winner Winfield completed the podium, ahead of Bradley Kent, who continued his recovery drive after starting race one from the back.
Boardley bagged a best-ever touring car raced result by bringing his CUPRA home in fifth, ahead of Shepherd in sixth. The recovering Marshall-Birks, who dropped as low as 13th after his off, recovered to take the chequered flag in seventh.
Winfield leads the drivers’ standings with 75 points, ahead of Brown (69) and Ley (61).
The next TCR UK event takes place at Croft on 6 – 7 May.
Race two result
|1||39||Lewis BROWN||Chameleon Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||12||26:30.992||1:57.564||7|
|2||76||Alex LEY||Area Motorsport with Daniel James||Hyundai i30 N TCR||12||5.308||1:58.467||6|
|3||37||Bruce WINFIELD||Area Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||12||6.843||1:58.710||10|
|4||4||Bradley KENT||Essex & Kent Motorsport||Hyundai Veloster N TCR||12||7.761||1:58.167||11|
|5||41||Carl BOARDLEY||Zest Racecar Engineering||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||12||11.784||1:59.353||5|
|6||117||Adam SHEPHERD||Area Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||12||12.148||1:58.720||16|
|7||99||Joe MARSHALL||Rob Boston Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||12||15.685||1:59.153||4|
|8||246||Jenson BRICKLEY||Jenson Brickley Racing||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||12||17.555||1:59.065||3|
|9||17||Bradley HUTCHISON||BOND IT with MPHR||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||12||21.896||1:59.690||2|
|10||45||Alistair CAMP||Pro Alloys Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||12||23.259||1:59.226||1|
|11||16||Callum NEWSHAM||JH Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||12||23.425||1:58.734||21|
|12||14||Daniel KIRBY||Zest Racecar Engineering||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||12||29.848||2:00.596||12|
|13||27||Scott SUMPTON||Restart Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||12||31.349||2:00.320||24|
|14||98||Oliver COTTAM||Paul Sheard Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||12||32.420||2:00.402||23|
|15||285||Darron LEWIS||Darron Lewis Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||12||33.552||2:00.876||15|
|16||31||Matthew WILSON||JWB Motorsport||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||12||34.047||2:00.316||13|
|17||72||Rick KERRY||Team AFM Racing||CUPRA TCR||12||38.987||2:01.084||19|
|18||50||Darelle WILSON||DW Racing||Vauxhall Astra TCR||12||48.386||2:00.483||22|
|19||11||Jac CONSTABLE||Rob Boston Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||12||36.040||2:00.578||20|
|20||223||Garry TOWNSEND||Paul Sheard Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR II||12||1:00.654||2:02.666||14|
|21||28||George JAXON||JWB Motorsport with Trade Nation||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||12||1:44.201||2:07.658||18|
|22||35||Steve GALES||MPHR||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||12||1:47.225||2:06.923||17|
|R||9||Josh FILES||Area Motorsport||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||10||DNF||1:57.592||9|
|R||1||Chris SMILEY||Restart Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FL5 TCR||0||DNF||N/A||8|