Henry Neal will start from pole position for the first Dunlop Touring Car Trophy / TCR UK Championship race from Silverstone. The Honda Civic Type R was unstoppable by the end of qualifying, the only driver under the 59 second mark, taking five points and the championship lead.
Dan Kirby was the early pace setter at a sunny Silverstone. The Cupra driver was the first inside the 62 second range, before a merry-go-round of stars at the top, as the benchmark continued to tumble. Darrelle Wilson was the first to break the one minute barrier. Not to be outdone, Kirby and then championship leader Lewis Kent continued to bring down the time with the series’ newest driver, William Butler, not afraid to join the action at the front.
Neal had sat out the opening few minutes of qualifying, though after losing out to Kent in Oulton due to a weaker qualifying, the Team Dynamics driver was on a mission to rectify the situation. The first driver to drop into the 58 second bracket, the Honda Civic Type R was on top of the standings as a red flag was flown for a stricken VW Cup car.
New for the 2020 season, the TCT/TCR UK will share the track with the Volkswagen Racing Cup, ensuring that even the front runners will have to perfect their overtaking and traffic management skills.
The red flag had come at a bad time for Lewis Kent, who after cooling his tyres had dropped to fifth, with only 0.67 seconds splitting the top five.
A six minute sprint saw the times continue to drop as Neal further extended his gap with a 58.705. Eyes would be on Lewis Kent in the closing seconds, but a 59.112 was only good enough for fourth.
Instead, it would be Oulton Park polesitter Dan Kirby who got closest to Neal. A 58.793 means he lines up second on the grid, just 0.088 behind the Honda Civic. Rookie sensation Butler lines up third and will be buoyed to collect his first podium of the year for Power Maxed Car Care Racing. Like Kirby, he pilots a Cupra TCR and the PMR pair will undoubtedly be a concern for Neal heading into the first corner.
Kent, driving the Hyundai i30, could only qualify fourth, dropping him two points behind Neal in the standings heading into our opening race.
In fifth is the Vauxhall Astra TCR of Darrelle Wilson. After a retirement at the opening round, the Green DW Racing car will be one to watch on Sunday. Rounding out those who’d qualified is Max Hart in the Cupra TCR.
Incredibly all six qualifying drivers were within six tenths of a second of each other, once again underlining the quality on display. Tim Docker, despite not be present for qualifying, is expected to join the race at the back of grid from tomorrow.
Both Sunday races will be livestreamed thanks to the BRSCC with qualifying taking place on Saturday 12th August at 12:00pm.