Lewis Kent secured his first TCR UK / Touring Car Trophy win of the year at Croft. Starting from pole he had an unchallenged run to the flag, a first for the Hyundai i30 N TCR in the UK.
Kent made a blistering getaway, unchallenged through the first few corners. With no competition, the Essex & Kent Motorsport driver built his advantage, setting a number of quick laps. The gap soon extended, holding a ten second advantage throughout most of the competition. Backing off in the final few minutes to save the engine he crossed the line 8.8 seconds ahead of Henry Neal.
The talk of the start had been Alex Day, using his rear-wheel drive Audi to launch from fifth to second before the opening corner. Instead it was James Turkington who struggled away from the grid dropping to third with Sunny Wong sticking with him through the opening few laps. The Hong Kong driver knew an overall podium was on the cards, making an ambitious move on Turkington into Sunny In. It would be short lived though as a mechanical issue brought an end to his run before half distance.
Holding off Wong, Turkington was far from finished, reeling in second place Day. Going onto the eighth lap the Cupra TCR made a move into the final hairpin, as Day held him off with the Audi’s superior straight line speed onto the pit straight. The HMS Racing Audi could not match Turkington in the corners though with Day being forced wide after Tower Bend and allowing Turkington and Henry Neal both through.
Neal was now on the offensive and as the team approached the final five minutes, Neal had saved the tyres, pulling the move through the Jim Clark Esses after running around the outside of the Ciceley Motorsport driver into Tower Bend. Neal would take second and the TCT victory as James Turkington completed the podium.
Alex Day secured fourth, though the result had been almost lost as an electrical error with two minutes to go, saw him crawl along the pit straight before getting back to racing speed. Darelle Wilson completed the finishers after a long battle with Richard Woods was cut short when Woods came to a stop at Sunny In.
Kent was elated after his win, saying;
“It’s been a long time coming, I’m really happy with the performance of the car, it’s feeling great now. The team’s done an amazing job, can’t thank them enough and thanks to all my sponsors and everyone who helped me out. We’re finally here, got it all sorted, we’ve had our bad luck for the year, thankfully we’re back to our winning ways.”
“We had to carry the weight last year, so we’re used to it now. We know how to set up the car and how the car handles with the weight, so we’re going to have to deal with it, just like everyone else. So we’re not going to cry about it, just go for it and hopefully grab another podium.”
Second place driver and TCT class winner Henry Neal also commented, saying;
“I’m really happy. We had a terrible start, dropped down to fifth and got stuck behind Darelle at the start. Though got my head down, picked them off one by one and fair play to all of them, giving me a bit of room. It was a bit hairy passing Turkington at the Esses, but thankfully he gave me some space to get through. Great work from the Dynamics boys to sort the car out for me.”