Essex and Kent Motorsport will return to the TCR UK Championship this year with a three-car operation. In addition to the two Hyundai i30N TCRs it campaigned in 2021, the team will add a Hyundai Veloster N TCR to its lineup and in doing so, bring this model that was originally built to compete in the USA to the UK grid for the very first time.
The family-run operation will see Lewis Kent return to defend his second driver’s title, the reigning champion set to campaign the team’s newly acquired Veloster N TCR carrying the number 1 in acknowledgement of his achievement last year.
Younger brother Bradley will also be back to contest his second full season in the championship at the wheel of the same Hyundai i30 N TCR he raced in 2021.
The team’s third entry will be driven by series debutant Scott Sumpton, who moves up to TCR UK after two years of competition in the Junior Saloon Car Championship.
Sumpton will campaign the car that Lewis drove in 2021 and, as a rookie driver, will be eligible to compete for the coveted Tom Walker Trophy.
Ardent supporters of the championship from 2018 – the first year it ran in Britain – Essex and Kent’s expansion to a three-car line-up and introduction of the Veloster N TCR to the grid endorses the team’s commitment to the TCR UK Championship.
With their plans now confirmed and testing due to get underway soon, Lewis is excited about the prospect of racing the Veloster:
“The whole team looking forward to the season ahead as we expand to a three-car team. I’m really excited about the new challenge with the Veloster. As it’s the only one currently competing in Europe, it will be interesting to see the attention it gets.
“We are hoping to pick up from where we left off from last season. As a driver, I aim for the same thing every year and that’s to be the best. I trust in my team being the best on the grid and therefore believe that a third title is a real possibility.
“I know it’s going to be more difficult than ever this year with bigger grids and more competition – which includes my brother and teammate. Let’s hope we can make it an Essex and Kent one, two, three!”
Following an impressive TCR debut performance in 2021, Bradley is looking to build on the results and experience gained:
“Last year I was pleased to be on the front-running pace in most races and, with a bit more luck and carrying over everything learned during the season, I make no secret that I’ll be aiming to win the championship.
“Of course, with Lewis in the new car and with the prospect of more drivers joining the TCR UK grid, the competition is going to be tough. Even so, I think it’s very possible that another trophy will come home to the Essex and Kent Motorsport team in 2022.”