PLEASE NOTE: Max Hart was later Excluded from the results for a Technical Infringement. Darelle Wilson promoted to Race Winner.
Max Hart extends his points lead in the Goodyear Touring Car Trophy / TCR UK to 6 points, after a late pass on Jac Constable handed him his second victory of the year at Castle Combe. The story of the race though was the podium battle as Darelle Wilson secured his best ever result in the series as he crossed the line in second ahead of champion Lewis Kent.
A hot and humid Castle Combe welcomed the 18-strong Maximum Networks VW Racing Cup incorporating Goodyear Touring Car Championship / TCR UK. All 14 of the TCT/TCR UK cars would line up as Max Hart led the field away.
Not only did Hart have pole, but also the inside line going into the first corner, however from this weekend, he, as well as the other Hyundai i30’s are carrying extra success ballast due to delegation from the WSR. On top of his ballast from Silverstone, Hart was noticeably sluggish off the line giving Constable the opportunity to drive around the outside at Folly. As the race progress it unraveled that the Power Maxed Care Care Racing had jumped the start to do so and was subsequently penalised 10 seconds to his race time.
The opening lap would end with a safety car as Alex Kite ran wide out of Camp Corner spinning across the track and collecting Will Powell in the Hyundai. The pair were left stranded at the first corner as Constable backed the field up for the restart.
As the flag flew green again it was Constable and Hart who extended the gap by some distance to Lewis Kent, who had had a stellar start to run third at the restart. The weight proved a hinderance for Kent who could not turn on his Essex & Kent Motorsport Hyundai, being passed by Darelle Wilson at Quarry.
Wilson seemed shocked with his sixth place in qualifying but it soon became clear that his pace was no fluke as he put on one of his classic defensive displays to hold not just Lewis Kent, but also Bruce Winfield and Bradley Kent. The group of four would continue to battle throughout with Bradley likewise unable to get the best of Winfield.
As the race approached the final few laps Hart, unaware of Constable’s penalty, was itching to make the most of his rivals struggles. Saving his tyres for the end of the race, he lined up Constable for a move at the first chicane, getting the best and quickly working on putting a buffer between himself and the ever-confident Cupra. It proved to be more than enough as Hart took control of the title lead with his second win of the year.
Wilson would inherit second after the penalty, narrowly hanging on from Lewis Kent who went side by side with his brother over the line, as Bradley had already committed a final lap overtake on Winfield. Recording his first top five of the year, the Area Motorsport Cupra DSG will be one to watch in the reverse grid race.
Darron Lewis was top TCT runner in sixth, as his strong end to the race was just enough to overcome Constable’s penalty. As a result, it will be Lewis’ Mercedes A Class NGTC on pole for this afternoon’s fixture.
His Team HARD. teammate Toby Bearne was eighth ahead of William Butler and Danny Krywyj as early podium contender Dan Kirby was forced to retire in the pitlane. Rounding out the finishers was Daniel Wylie in the BMW 1 Series.
Speaking after the race, Max Hart said;
“It’s brilliant to get this win in front of the fans, it makes the atmosphere so much better. Even though I’m starting sixth, I’m now looking forward to the next race, of course I’ll have to do my best and it’ll just be about getting as many points as possible for the championship. This race was made so entertaining thanks to the battle with Jac [Constable], it’s great to get back to proper racing.”
All of the action, together with driver interviews and exclusive behind the scenes insights, will be live streamed on the Goodyear Touring Car Trophy and TCR UK Facebook pages and YouTube channel, with the second race to be streamed Live at 17:10.