TCR UK Touring Car Championship – Rounds 1, 2 & 3
Brands Hatch Indy – 13th & 14th April 2024

The 2024 TCR UK Touring Car Championship season kicked off at Brands Hatch with three different winners representing three different brands – an indication of how close this year’s contest is set to be.

Under fine mid-April skies, Viktor Andersson scored a dream debut victory for both himself and the Lynk & Co 03 car. A breathtaking display from Adam Shepherd brought him victory in Race 2, before Callum Newsham took a well-deserved maiden win in the finale.


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It was Callum Newsham who drew first blood in the 2024 TCR UK title race by securing pole position – and the six points that go with it – in the year’s first qualifying session. Newsham set the pace from early on in his JH Racing-run Hyundai i30 N and steadily improved his times to end up fastest overall, with his second best time also enough to secure pole for Race 3.

On his first visit to the challenging circuit, TCR Europe star Viktor Andersson was quickly up to speed in Pro Alloys Racing’s Lynk & Co 03, giving the car its much-anticipated UK debut. In the closing stages of the session he set a time just 0.029 seconds slower than Newsham’s best with just enough time for one final attempt. But he fell just short and would have to settle for an outside front-row start in Races 1 & 3.

Reigning champion Carl Boardley was third fastest in his CUPRA Leon Competicion run by his own CBM team in conjunction with Hart GT, three tenths shy of the ultimate pace. Joe Marshall’s Rob Boston Racing Audi RS3 LMS Gen II was another half-tenth back, while the CUPRAs of Brad Hutchison (MPH Racing) and Luke Sargeant (Area Motorsport) completed the top six.

On his return to the series, Will Powell’s Go Fix Honda-backed Sport77 Honda Civic Type R FK7 was seventh fastest, despite little opportunity to run the car pre-season.

Adam Shepherd was in a similar position with his Area Motorsport-run CUPRA; the title hopeful was disappointed to be classified only eighth after being halted by a loose driveshaft. Shepherd did go faster later in the session, but had those times removed as his car had been towed off the circuit. Finishing with only one representative laptime meant he would have to start Race 3 from the back of the grid.

Darron Lewis (JH Racing) was ninth fastest on his first time in a Hyundai, while leading Gen1 Cup driver Will Beech completed the top 10 in his Capture Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTI.


Round 1 – Race Report

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Pole position on Brands Hatch’s sloping grid can be notoriously difficult to start from, and so it proved for Newsham. Boardley appeared to get the best getaway but couldn’t find a way past the front-row men, as Andersson grabbed the lead from Newsham.

The 20-year-old Swede got his head down and opened a gap of more than half a second over the next few laps before being pegged back. On lap eight of an eventual 25, Newsham challenged at the fast downhill Paddock Hill Bend, and managed to get inside at the Druids hairpin. But Andersson held on to keep the inside line for Graham Hill Bend.

The battle brought Boardley and Shepherd – who had immediately jumped to fifth, then passed Marshall for fourth – into play. Boardley used his experience to cut back on the exit of Paddock a lap later and complete his move for second into Druids.

That briefly gave Andersson some breathing space but, as the leaders negotiated back marking traffic, his advantage was wiped out and the battle raged. In classic touring car style, as one driver attacked the car in front, it gave a sniff to the car behind. Newsham went side-by-side with Boardley through Graham Hill Bend as he attempted to regain second, but Boardley held on and Shepherd seized the opportunity to steal third into Surtees.

There was a little bumping and boring in the concertina effect under braking, especially when Andersson was cautious in traffic, but the Swede held on to deliver a maiden win for Pro Alloys’ Lynk & Co on its first ever race start in the UK.

Boardley and Shepherd, who was hampered by losing second gear, completed the podium ahead of Newsham and Marshall, with the top five covered by less than 1.5s.

Behind them, Hutchison looked set for sixth until he pitted with front suspension issues, although he was also penalised for a robust move on Sargeant’s similar CUPRA earlier in the race. So Powell took sixth ahead of Lewis and Sargeant. Beech secured Gen1 Cup honours in ninth, with Rick Kerry’s CUPRA TCR completing the top 10.


Round 2 – Race Report

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Kerry’s 10th place in the opener handed him pole position for the following day’s Race 2, held after the popular public grid walk. Fans flocked onto the grid under the Kent sunshine to grab some pictures with the stars and their colourful cars.

Kerry was joined on the front row by Beech, with Sargeant and Lewis on row two. But incredibly, it was row-four starter Adam Shepherd who shot into the lead.

Sensing his launch control wasn’t functioning as he liked on the green-flag lap, Shepherd disabled it, choosing to perform the start procedure manually. And he judged it to perfection, hooking the car up beautifully and hanging on around the outside of the congested inside line through Paddock Hill Bend.

It was a sublime move and allowed Shepherd to immediately build a healthy lead as his main rivals battled their way to the front. Sargeant initially led the chase, but he seemed to be struggling with the rear of his tail-happy CUPRA. Newsham got inside Sargeant at Druids on lap three of 25, while Marshall was also making good progress.

The Audi driver managed to demote Andersson, then follow Boardley past Powell into fifth position. He then overtook Boardley on the inside at Druids as the champion struggled for ultimate pace in the #1 machine.

Sargeant’s mistake at Graham Bill Bend brought Marshall onto his tail and the Cheshire racer then squeezed ahead at Clark Curve half a lap later.

In clean air, Marshall put the hammer down and set a new lap record but he was already too far behind Newsham, who in turn was adrift of Shepherd. Having made radical set-up changes overnight, Shepherd completed a commanding victory ahead of Newsham and Marshall.

Andersson produced some seasoned touring car moves into Clearways – including on Boardley – as he worked his way up the order to fourth. Boardley, unable to get the most out of his tyres, could only manage fifth and picked up a 5s track-limits penalty for his efforts. That didn’t affect the result though as he managed to eke out enough of an advantage over sixth-placed Hutchison in the closing stages.

Sargeant faded to seventh, while eighth-placed Powell lost out to Lewis when he ran wide, only for the positions to be reversed by Lewis’s track-limits penalty.

Tenth overall, Beech was again best of the Gen 1 Cup runners.


Round 3 – Race Report

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The TCR UK start procedure allows teams the opportunity to rotate their cars’ wheels on the grid, thereby getting heat into the tyres on all four corners of the front-wheel-drive machines. But on the short Brands Hatch Indy circuit, a single lap does not generate as much tyre temperature as it does at some other circuits.

That gave Callum Newsham an idea. Knowing he’d struggled to get away from pole position in Saturday’s opener, he wanted to make sure his fronts were warmer this time around. So he forwent the rotation, sacrificing rear-tyre temperature to get two laps of warmth into the fronts.

It worked a treat. While Boardley again made the best start, Newsham converted pole into the race lead as Boardley slipped inside Andersson for second. First time through the Druids hairpin, the rear-end on Newsham’s car broke loose but he managed to hold on to the car, and the gamble had worked.

With Jeff Alden’s Opel Astra taking a trip into the barriers exiting Druids, a safety car was called, allowing Newsham better opportunity to get some heat into the rear tyres he had sacrificed.

Now he knew he was set nicely to secure that long-awaited maiden victory. After the restart, Newsham pumped in some fastest laps to build an insurmountable lead as Boardley again struggled for ultimate pace, reckoning his set-up had been caught out by the slightly different tyre compound in use this year.

Andersson used his favourite move at Clearways to grab second around half-distance, leaving Boardley to focus on fending off Marshall, Hutchison and Shepherd. The latter pair exchanged fifth a couple of times, slightly relieving the pressure, and Marshall couldn’t find a way round Boardley’s expert defences.

As Newsham charged to victory by nearly 9s, Andersson crossed the line second and Marshall just managed to pip Boardley on the run to the chequered flag. But Marshall’s effort was in vain, as he had received a 5s track-limits penalty.

There was disappointment for Andersson too, as the scrutineer’s ride height roller made contact with the Lynk & Co. In a sport of fine margins, it was enough for Andersson to be disqualified from the result, but should not detract from a fine weekend for the Swede and his Pro Alloys team, ably assisted by Andersson’s own MA:GP squad

So Boardley picked up another second place to make a strong opening to his title defence and leave him within touching distance of Newsham and Shepherd in the early standings. Shepherd eventually made a move stick on Hutchison and was rewarded with a third podium in three races.

Behind Hutchison, Marshall was classified fifth. Sixth-placed Lewis completed a hat-trick of triumphs in the Goodyear Diamond Award, for drivers over 40. Sargeant was seventh, just ahead of Powell who recovered from stalling on the grid.

Ninth overall, Beech made it three out of three in the Gen1 Cup, with Kerry 10th.


Driver quotes

Round 1 winner, Viktor Andersson

“We managed from second on the grid to do a perfect start almost, or maybe the pole man didn’t get it perfect, so we managed to get by him into Turn 1. And then I looked a lot in the side-view mirror, every lap! But we held on.

“I’m so super-happy – my first win in touring cars. A big thank you to the team, to Lynk & Co, Pro Alloys Racing – the car was mega.”

Round 2 winner, Adam Shepherd

“It was a ‘worldie’ start! It just took off like a bullet, and I was like: ‘I’m going round the outside’.

“The car was unbelievable. We changed it drastically from Race 1 – there’s not a thing on it that’s the same, and it is unbelievable. Huge thanks to everyone: my sponsors, my main sponsor 5G Communications – we wouldn’t even be here without them.”

Round 3 winner, Callum Newsham

“I got off the line, which was all I wanted to do, and I knew I could stay ahead of the guys behind.
“I’m so happy with that – first win ever racing cars. To do it by that much as well!”

Next time – Snetterton 300!

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The 2024 TCR UK Touring Car Championship is back in action in less than 4 weeks time, on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th of May, where rounds 4, 5 & 6 will take place at Snetterton in Norfolk.

The 300 layout will be used for this event, as TCR UK returns to the venue that played host to the Season Launch back in March this year.

You can purchase tickets for this event at the following link:

To find out more about the TCR UK Touring Car Championship visit for more information and how to get involved.

To find out more about the events on the 2024 TCR UK Touring Car Championship Calendar, visit for more information.

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