After 13 rounds that have provided ten different winners and a season of ultra-close racing, it all comes down to the final two races at Snetterton on Sunday 23rd October to decide who will be crowned 2022 TCR UK Champion.
With a maximum of 88 points on offer: six from qualifying, 40 winning and one for setting the fastest lap in each race, seven drivers go into the weekend mathematically capable of claiming the title.
Up until August’s two rounds at Donington Park – where the TCR UK finalé has taken place for the past four seasons – drivers were able to drop their two lowest points scores. However, regulations dictate that the option to drop rounds does not apply at the final meeting, which means that Sunday will witness a straight shoot-out for the title.
And it couldn’t be closer, with Chris Smiley (Restart Racing Honda Civic Type R FK7) and Isaac Smith (Race Car Consultants Volkswagen Golf GTi) jointly topping the championship table with an equal score of 315 points. Between them, only Smiley – who has just been nominated to represent the UK in the Touring Car category of this month’s FIA Motorsport Games – has claimed a race win, an accolade he achieved in the opening round held at Oulton Park in April, whereas Smith’s points tally has been achieved by a consistent run of podium finishes.
Lying third in the title hunt, twenty-six points behind the leading pair, is Adam Shepherd (Area Motorsport Hyundai i30). Having endured a challenging first half of the season, Shepherd then found his form, taking a long-overdue victory at Donington Park on August Bank Holiday Monday.
In fourth, just four points further back, is last year’s TCR UK runner-up Bruce Winfield (Area Motorsport CUPRA). Winfield was another who took time to get up to speed in a car that was new to him and scored his first and only win of the year at Castle Combe in August.
With 61 points required to top the table, 2020 and 2021 TCR UK Champion Lewis Kent (Essex and Kent Motorsport Hyundai Veloster N) remains in the hunt for a possible third consecutive title. After getting to grips with his new car earlier in the season, Kent secured an historic victory by winning the 50th TCR UK race at Brands Hatch in June.
Teenager Alex Ley (Daniel James Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR) is the only driver to have scored three wins so far, claiming his honours at Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Castle Combe. Now sixth in the standings and although needing 69 points to take the title, his explosive performances suggest it’s too early to count him out.
Albeit 78 points adrift, the seventh and final driver in with a mathematical shot of the title is Jac Constable (Power Maxed Racing CUPRA TCR). Having secured wins at Brands Hatch in June and Donington Park in August he’s showed consistent front-running form and therefore earned his place as a potential title candidate.
In the battle for the Goodyear Diamond Trophy for drivers aged 40 and over, Andy Wilmot (Area Motorsport Hyundai i30N) leads the way, ahead of early season leader Russell Joyce (Power Maxed Racing CUPRA) and third in the standings Neil Trott (Chameleon Motorsport CUPRA), all of whom have a chance of being the first ever driver to win the trophy.
In the case of the Tom Walker Memorial Trophy for competitors who did not score a podium in 2021 and are rookies to the championship in 2022, four drivers will fight for the honour of being bestowed with this coveted award: Isaac Smith, Chris Smiley, Adam Shepherd and Alex Ley.
The TCR action gets underway on Sunday with a 15-minute Free Practice session at 9.00, followed by 30-minutes of Qualifying at 10.40. Following a lunchtime public grid walk, the first of the two 25-minute races sees the lights go out at 13.30 with cars scheduled to line up for the all-important 15th and final round at 15.30.
Sunday’s action can be watched live on the following platforms:
TCR UK is supported by Goodyear, Maximum Networks, Liqui Moly, Corbeau, MaxiCloud Hosted Telephony, Co-ordSport, Berkshire Turbo, Joyce Design, Shepherd Compello Motorsport Insurance, Woya SEO and Sunoco. The Championship is administered by Club Time Attack.