Essex & Kent Motorsport took their second win of the weekend, as Lewis Kent jumped into the TCR UK Championship lead. A perfect weekend, which also included the fastest lap, saw him take the flag at Croft by almost four seconds in the Hyundai i30 N TCR.
Kent maintained the lead at the start and through the first two safety car periods, but on the second restart came under significant pressure from James Turkington, as the Cupra TCR runner was blatantly aware that the TCR UK points lead was on the line. The pair traded fastest laps throughout the 23 minute race with Kent managing the extra 60kg of weight he was carrying. Kent eventually broke away in the closing laps, taking a comfortable victory with Turkington second.
Completing the podium was Darelle Wilson for his first silverware of the year. The DW Racing driver had made radical changes to the setup for the second race, a choice that was clearly a wise decision. Wilson spent the opening few laps holding off Sunny Wong, who sadly could not finish his rollercoaster race. A retirement in the opening encounter meant that the VW Golf GTi TCR started at the back, spinning on the formation lap, before making one of the best starts on the grid to take fourth. Unfortunately for Wong, the former TCR International driver ended his race six laps early after an incident at Clervaux.
Rounding out the finishers was the rookie Richard Woods. He’d started ahead of Wong, but fell back on the opening lap, battling for a top five position until Wong’s retirement handed him another place. After failing to finish the opening race, the HSG Motorsport driver crossed the line fourth, just 22 seconds behind the leader.
Alex’s Day was done before the first corner as he misfired, despite a blistering start in which he’d almost taken second place again. Just like in race one he reset the car, but sadly the fuel-related issue was terminal, parking his Audi A4 on the inside of Tower Bend and causing the first safety car.
A second stoppage was caused when Henry Neal’s Honda Civic Type R suffered a puncture on the first restart lap. The front left tyre failed while braking into Tower Bend, beaching himself in the gravel.
Kent was more than ecstatic after the race, saying;
“A perfect weekend for us. Really happy with how the team set up the car, it feels absolutely mega, we can’t thank them enough. We knew we weren’t going to struggle too much with the weight, as we carried it all of last year, so we kind of knew what to do and how to get around it.”
“We were fast round here last year and in the last race had fastest lap, I had a bit of pressure from James at the start and he just seemed to drop off, but I’m really, really pleased with the cars performance. I want to thank all the sponsors, they’ve done a great job and without them I wouldn’t be here, hopefully we can carry it on to Brands.”
Despite finishing second, James Turkington was just as excited with his best result of the year;
“I got a really good start from third, getting past Henry and Alex. In the first race, Lewis was able to stretch his legs, but this time we kept with him so we’re delighted. The guys at Ciceley did a cracking job all weekend.”
The next TCR UK / TCT round will be at Brands Hatch on July 27-28.