The TCR UK Championship returns for its sophomore year. With over 30 championships worldwide, as well as a number of regional series all leading up the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), TCR is as popular as ever. For 2019, the series will also feature Next-Gen Touring Cars and Super 2000’s that will compete in the new Touring Car Trophy, alongside the regular TCR machines.
Each weekend will feature a 20-minute practice session, 25-minute qualifying and two races. Each of these races will be 23 minutes plus 1 lap, with the second of these seeing a reversed grid, allowing all the competitors to show their worth in front of the bustling crowds. The shorter races will allow for more intense action, testing the drivers to their limit.
A new calendar for 2019 launches this weekend at Oulton Park, as the first of five rounds all around the country, including visits to such iconic circuits as Donington Park, Brands Hatch and Croft. On top of this, the TCR cars will have the chance to go compete at Spa-Francorchamps on the 5-6 June, honing their skills in front of the impassioned TCR Europe grid.
After Dan Lloyd’s memorable championship victory last season, a new wave of drivers is lining up for their chance to impress the local TCR crowds. Hong Kong national Sunny Wong will make his UK debut for Teamwork Huff Motorsport. The Volkswagen Golf GTi driver has already amassed experience in the TCR International and the TCR Asia Series as well as TCR China, where he’s the reigning champion. As a result, he’ll be more than familiar with his car as he prepares for his first non-Asian campaign.
The series will also feature a group of returning racers as Lewis Kent will once again star in his Hyundai i30 N for Essex & Kent Motorsport as he aims for further silverware. He will not be the only 2018 podium finisher back on the grid, as Carl Swift steps back into his CUPRA León TCR, which saw him pick up a best of 3rd at Castle Combe during an interrupted campaign.
2018 runner-up Ollie Taylor will return to the series, switching to Maximum Motorsport's CUPRA. The former Kumho BMW Champion picked up two wins and seven further podiums in the Honda last season. DW Racing completes the TCR UK contingent with Darrelle Wilson. Returning in his Opel Astra TCR, he’ll be an ever-present threat at the front. Teamwork Huff Motorsport will be preparing Sunny Wong’s TCR entry in a Golf GTI TCR.
Leading the Touring Car Trophy grid for this year will be Henry Neal, son of BTCC-racer Matt, in the Honda Civic Type R FK2. He’ll be making the switch from MINI Challenge, where he was previously a race winner and has been regular front-runner throughout the last two seasons. Driving alongside him in the class will be Alex Day, stepping up from Ginetta Juniors and Britcar. The 18-year-old will drive the legendary ‘Sherman’ Audi A4 as part of the HMS Racing team.
Ciceley Motorsports will be running James Turkington’s SEAT León Supercopa Mk2. Turkington, like Neal has had experience in MINI’s and last year won the Northern Ireland Saloon Car Championship. He’ll compete in TCT, in the only Super 2000 model.
The diverse field ensures that seven different manufacturer models star at the opening round, the same number as appeared in all of TCR UK last season.