TCR UK Touring Car Championship – Rounds 4, 5 & 6
Snetterton 300 – 18th & 19th May 2024

Adam Shepherd moved to the top of the TCR UK Touring Car Championship points with an almost flawless display in Rounds 4, 5 and 6 of the 2024 championship at Snetterton in Norfolk last weekend.

Pole position, two wins and a podium meant that Shepherd was just seven points shy of a maximum score for the weekend aboard his Area Motorsport with Shepherd Motors CUPRA Leon Competicion TCR. It was also celebration time for the Bond It with MPHR squad as Brad Hutchison secured his first victory in TCR UK.


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The tone was set for the weekend on Saturday morning as Adam Shepherd scorched to a double pole position. His 92.39mph lap around the 2.97-mile Snetterton 300 circuit was more than a second faster than last year’s best and nearly a third of a second clear of the rest of the field.

Next best was Rob Boston Racing’s Joe Marshall, who himself lapped the former airfield venue 0.8 seconds quicker than the man who led the championship standings coming into the weekend, Callum Newsham. After his fine showing in the season opener at Brands Hatch in April, Newsham was feeling the effect of carrying the maximum 40kg compensation weight in his JH Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR.

Newsham did however manage to find more than half a second in the dying moments of the session, allowing him to outpace reigning champion Carl Boardley’s slightly lighter CBM with Hart GT CUPRA Leon Competicion TCR. Boardley’s more consistent pace meant that the order of their second fastest times, which set the grid for the third race of the weekend, were reversed.

Completing the top six were CUPRA duo Brad Hutchison (Bond It with MPHR) and Luke Sargeant (Area Motorsport with RS Vehicle Sales), while Darron Lewis’s JH Racing-run Hyundai was the only other car to dip under the two-minute barrier.

Rick Kerry’s EDF Motorsport CUPRA TCR was fastest of the Gen 1 Cup runners in eighth overall, 0.3s clear of early-season class pacesetter Will Beech (Capture Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR) whose session was hit by a radiator leak.

On his TCR UK debut, in a car he had only driven for the first time the day before, Steve Laidlaw managed 10th overall in his Capture Motorsport-run Hyundai. Mark Smith (Richmond Fire CUPRA TCR) and birthday boy Jeff Alden (Matrix Motorsport with DW Racing Opel Astra TCR) completed the top dozen.


Round 4 – Race Report

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Sadly, Marshall was to be denied his front-row start for the weekend’s opening race by a driveshaft failure. That gave Shepherd a clearer run to the first corner and he capitalised to lead from Boardley and the fast-starting Hutchison into the fast right-hander of Riches.

Shepherd immediately pumped in some quick laps to ward off any threat from his pursuers. He led by 2.2s after the opening tour and had extended that to 3.0s next time around.

Boardley in turn eased clear of the battle for third as Hutchison’s attention was focused on fending off Newsham’s challenge, while Sargeant and Lewis had their own battle for fifth position.

As Shepherd streaked clear at the head of the field, the Gen 1 Cup was providing an absorbing battle. Kerry was managing to keep Beech behind until the pair tangled on lap five of 11. Beech got a run around the long Coram Curve and tried to dive inside at Murrays, the tight left-hander that leads on the start/finish straight.

But two into one wouldn’t go, and as Kerry turned in, his CUPRA was tipped across the front of Beech’s Golf and into a spin. Beech hesitated before accelerating away from the scene as Kerry got himself back underway. It was the decisive move, but although Beech took the flag first, he was later censured by the clerk of the course and demoted back behind Kerry, who took the class win for the first time this season.

Out front, Shepherd streaked to his second win of 2024 with Boardley in second and Hutchison just managing to hold off Newsham to complete a CUPRA 1-2-3. Sargeant edged Lewis by just 0.2s, with Kerry and Beech classified seventh and eighth overall.

On his championship debut, Laidlaw steadily increased his pace and brought his Hyundai i30 N TCR home in ninth, while Mark Smith completed the top 10.


Round 5 – Race Report

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The second race of the weekend’s top-10 grid reversal meant that Mark Smith and Steve Laidlaw would start on the front row of the grid in the Sunday afternoon sunshine.

Before that, the public were welcomed onto the grid for TCR UK’s ever-popular gridwalk, where fans have the chance to get up close and personal with the stars and their cars, providing special memories for newbies and seasoned spectators alike.

The mixed up grid always makes for a particularly action-packed start to the race and it was Will Beech who hooked his car up best of those on the first couple of rows. From third on the grid, he powered into the lead, from Smith, a very fast-starting Luke Sargeant and Laidlaw.

As the lead group exited the opening corner at Riches, Smith moved across in front of Sargeant but misjudged the newer CUPRA’s pace and got turned across its nose, with the pair ploughing off into the trackside field.

As the chasing pack checked up and scattered in avoidance, Brad Hutchison suddenly found himself in second, from eighth on the grid. Laidlaw was next, with Boardley, Shepherd and Newsham also looking to fight their way through.

On the crowded track, Shepherd’s right-corner made contact with Newsham’s front-left, pitching the Hyundai into the air. Both cars were able to continue despite their battle scars, although Newsham lost ground.

Still, there was more action to come through the opening sequence of bends. Race leader Beech ran wide at Oggies and dropped several places, allowing Hutchison ahead. Boardley and Shepherd then got a run on Laidlaw down the Bentley Straight, meaning that Saturday’s podium finishers had already made it back into the top three, albeit in reverse order.

Hutchison held a lead of a couple of seconds over Boardley who, still struggling to find an optimum set-up for this year’s tyres, was having to focus on keeping Shepherd behind him.

On lap three of 11, Shepherd got a run out of the Agostini hairpin and squeezed past Boardley into second at the following Hamilton left-hander. Boardley immediately retaliated into Oggies and contact was made. Shepherd’s CUPRA slewed sideways and Boardley regained the position.

Their squabble allowed Hutchison to double his advantage and, from that position, he was able to focus on driving a clean and tidy race. While his pursuers nibbled away at his advantage, Yorkshireman Hutchison kept his cool. To his delight, and that of the family-run MPHR squad, Hutchison was able to bring the car home for a maiden victory, making up for the disappointment of a lost win at Donington Park last year.

Boardley was able to hold off Shepherd, who was struggling with set-up changes that had not had the desired effect, to complete another CUPRA lockout on the podium. But post-race, Boardley was penalised for the earlier contact and their positions were reversed.

From the back of the grid, Joe Marshall carved his way through to fourth, just 0.3s behind Shepherd on the road, setting fastest lap in the process. Newsham brought his wounded car home fifth ahead of Lewis, while Sargeant worked his way forward to seventh after his early excursion.

Laidlaw gradually slipped down the order, losing out to Sargeant on the final lap, but again improved his pace and finished well clear of the Gen 1 cars. They were again headed by Kerry, with Alden taking second in class after Beech and Smith each took precautionary pitstops.


Round 6 – Race Report

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Shepherd was back on pole position for the weekend finale, with Marshall this time able to take up his place on the outside of the front row, hoping to capitalise on the undoubted pace of his Audi.

The leading pair and Boardley in third made clean starts and all held station into the first corner, while Newsham and Hutchison ran side by side. Hutchison was able to secure the position and fend off Newsham’s attempted quick-fire retaliation.

Out front, the leading pair set a blistering pace, each well under the previous lap record. Happier again with the car underneath him, Shepherd was able to build a small advantage until mechanical gremlins struck on lap three of 11. The CUPRA’s power-steering was intermittently cutting out, making the car both unpredictable and extremely physical to drive. It was a problem that had reared its head in Friday testing, with the Shepherd Motors squad unsure if their attempted fix would last the weekend.

In the circumstances, Shepherd did well to minimise the impact, but it allowed Marshall to close right up to the leader. The Audi driver began harrying the CUPRA and trying to challenge, but although he was clearly quicker under braking, Marshall found that his corner exits were losing him too much ground to make a meaningful attack.

Marshall kept the pressure on, and Shepherd received a black-and-white track limits warning flag as he manhandled the car. But a mistake for Marshall at Nelson with a couple of laps remaining effectively ended the contest and allowed an exhausted Shepherd to bring the car home for its third win of the season.

Marshall was still happy to finish second after his Saturday troubles, while Hutchison managed to secure his third podium of the weekend by passing Boardley mid-race.

Newsham was just behind in fifth and, while he has only fallen behind Shepherd in the championship standings, his deficit is now a sizeable 35 points – the value of a second-place finish.

Sargeant was sixth ahead of, Lewis – who secured a hat-trick of wins in the Goodyear Diamond Award for amateur drivers aged over 40.

Laidlaw originally completed the top eight on track however he was later disqualified for an overboosting issue with his Hyundai. Despite this, Laidlaw earned plenty of plaudits for his debut performance and steady improvement over the weekend.

In the Gen 1 Cup, Beech bounced back from the disappointments of the previous two races to beat Kerry by 2s, while Alden pipped Smith to third in class by just 0.24s.


Driver Quotes

Round 4 winner, Adam Shepherd

“That was great. I just got my head down first couple of laps, pulled a massive lead and from there it was just managing the gap really.

“The car was phenomenal. Thanks to all the team, my sponsors – 5G Communications, PBS, Shepherd Motors – thanks for everything because everybody works so hard.”

Round 5 winner, Brad Hutchison

“I  got a good run down to Turn 2 and then it all unfolded and the gap was there so I went through. I knew it was important to get out there first and try and get the gap early on – it’s what the boys did yesterday.

“It’s all thanks to my dad [Martin] – he’s an absolute magician with the car. We got a podium yesterday and he said, ‘No, we can do better’. Overnight, he watched the race back and then he changed the car completely. We had a brand-new car essentially, set-up wise, something we’ve never tried before. It seems to have worked!

“Thanks to Bond It and Elland Roofing Supplies for getting us to the grid.”

Round 6 winner, Adam Shepherd

“We lost power-steering on lap three, intermittently, so that was hard work. It was intermittently cutting out through high-speed under load. Every time I turned into Turn 1, it went rock solid so I’m hard on the steering, and then it comes back so it tries to throw you sideways!

“For Race 2, the car wasn’t that great, so I spoke with the team and the car then was miles better. If it wasn’t for the power-steering I think there was a bit more time in it again. But I’m really pleased, two wins and a second – great.”

Next time – Oulton Park Island!

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The 2024 TCR UK Touring Car Championship is back in action in less than 3 weeks time, on Saturday 8th June where rounds 7 & 8 will take place at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

The Island layout will be used for this event, as TCR UK returns to the venue which has been one of its hottest events in recent years, both in temperature and for on track action!

You can now purchase tickets for the next event of the 2024 season, at Oulton Park, from their website:

To find out more about the TCR UK Touring Car Championship visit for more information and how to get involved.

To learn more about the 2024 TCR UK Touring Car Championship Calendar events, visit for more information.

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