Bruce Winfield held off Area Motorsport team-mate Josh Files to take an emotional first win of the season at Snetterton in the opening race of the 2023 TCR UK Touring Car Championship.
Getting a poor start off the line in the Elantra N TCR, Files was passed by both Winfield and fellow Area Motorsport team-mate Adam Shepherd on the run to the hairpin, leaving the 2019 TCR Champion in third place early on. further back, Carl Boardley, making his debut in the championship in a Zest Racecar Engineering run CUPRA Leon Competición TCR, passed Callum Newsham in his JH Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR going into Agostini.
As Winfield completed the first lap in the lead, he was pursued by both Shepherd and Files, with Chris Smiley making up a place from fifth on the grid to run in fourth in the Restart Racing Honda Civic Type R FL5 TCR, making its global competition debut. Lewis Brown was in close company in his Chameleon Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR with Alex Ley running in sixth place in his Area Motorsport with Daniel James Hyundai i30 N TCR.
Boardley and Newsham stayed in their respective seventh and eighth places until Newsham retired mid-race at Coram. For the next three laps, Files closed down Shepherd in a fight for second place, however the Donington Park race winner pulled over on lap five, retiring from the race and allowing Files to close in on Winfield.
Further back, Jac Constable in his Rob Boston Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR Gen 2 and Brad Kent in his Essex and Kent Motorsport Hyundai Veloster, who both started form the back of the grid made their way through the field, with Kent finishing in fourteenth place and Constable retiring late in the race.
Files closed the gap on Winfield in the remaining laps, however it was Bruce who would take an emotional first win of the year ahead of Josh, whilst Chris Smiley gave the new Honda a podium finish on his race debut. Lewis Brown claimed fourth place and the first Tom Walker Trophy of the year ahead of Alex Ley, who completed the top five.
Carl Boardley finished in sixth place, becoming the first driver of the 2023 season to win the Goodyear Diamon Trophy, ahead of Joe Marshall-Birks, taking seventh place on his debut. Jenson Brickley claimed eight place in his Jenson Brickley Racing CUPRA Leon Competición TCR whilst Brad Hutchison in his Bond It with MPHR Audi RS3 LMS TCR was ninth, ahead of Alistair Camp in the Pro Alloys Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR.
Brad Kent came home in eleventh place, ahead of Dan Kirby was classified in twelfth place in the second Zest Racecar Engineering CUPRA Leon Competición TCR after receiving a five second penalty for track limits. Matthew Wilson was thirteenth in the JWB Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR whilst Garry Townsend in the Paul Sheard Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR Gen 2 and Darron Lewis in the DLR Audi RS3 LMS TCR were the last points scorers.
Adam Shepherd (Hyundai), Steve Gales (Audi) and George Jaxon (CUPRA) were the final classified finishers, whilst Scott Sumpton was disqualifed from the results due to a technical infringement. Drivers who retired from the race included rick Kerry (CUPRA) Jac Constable (Audi), Callum Newsham (Hyundai), Darelle Wilson (Vauxhall) and Oliver Cottam (Audi).
Race two gets under way at 17:20 with Brad Hutchison on the reverse grid pole position in his Bond It with MPHR Audi RS3 LMS TCR.