Rounds 10 and 11 of the Maximum Networks VW Racing Cup incorporating the Touring Car Trophy and TCR UK at Anglesey Circuit provided yet another action-packed encounter for this burgeoning national championship. In race one Bruce Winfield recorded his long-awaited first victory of the season and in the second, Bradley Kent controlled proceedings from the front to take his third.
The championship’s first ever visit to the only track of its kind in the UK – Anglesey Circuit’s unique character shaped by its cliff-top location overlooking the Irish Sea – was always destined to bring about a few surprises. And this prophecy quickly came to light in the morning’s Qualifying session.
With the circuit’s elevations not helping those carrying success ballast, Championship leader and three-race winner this season Lewis Kent qualified ninth, with his brother Bradley and two-race winner at this point, seventh – both driving their Essex & Kent prepared Hyundai i30N TCRs. With his Area Motorsport CUPRA TCR DSG appearing well-suited to the surroundings, Winfield qualified fastest, with Max Hart in his Maximum Motorsport run Hyundai second and Danny Krywyj in his similar car third, the Motus One driver securing his best grid placing of the season.
Race One (Round 10)
Winfield made his now trademark quick getaway and led into the first corner ahead of a chasing Hart, who made a bid for the lead on turn three, albeit his advances robustly defended by Winfield. Just behind, round five winner Dan Kirby was putting similar pressure on Krywyj, getting his Power Maxed Car Care Racing CUPRA alongside the Hyundai on a number of occasions during the first lap, eventually squeezing past and into third at the hairpin.
Round eight winner Jac Constable was the next to pounce in his PMR-run CUPRA and pushed himself ahead of Krywyj on the banking at the start of lap two, the Hyundai driver taking evasive action by driving off the circuit in a move that dropped him back to tenth. The excursion put Constable up to fourth, until a lap later when at the same place he also visited the grass and dropped to tenth, before ending his race in the pits at the end of the lap.
This off-track activity meant that Hugo Cook was now fourth and, having made up time from their unfamiliar grid positions, meant the Hyundais of the two Kent brothers were now looming large in the mirrors of the 16 year-old’s Audi RS3 TCR. Behind them another battle raged, headed-up by Will Butler in his PMR CUPRA, just ahead of Krywyj and Jack Depper, who was still getting to grips with his Maximum Motorsport Golf TCR, this only his third race following his mid-season transition from the VW Cup.
Meanwhile at the front of the field, Winfield edged away from Hart by virtue of a string of fastest laps, going on to post a lights-to-flag victory by 3.3 seconds – an unusual margin in Touring Car Trophy terms – from Hart and then Kirby. However, the race for fourth was far from over and, on the very last lap, Bradley Kent muscled his way past Cook as they entered the Tom Pryce straight, Lewis doing likewise in the gap that appeared, the outcome pushing Cook back to sixth. However following the race, Bradley was penalised for his over-enthusiastic manoeuvre and had to concede the place.
Race 2 (Round 11)
With the top six finishing positions reversed for the top six grid positions in race two, Bradley Kent’s post-race relegation meant he started round 11 from Pole Position, with Cook on the outside in P2. But when the lights went out, both suffered wheelspin, more-so Cook who was swamped as he gathered momentum before being launched straight-on and onto the grass at turn one.
As the pack sorted itself out along the flat-out back straight that runs parallel to the coast, the two Kents emerged at the front of the field, with Bradley in the lead and Lewis second, closely followed by Kirby, Hart and Winfield.
The race-one winner moved up a place at the end of the first lap to take fourth, right behind a battling Lewis Kent and Kirby, who made contact going through the Rocket complex on the second lap. The move pushed Lewis wide opening the door for Winfield, Hart, Constable and Alex Kite in his Maximum Motorsport Astra TCR.
All this door-to-door activity provided Bradley Kent the perfect opportunity to consolidate his lead and by the half way point in the 25-minute race, he found himself four seconds ahead. Consequently, the attention turned to the battle for second being fought out by the next six cars. Initially it was Kirby who headed the chasing peloton, but a run onto the grass at the end of lap three while trying to defend from Winfield sent him from the front to the back of the group.
The next few laps saw dramatic changes of position when Hart pulled off the road with an overheated engine, his exit shortly followed by Alex Kite who’s front nearside tyre punctured following contact earlier in the race. This flurry of fluctuations enabled Lewis Kent to inherit third place, whilst Kirby and Butler and later Constable went head-to-head in the battle for fourth.
But it isn’t over until it’s over and the drama continued until the very last lap, when Butler’s car ran out of power and Lewis Kent’s was slowed as a driveshaft took a turn for the worse. Meanwhile, Bradley Kent’s run to his third victory of the season remained unhindered as he crossed the line over seven seconds ahead of Winfield, with Kirby third, Constable fourth and the championship leader making it home in fifth.
Following an enthralling two races at Anglesey and after the dropped scores have been taken into account, Lewis Kent retains his lead at the top of the drivers’ standings with 200 points. Dan Kirby moves up to second with 179, Bradley Kent’s race two victory elevates him to third with 176, Max Hart is now fourth with 169 and Bruce Winfield’s impressive Anglesey performance places him fifth with 162.
Competitors now prepare for the final showdown of the season at Donington Park on Bank Holiday Monday, 30th August, which features three races and, with 78 points up for grabs, is where the championship will be decided.
“To be able to Qualify on pole and then convert that to take my first victory of the season in race one was fantastic. It feels like it’s been a long time coming! And then to finish second in race two and have set the fastest lap of the day, I’m delighted. It’s been an excellent weekend all-round.”
“Following the times in qualifying we didn’t think we had the pace here today, especially carrying the additional weight. So being able to start from pole for the second race and then pull out a good lead was great. I did feel my tyres going off towards the end and for a while I thought Bruce might catch me, but I was able to maintain the gap to take my third victory of the season.”