Four race winners this season, three races and two classes ensure there is only one event to watch this weekend as the Goodyear Touring Car Trophy and TCR UK headline the Tunerfest South weekend at Brands Hatch.
Defending TCR UK champion Lewis Kent comes into the weekend as the points leader and will be the name on everyone’s lips as the Essex and Kent Motorsport driver looks to extend his title lead ahead of Irish sensation Max Hart. The two have been locked horns for most of the season and with three rounds instead of the usual two, it’s setting up to be a bumper weekend of action for the Hyundai i30 N TCR’s.
After Covid ensured the series didn’t visit the iconic Indy circuit in 2020, TCT returns to the home of some of the best action of the intense 2019 campaign. Like two years ago, we head into the weekend with three championship favourites and anything to play for.
The striking orange and black of the Essex and Kent team ended Castle Combe on a high as Lewis’ younger brother Bradley took his maiden win in TCR to move up to third in the overall standings. Starting third for the reverse grid, Bradley was quick to stamp his authority on the fans, challenging older brother Lewis throughout as Hart gradually moved up from his starting position at the back. Having superior pace, the 19-year-old was focused on chalking up an inter-family victory and when Hart faltered, putting a wheel on the grass out of the final corner, the pair sailed home to a famous one-two.
Despite his superior pace throughout practice and qualifying, Max Hart encountered the wrath of the stewards in the opening race, as a technical infringement saw him disqualified, taking away his 26 points for race win and fastest lap. The Maximum Motorsport driver was not deterred, coming from the back to secure a podium in the second race for the Selco Hygiene Supplies supported teenager. The result though ensures that Lewis Kent heads into the weekend with a 23 point gap to Hart and 28 point gap to Bradley.
The feel-good story of Castle Combe was the long-awaited maiden victory for Darelle Wilson in the ever-popular Vauxhall Astra TCR. The DW Racing team owner took over the car for a one-off appearance last weekend and hands his “green machine” over to Alex Kite for Brands. The #97 made a guest appearance last time out and after a fifth place on debut, will be aiming for silverware in the fan favourite car.
They won’t be the only independent entry either as Milltek Civic Cup champion Bruce Winfield pilots the Cupra TCR DSG. Adorned in a distinctive gold and white livery, the Area Motorsport driver secured two fourth places last time out and will be favourite to head the intense midfield battle behind, proving his skill in battles with Kent, Kite, Wilson and Darron Lewis.
Heading our TCT contingent, Darron Lewis will be one of three Team HARD. entries. The touring car specialists have brought across three famous machines from the BTCC as Lewis and Toby Bearne head the pack in the Mercedes A Class NGTC’s. Joining them is Daniel Wylie in the BMW 1 Series NGTC. Wylie had a steep learning curve at Castle Combe during his debut weekend and will be roaring to get back up to speed at a circuit where his BMW has much history.
The second team to run a trio of cars is Power Maxed Car Care Racing. Former Ginetta GT4 Supercup – AM Class champion Jac Constable was another surprise showing last weekend, narrowly missing out on a memorable pole position. He would finish the opening race second on track but ended up sixth after a penalty. A bittersweet end to his 99th competitive race, sadly his one hundredth would not get much better as a technical problem saw him stop out on track. He’ll be looking for redemption this weekend in the Cupra TCR.
Joining him in Cupra’s will be Dan Kirby and William Butler. Both drivers featured prominently during 2020 and Kirby will be psyched about returning to winning ways after a recent double retirement saw him lose ground in the title battle. Driving the #4, the Blue and White machine will be a threat to Kent’s and Hart up front.
Rounding out the grid is the Motus One-run machine of Will Powell. An unfortunate start to the season ensures the 35-year-old comes into the weekend free of pressure as he continues to improve every race.
Each session will be streamed live on TCR UK’s YouTube and Facebook pages with Free Practice set to get underway at 10:00am on Saturday 19th June 2021. This season TCT and TCR UK once again join up with the Maximum Network’s Volkswagen Racing Cup which will race alongside the Touring Car action throughout.