Croft in North Yorkshire played host to the TCR UK Touring Car Championship, where rounds three and four of the 2023 season will play out on the 2.1-mile circuit as 20 drivers take on the challenge this weekend.
Saturday saw Free Practice and Qualifying take place, with the thirty-minute session setting the grid for race one, which takes place on Sunday, after the Public Grid Walk. Here is a round-up of all the action that took place today.
FREE PRACTICE – 15 MINUTES
The fifteen-minute Free Practice session gave the drivers and teams a chance to find out what track conditions were like ahead of Qualifying this afternoon, with Jenson Brickley setting the quickest time in the session in his Jenson Brickley Racing CUPRA Leon Competición TCR, with a time of 1:23.304.
Championship leader Bruce Winfield set the second fastest in his Area Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR with a time of 1:23.425 whilst local driver Bradley Hutchison set the second fastest time of 1:23.497 in his Bond It with MPHR Audi RS3 LMS TCR Gen 1.
Area Motorsport drivers Alex Ley and Adam Shepherd, who secured an eleventh-hour deal to go racing this weekend, completed the top five places with respective times of 1:23.510 and 1:23.704.
QUALIFYING – 30 MINUTES
the thirty minute Qualifying session on Saturday afternoon would set the grid for race on on Sunday and early on Bradley Hutchison set the pace as he looks to have a good performance at his home event. The Bond It with MPHR Audi RS3 LMS TCR Gen 1 set an early mark of 1:23.452, whilst the new Rob Boston Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR Gen 2 of Jac constable set a time just one hundredth behind Hutchison.
As the session continued on a track that was warming up in the afternoon sun, Alex Ley lowered the bar in his Area Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR with a 1:23.257 before Callum Newsham in the JH Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR was the first driver in the 1 minutes 22’s with a 1:22.952. As the track rubbered in, Bradley Kent went top on a 1:22.467, going nearly half a second faster.
Halfway through the session, the top ten stood as Bradley Kent, Callum Newsham, Jac Constable, Carl Boardley, Joe Marshall in the second Rob Boston Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR Gen 2, Chris Smiley in the Restart Racing Honda Type R FL5 TCR, Jenson Brickley, Aam shepherd, Alex Ley and Brad Hutchison.
With five minutes to go, Boardley went fastest with a time of 1:22.434 in his CBM with Hart GT CUPRA Leon Competición TCR, ahead of Kent, Newsham, Constable and Smiley as the session moved towards the final minutes.
In the dying seconds of the session, Jac Constable claimed pole position by the gap of twenty-sixth hundredths of a second from Boardley, giving the Generation 2 Audi its first pole position in the TCR UK Touring Car Championship, with Boardley also taking his first TCR UK front row start.
Bradley Kent will start the Essex and Kent Motorsport Hyundai Veloster N TCR from third on the grid alongside Callum Newsham in his JH Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR. Chris Smiley will start from fifth place in the Restart Racing Honda Type R FL5 TCR with Joe Marshall completing the top six. Jenson Brickley lines up in seventh place ahead of Adam Shepherd, Alex Ley and championship leader Bruce Winfield.
Bradley Hutchison starts from eleventh on the grid, with Oliver Cottam in the Paul Sheard Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR Gen 2 lining up in twelfth place, ahead of fellow Motorsport UK Academy driver Scott Sumpton in the Restart Racing Honda Type R FK7 TCR and Garry Townsend in the Townsend Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR Gen 2 in fourteenth place.
Dan Kirby (CUPRA), Andy Wilmot (Hyundai), Matthew Wilson (CUPRA), Darelle Wilson (Vauxhall), Darron Lewis (Audi) and Steve Gales (Audi) complete the grid for race one for Sunday.
The two races will take place on Sunday (7 May). Preceded by the massively popular public grid walk at 11:40hrs, race one will begin at 12:05hrs, with the reversed-grid finale set to begin at 17:35hrs.
both races will be streamed live and can be accessed via TCR UK’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/@tcrukseries
To find out more about the TCR UK Touring Car Championship visit https://www.tcr-uk.co.uk/ for more info and how to get involved.