Brands Hatch has been the scene of further history being made this weekend, with Alex Ley taking his maiden victory in round seven of the 2022 TCR UK Championship and in the process, becoming the Championship’s youngest race winner.
Starting from pole position, courtesy of the grid being set with the second-fastest times from Qualifying, Ley overcame several hurdles to take his maiden victory, beginning with making a good start before the race was red-flagged within half a lap.
Due to an incident between Neil Trotter, Steve Gales and Goodyear Diamond Trophy leader Russell Joyce, the track was cleared before a full restart of the race was called, giving the Daniel James Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR driver another chance to get a good start, which he duly did.
With the race distance reduced to 18 minutes from 25, Ley was never headed despite this being only his fifth race in the championship, whilst behind he was pursued race long by the Essex and Kent Motorsport brothers Bradley and Lewis, as both Hyundai drivers kept him honest.
Lap four saw the Safety Car deployed with race two winner Jac Constable ending up in the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend, offering a further hurdle to overcome for Ley, as the order settled with Bradley and Lewis, Adam Shepherd in the JamSport Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR, Isaac Smith in the Race Car Consultants Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR rounding out the top five ahead of Brad Hutchison, Chris Smiley, Championship leader Max Hart, Bruce Winfield and Ant Whorton-Eales in the JamSport Racing Subaru.
Racing resumed with 9 minutes left on the clock and despite a careful restart, Ley stayed ahead to claim his first win as Bradley Kent was relegated from a sure second place at the end of the race to 15th position due to being awarded a 15 second penalty. Shepherd took his first ever podium being promoted to second with Lewis Kent taking third place.
Isaac Smith claimed fourth place ahead of Max Hart with Brad Hutchison taking sixth place in the Bond-It with MPH Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR whilst Bruce Winfield managed to keep the Area Motorsport CUPRA TCR ahead of Chris Smileys Restart Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR.
Jack Depper took his best finish of the year so far in ninth place ahead of Andy Wilmot, who claimed his second Goodyear Diamond Trophy win and completed the top ten positions.
Jess Hawkins ended a difficult weekend with 11th place at the flag ahead of Callum Newsham, who originally went off at Graham Hill Bend before getting back on track to salvage 12th place. Scot Sumpton was 13th in his Hyundai ahead of Matthew Wilson in the CUPRA Leon Competición with Bradley Kent scoring the final point.
Darelle Wilson (Vauxhall), Chris Wallis (Hyundai) and Jamie Tonks were the final classified finishers with Ant Whorton-Eales retiring the Subaru mid race. Trotter, Gales and Joyce did not take the restart.