TCR UK – Round 2
Oulton Park – 18th April 2022
History was made at Oulton Park today when Jessica Hawkins became the first British female driver to take overall victory in a touring car race.
Despite constant pressure from Max Hart in his JamSport Racing Hyundai i30N TCR, Hawkins led from the first corner and after acing two Safety Car period re-starts, crossed the line two-tenths of a second ahead of the Irishman, whose second place double sees him take the championship lead.
Off the line, Hawkins hooked up a better start than her Area Motorsport with FastR CUPRA TCR driver team-mate Jamie Tonks, as Power Maxed Racing CUPRA driver Jac Constable stormed through from fifth on the grid and up to second, as Callum Newsham – Constable’s teammate – and Hart also passed Tonks on the run down to turn two at Cascades.
A start-line shunt caused the first appearance of the Safety Car after lap one when a slow start by Steve Gales in the Playerlands Audi RS3 LMS TCR resulted in contact between Andy Wilmot’s JamSport Hyundai i30 N TCR and Kieran Griffin’s JWB Motorsport run Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR.
Whilst not involved with the incident, Bradley Kent suffered his second DNF of the day, having had gearbox issues in race one and pulled off the track at Island bend.
Racing resumed two laps later with Hawkins leading the Power Maxed Racing CUPRA TCR pair Constable and Newsham ahead of Hart, Isaac Smith in the Race Car Consultants Volkswagen Golf, then Tonks, race one winner Chris Smiley, Lewis Kent, Adam Shepherd and Jack Depper.
The order reshuffled again as Tonks went wide at Cascades before the second Safety Car period of the race was instigated by Gales going off and getting stuck in the gravel at Lodge.
Hawkins judged her restart on lap seven perfectly and increased the gap between her and Constable, who consequently retired half a lap later at the Knickerbrook chicane. Hart then took up the challenge and closed up on Hawkins but despite numerous attempts to force a mistake, Hawkins drove a perfectly judged race and held on to the lead to take an impressive and well-deserved victory.
With the long game in his mind, a clean and calculated drive by Hart saw him claim second place number two, whilst Newsham took his first-ever TCR UK podium, with the battling Smith, Smiley and Kent completing the top six places.
Jack Depper in his Capture Motorsports VW Golf GTi TCR finished seventh, whilst JamSport Racing’s Adam Shepherd crossed the line in sixth but was classified eighth after receiving a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits in his Hyundai i30N TCR.
The top ten was completed by Brad Hutchinson in the MPHR Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR with Matthew Wilson in tenth in the JWB Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición.
Russell Joyce finished in 11th place and secured his second Goodyear Diamond Trophy for drivers aged 40 and over in the process, with Hawkins winning the Tom Walker Trophy for rookie drivers.
Scott “Mr Pickles” Sumpton brought his Essex and Kent Hyundai i30 N TCR home in 12th place as Jamie Tonks crossed the line 13th ahead of Ant Whorton-Eales (JamSport Racing Subaru WRX TCR) and Bruce Winfield (Area Motorsport CUPRA TCR) in 14th and 15th places respectively.
Rounds three and four of the 2022 TCR UK Touring Car Championship will take place at Donington Park over the weekend of 28-29th May.