Bradley Kent took early honours at a damp and fresh feeling Brands Hatch, ahead of the triple header weekend for Goodyear Touring Car Trophy and TCR UK. A 50.115 ensured the #44 Essex & Kent Motorsport driver will be the man to beat come qualifying this lunchtime.
Bruce Winfield was first out on the road for a frantic 15-minute free practice session, for early bragging rights around Brands Hatch. Far from the heatwave of midweek, cooler temperatures greeted the drivers ahead of an overcast Saturday morning.
Fresh off his front row start at Castle Combe, Jac Constable was keen to establish himself as the early leader. Setting the pace in his Power Maxed Car Care Racing-run Cupra TCR SEQ. The #11 remained a threat throughout and would eventually end the session in fourth, again showing the pace of the former Ginetta GT4 Supercup – AM champion. The top of the time sheets would swap throughout as Max Hart led the field at halfway point with a 50.785 sec, before Winfield lowered it further to a 50.656. During the action, championship leader Lewis Kent and brother Bradley decided to pit, going back out for a run on a fresher tyres towards the end.
Winfield would drop the benchmark to a 50.364 but it was not enough to end the session fastest as Bradley Kent guided his Hyundai i30 N TCR to a 50.115, taking top spot by 0.249 seconds. It would be enough to distance Winfield who pulled off one his best performances to date, carrying the momentum he’d found at Castle Combe.
Hart would finish third overall, just 0.270 seconds shy of the Essex & Kent Motorsport driver. The 19 year old proving youth can prevail over experience, while his rival Lewis Kent could only manage fifth with a 50.640.
They were split by Jac Constable, one of a number of drivers to have put in over 15 laps before the flag, while Toby Bearne led the TCT drivers, setting a 50.866 to pip Team HARD. teammate Darron Lewis, who was likewise sporting a Mercedes A Class NGTC. Eighth overall would be Will Powell after a late improvement put him of the #4 Power Maxed Racing of Dan Kirby. Rounding out the grid would be William Butler, Alex Kite in the green DW Racing and Daniel Wylie.
The qualifying gets underway at 12:05pm Saturday 19th June with the first race at 14:55. 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.