2018 TCR UK Series: Donington Park…

With the TCR Season now over, here’s a reminder of how the last weekend of the 2018 TCR UK Series finished.

The TCR UK Series made its way to Donington Park in Leicestershire for the seventh and final race weekend of the season. The 1.98-mile National Circuit played host to rounds 13 and 14 of the series that began at Silverstone over the Easter weekend and visited Knockhill, Brands Hatch, Castle Combe, Oulton Park and Croft over the past six months.

2018-2018 Donington Park Saturday---2018 UK Donington, 8 Finlay Crocker_2.jpg

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of all the action that took place in Qualifying all the way through to Races One and Two on Sunday…

The 2018 TCR UK Series Entry List For Donington Park:

Unsurprisingly, the focus would be on the battle for the Drivers’ championship, with the Team’s title already having been provisionally won by WestCoast Racing.

The Swedish team has enjoyed a string of victories and podium finishes from its trio of drivers Dan Lloyd and Andreas and Jessica Bäckman – the most recent being Andreas’ maiden race victory at Croft last month – while also contesting the 2018 TCR Scandinavia Series using the same three Volkswagen Golf GTIs.

The Drivers’ title fight was now a two-way affair, with Dan Lloyd 31 points ahead of Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor with a possible 91 on offer (11 for pole position and 40 for winning each race).

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Dan has clocked up seven victories compared to Ollie’s string of consistent podium finishes and two race wins, but whichever of the pair clinches the title on Sunday will be a worthy winner of the first-ever TCR UK series.

Behind the leading duo, Andreas Bäckman still has a mathematical chance of finishing the season as runner-up, while his sister Jessica is just six points ahead of Lewis Kent in the battle for fourth place.

2018-2018 Donington Park Saturday---2018 UK Donington, 45 Carl Swift_2

All three were keen to end the season on a high note, as were Sean Walkinshaw (Sean Walkinshaw Racing), Finlay Crocker (Verizon Connect Racing), Stewart Lines (Maximum Motorsport) and Darelle Wilson (DW Racing) with the latter pair still looking for their first podium finishes of the year.

Returning to the championship for the final race weekend were Carl Swift and Josh Price. Both Carl and Josh had finished on the podium last year. The Renault Megane’s were withdrawn due to suspension issues before the event.

Dan Lloyd heads up crucial WestCoast Racing 1-2-3

WestCoast Racing’s Daniel Lloyd claimed a fourth pole position in the 2018 TCR UK Championship at Donington Park, heading up a 1-2-3 for the Swedish Squad.

Crucially, with Lloyd’s title rival Ollie Taylor (Pyro Motorsport) only fourth behind siblings Andreas and Jessica Bäckman, a 6-point swing in the opening race in the East Midlands will prove enough to see him crowned the series’ inaugural Champion.

A best time of 1:10.358s around the 1.97 mile National circuit in the Volkswagen Golf GTI proved enough for Lloyd, with Andreas unable to get closer than 0.3 seconds adrift of his teammate.

2018-2018 Donington Park Saturday---2018 UK Donington, 55 Sean Walkinshaw_2.jpg

Maximum Motorsport’s Stewart Lines continued a strong showing in the CUPRA TCR in fifth after a late improvement, and he shared the third row with Darelle Wilson’s Vauxhall Astra.

Lines’ teammate Carl Swift lines up behind the pair, although he was unable to topple the second Pyro-run Honda Civic Type R FK7 of Finlay Crocker for seventh. Swift also started the final race of the campaign from reverse-grid pole courtesy of setting the best second-fastest lap time.

Essex & Kent Motorsport looked to end the year on a high after a weekend-best result of ninth for Lewis Kent’s Hyundai i30 N TCR, with the returning Josh Price (JP Racing) and Sean Walkinshaw (SWR) – both in Honda Civic FK2s – rounding out the field.

Dan Lloyd crowned inaugural TCR UK Champion in Race One

Daniel Lloyd claimed an eighth victory of the 2018 TCR UK Championship season amid treacherously wet conditions at Donington Park, and in doing so the WestCoast Racing driver was crowned the series’ inaugural Champion.

Lloyd made a textbook start in the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR and eased into the lead, taking full advantage of a prolonged scuffle between teammate Andreas Bäckman and JP Racing’s Josh Price (Honda Civic Type R FK2) to edge 16.782 seconds clear at the chequered flag.

The former TCR International Series podium winner held an insurmountable 50 point advantage in the standings, with a maximum of just 40 available in the season finale.

2018-2018 Donington Park Race 1---2018 UK Donington R1, 95 Stewart Lines_1.jpg

Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor started the penultimate round of the campaign as the only man mathematically able to deny Lloyd the crown, but his charge unravelled as, despite passing Jessica Bäckman’s VW for third off the start, he slid wide in the slippery conditions at Redgate and rejoined down the order after skimming through the gravel.

His fightback began at the expense of Bäckman once again, and then Stewart Lines’ CUPRA, but ultimately couldn’t overhaul teammate Finlay Crocker’s Honda Civic Type R FK7 or Andreas to get a clear run at his championship rival.

His cause was aided, however, with an unfortunate retirement for Price after he slowed on the Wheatcroft Straight with five minutes remaining.

2018-2018 Donington Park Race 1---2018 UK Donington R1, 23 Daniel Lloyd_4.jpg

Crocker completed the podium in third and took home silverware for the second successive meeting, with Taylor fourth and Lines edging out Jessica Bäckman for fifth and sixth respectively.

The latter’s duel with Lewis Kent (Essex & Kent Motorsport) for fourth overall would go down to the wire, with the Hyundai i30 N TCR finishing eighth behind the second Maximum Motorsport-run CUPRA of Carl Swift.

SWR’s Sean Walkinshaw rounded out the field as the sole-surviving Honda Civic Type R FK2, with Price a retiree and Darelle Wilson unable to take the start after the Vauxhall Astra encountered a problem on the green flag lap.

Josh Price takes maiden TCR UK victory in the season finale

JP Racing’s Josh Price took a controlled victory in the 2018 TCR UK Championship finale at Donington Park, with a sweeping move around Redgate and then a blistering pace that was enough to earn him an 18.417-second advantage at the chequered flag.

Stewart Lines ended his campaign on a high after an impressive fightback – coupled with a sublime defensive performance – to score a season-best second place for Maximum Motorsport, and the best result for a CUPRA on domestic shores.

Newly-crowned TCR UK Champion Dan Lloyd showed his class after recovering from the rear of the field – and one or two setbacks – to complete the podium in the WestCoast Racing-run Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.

It was Price who made the best start, out-dragging Carl Swift’s CUPRA to the first corner and boldly seizing the lead on the outside of Redgate, before easing clear as a thrilling seven-car scrap for the runner-up spot behind played out.

Initially Swift held on ahead of Lines before the latter lost out to Andreas Bäckman through the Goddard Chicane – and then paid him back in kind on the exit of the Old Hairpin as the Swede attempted to relieve Swift of second.

That scuffle allowed Lloyd – recovering after earlier contact at McLeans with Lewis Kent’s Hyundai i30 N TCR – on their tail, after moves on first Finlay Crocker (Pyro Motorsport), and then Jessica Bäckman down the Craner Curves.

2018-2018 Donington Park Race 2---2018 UK Donington R2, 26 Jessica Backman_1.jpg

As Swift faded, Lines moved to the head of the group and Bäckman was bested by Lloyd on the outside of Redgate, before the duo played out a tense final two laps eventually decided in Lines’ favour. The Bäckmans finished fourth and fifth respectively – Andreas ahead of Jessica – with Vice-Champion Ollie Taylor’s Pyro-run Honda Civic Type-R FK7 classified sixth.

Finlay Crocker was next in seventh despite contact between the pair at Coppice, with Swift eventually finishing eighth. Kent’s Hyundai and the SWR-run Honda Civic Type R FK2 of Sean Walkinshaw round out the finishers. Darelle Wilson’s Vauxhall Astra was, unfortunately, an absentee after his earlier driveshaft problem kept him out of the final contest.

With the first season of the TCR UK Touring Car Championship complete, there have already been two entries confirmed for the 2019 season with more to come.

Having enjoyed last year immensely and getting to see TCR machinery race in the UK in a dedicated series, I’m looking forward to attending the full season in 2019.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of BRSCC / TCR UK Touring Car Championship

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

Darelle Wilson – My Road to the TCR UK Series: Part 4 – Looking forward to the new season!

Darelle Wilson competed in one of the most recognisable cars of the first ever season of the TCR UK Series, where he drove the family-run Vauxhall Astra TCR in its bright green livery.

Whilst preparations are underway to compete in the 2019 season, Wilson himself has opened up about how his journey to joining the TCR UK Series took place. The TCR Talk Blog will be sharing this journey on a regular basis.

In this final part of the story, the Vauxhall driver explains his overall performance in the second half of the first season of the TCR UK Series as well as what he learned about the car after the season ended and his future.

Rounds 4 and 5: Castle Combe and Oulton Park

Castle Combe saw the team make some tough decisions. Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

After the team visited VMax Engineering in Germany, the constraints of running on a tight budget hit home as they had to make some tough decisions in the following weeks.

Darelle explains the situation further.

“After the expense of the visit to Germany we were short on funds and the decision was made to wait until qualifying at Castle Combe to put new tyres on. The car was running fine and we were only two tenths off the pace and looking forward to an improvement in qualifying,” explained Wilson.

“Unfortunately the tiniest brush with a tyre wall at the final chicane broke the steering rack and sent the car careering across the track, deep into the undergrowth where it hit a long-forgotten piece of armco. With no spare that was that for the weekend.”

With the team needing to repair the car, they realised that budget constraints meant that unless finances improved considerably, they wouldn’t make it to the end of the season.

With this in mind, the tough decision was made to not race at Oulton Park.

Round 6: Croft

Wilson returned to the TCR UK Series at Croft. Credit: BRSCC / TCR UK Series

The penultimate race weekend of the season took place at Croft in Yorkshire and the team returned to the series with a repaired car. However, they faced another challenging weekend.

When an issue on track caused the front splitter to break, the team were faced with trying to make repairs whilst they also looked to source a replacement at the same time. After struggling in Free Practice and Qualifying, a new splitter arrived for race day, offering hope of some improved performances.

Darelle takes the story from here:

“After a very good start in race one, disaster struck again. The smallest contact with another competitor caused the steering rack to break again,” he explained.

“We now knew that there was a weakness in the design from the car builders. This meant that we would make sure to carry a spare in future but again that was the end of our weekend.”

Round 7: Donington Park

Wilson’s performances at Donington Park offered a lot more promise at the end of the season. Credit: BRSCC / TCR UK Series

The final round of the series took place at Donington Park in Leicestershire in a weekend of changing conditions that would challenge the team as they looked to end the season on a high note.

With the car showing good pace during Free Practice and Qualifying as Darelle was posting times good enough to be in the top six, things seemed to be on the up. Despite the difficult conditions, Darelle felt good in the car and was ready to have a good end to the year.

Darelle explains how the season ended:

“As the grid for race one formed, the expectations in our garage were high. The start lights went out and…nothing! A drive shaft had snapped and our race was over after five yards,” Wilson explained.

“Despite being the only Astra in the paddock we could not find a spare although I have to give to credit off to the other TCR teams who offered all kinds of help and suggestions to help get us out on track for the final race.”

“Josh Crogan, a VW Cup competitor in one of our cars and part of our race crew, rang somebody he knew who could repair the part. By the time the part was back at the track, the grid for race two was already formed and it was lap three before we could get the Astra back on the ground. Unfortunately, the driveshaft failed again and we had to push the car back into the garage to record another retirement.”

Despite the many challenges and issues faced last year, Darelle ended the season in tenth place overall in the driver’s championship.

Darelle’s thoughts on last season…

Darelle is eager to return to the series and show what the car is capable of. Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Both Darelle and the team learned many lessons during the season which have given them great confidence for this year.

In November, they were present at the MotorSportDay event at Silverstone where they found a great improvement in the cars handling. Darelle summarises his thoughts from last year.

“Being the only Astra on the TCR UK grid was very difficult and we realised that if we’d have been using a Volkswagen Audi Group TCR car (Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR, CUPRA TCR or Audi RS3 LMS TCR) we could have raced at Castle Combe, Croft & Donington as the other teams could have helped us out,” he said.

“The lesson we learnt is to budget for the necessary spares package to keep in the running all year. As the teams using the Opel Astra in Germany where on a different brand of tyre they couldn’t offer much assistance so we had to plug away at the issues on our own.”

“This year, ADAC TCR Germany are also running on Yokohama’s so I am sure we will be in a position to share information with them to help out each other. What we do know is: the car is fast and I am a capable driver of getting so much more out of it!”

As Opel Astra driver Harald Procyzk won the 2018 ADA TCR Germany title, Darelle knows the car has race winning pace. Credit: ADAC Motorsport / Gruppe C Photography

Darelle has made it very clear that without the support from Martin Depper, Taylex Display & Exhibition and his other backers that it wouldn’t have been possible for him and the family to run the car in 2018. To everyone involved, he passes on his heartfelt thanks and gratitude.

My thanks to Darelle for sharing this journey with me and opening up on how difficult it can be to go racing in any series with a new car.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

Darelle Wilson – My Road to the TCR UK Series: Part 3 – Lets Go Racing!

Darelle Wilson competed in one of the most recognisable cars of the first ever season of the TCR UK Series, where he drove the family-run Vauxhall Astra TCR in its bright green livery.

Whilst preparations are underway to compete in the 2019 season, Wilson himself has opened up about how his journey to joining the TCR UK Series took place. The TCR Talk Blog will be sharing this journey on a regular basis.

In this third part of the story, the Vauxhall driver explains the experience he gained, the challenges he faced and his overall performance competing in the first season of the TCR UK Series.

Round 1: Silverstone

Darelle finally got his hands on the Vauxhall Astra TCR during the opening weekend of the TCR UK Series at Silverstone. Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

With the car having arrived at the circuit set up for a different tyre manufacturer (normally used in ADAC TCR Germany) Darelle and the team knew they had a difficult task ahead to get to grips with the car.

This issue wasn’t too apparent as he shook down the car in both the damp warm up & free practice sessions, however going into Qualifying the track conditions improved. Darelle suffered with the slick tyres & fell off the pace, eventually qualifying the Astra in seventh place on the grid.

Seventh in a grid of thirteen cars? Not a bad start to race day! Darelle explains his race performances below:

“In race one I made a good start and was feeling positive when I was hit from the rear and went off, getting stuck in the gravel trap. This wasn’t good as more than anything we needed track time with the car,” said Wilson

“Because of the DNF in the first race, we started race two from last on the grid, but we had a decent race where I managed to finish in seventh place. The engine was strong and brakes were good, but we needed to get to the bottom of the handling issue we were struggling with!”

Round 2: Knockhill

Darelle in action at Knockhill. Credit: BRSCC / TCR UK Series

The TCR UK Series moved to Knockhill for races three and four of the season where the competitors would race on the circuit in the reverse layout.

With the decision taken to run the car on used tyres in both the warm-up and free practice sessions in an attempt to save costs, this move ended up hindering Darelle. In Qualifying, the new tyres affected the cars handling and he ended up in eighth place for the race one grid.

Darelle explains his race performances below:

“On a greasy track the car came alive and I could easily race with the pack! However it was very difficult to make a clean overtake so I decided to play safe and settled for eighth place with a best lap two-tenths of a second slower than race winner Dan Lloyd,” explained the Vauxhall driver.

“At the start of race two, a couple of drivers ran wide so I was up to sixth place by the second corner. In what turned out to be a race of attrition for many others, I managed to cross the finish line in fourth place. Little did I know at the time that this would be my best result of the season!”

Round 3: Brands Hatch

Darelle struggled at Brands Hatch after a BoP adjustment.Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

The TCR UK Series moved on to Brands Hatch in Kent for races five and six of the season where the competitors would race on the well known and popular Indy circuit.

During the gap between Knockhill and Brands Hatch, there was an adjustment made to the Balance of Performance that’s used to keep all TCR cars as equal as possible, however, this had a negative effect on the Vauxhall Astra.

This meant that Darelle suffered on a circuit where he was expected to go well.

“It was a disaster! From free practice onwards, the car was lacking power. The shift light was telling me to change gear too early and the boost was coming in at all the wrong places on the track,” explained Darelle.

“None of the changes we tried made any difference and we struggled to get hold of Kissling Motorsport to see what support they could provide. We qualified thirteenth on the after struggling with the same  handling issue when the car was on new tyres.”

Race one would see Wilson finish in eleventh place whilst race two saw an improvement after he finished in sixth place. However, this was little reward as he finished over half a second off the pace of Lloyd on such a short lap.

Paying a visit to VMax Engineering…

Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

After Brands Hatch, we decided to take the car to Germany and let Kissling Motorsport have a look to see what the issues were. Kissling Motorsport advised that we all meet up at their engine partners VMax Engineering based in Northern Germany

On arrival, the staff identified the problem almost straight away: The car had virtually no boost! Whilst Darelle and the team believed it to be an ECU problem it turned out to be an external component which controls the boost level.

As soon as this was rectified, the staff at VMax Engineering found a misfire at low revs which was caused by a problem in the wiring loom. With a used loom fitted to the car as they waited on a new one, Darelle and the team eventually left VMax Engineering with the car running fine.

Further issues with the Wiring Loom were encountered by the team as they used the Britcar event at Oulton Park as an extended test, however, Kissling Motorsport sent an engineer with new parts and the car was back to running at its best.

Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Darelle has made it very clear that without the support from Martin Depper, Taylex Display & Exhibition and his other backers that it wouldn’t have been possible for him and the family to run the car in 2018. To everyone involved, he passes on his heartfelt thanks and gratitude.

My thanks to Darelle for sharing this journey with me and opening up on how difficult it can be to go racing in any series with a new car.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

2018 TCR UK Series: Croft

With the TCR Season now over, here’s a reminder of how the last weekends of the 2018 TCR UK Series finished.

TCR UK headed north to Croft in Yorkshire for the penultimate race meeting of the season where the 2.12 mile circuit played host to Rounds 11 and 12 of the championship.

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of all the action that took place at Croft, from Qualifying on Saturday all the way through to Race One and Race Two on Sunday…

The 2018 TCR UK Series Entry List For Croft:

Croft TCR UK Entry list 2018

Mathematically, there was a tiny chance that WestCoast Racing could be beaten to the Teams’ championship title, although that chance effectively ended once the Croft meeting got underway.

The string of race victories achieved by Dan Lloyd, together with the strong series of finishes by his two teammates, Swedish siblings Andreas and Jessica Bäckman, meant that the team could no longer be caught by its closest rival, Pyro Motorsport, and so secured the inaugural TCR UK Teams’ title.

The team confirmed that it would bring all three drivers to Croft, despite a direct clash with the TCR Scandinavia series this weekend in which WestCoast Racing has also been competing with regular driver Fredrik Ekblom.

The battle for the Drivers’ title was not quite so straightforward. Lloyd had seven race victories, including a remarkable six successive wins at Silverstone, Knockhill and Brands Hatch, compared to Ollie Taylor’s single win in Race 1 at Castle Combe.

Taylor’s consistency throughout the season, however, coupled with Lloyd’s penalties at Castle Combe and Oulton Park, meant that the pair were separated by 78 points heading to Croft with a possible 182 still on offer over the two remaining events. Lloyd could clinch the title if he outscored Taylor by 13 points…

However, the battle would go on to be decided at the championship’s final event at Donington Park.

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Away from the two title contests, Finlay Crocker and Darelle Wilson both returned to the TCR UK grid.

Crocker and Wilson missed the Oulton Park event and returned in the Verizon Connect Racing Honda Civic Type-R and the DW Racing Vauxhall Astra TCR respectively.

Andreas Bäckman claims maiden pole position in Croft Qualifying

WestCoast Racing’s Andreas Bäckman capitalised on changeable conditions in Qualifying for the TCR UK Series at Croft to claim his maiden pole position – despite switching cars for the event.

Having swapped to a Honda Civic for the weekend, after WestCoast Racing made a late decision to enter all three regular drivers into the event, Bäckman had to contend with changeable conditions in Qualifying in an unfamiliar car.

The Swede timed his final qualifying lap to perfection, being one of the last to cross the line on a drying circuit to post a time which was over half a second faster than Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor.

The entire field started the session on wet tyres, but as a drying line emerged the lap times began to fall, with Bäckman initially improving to third before putting in the pole lap on his final attempt with just seconds left on the clock.

Taylor ended up in second after completing just one flying lap in the session, 0.585 seconds shy of Bäckman’s pole time.

Maximum Motorsport’s Stewart Lines was a season-best third, the CUPRA driver capitalising on the conditions to secure a second-row starting position despite having his best lap time disallowed for exceeding track limits.

Championship leader Dan Lloyd, who had set the pace in both warm-up sessions and Free Practice earlier in the day, could only manage fourth in his WestCoast Racing Volkswagen, despite putting in a succession of fast laps towards the end of the session.

However, due to a five-place grid penalty from the previous meeting, Lloyd would start Sunday’s opening race from the back of the grid.

Jessica Bäckman (WestCoast Racing) was fifth fastest in her Volkswagen, less than a tenth slower than her more experienced team-mate Lloyd and just over 1.1 seconds off the pace of her elder brother Andreas. Finlay Crocker (Verizon Connect Racing) overcame gear shift problems from earlier in the day to claim sixth in his  Honda Civic Type R, ahead of the Hyundai of Lewis Kent (Essex & Kent Motorsport) in seventh.

Series returnee Darelle Wilson completed the times in his Vauxhall Astra TCR, which ran with a repaired front splitter after damage picked up earlier in the day prevented the 29-year-old from taking to the circuit in free practice.

By posting just one flying lap time, Taylor secured pole position for the reversed-grid second race, which takes each driver’s second-fastest lap and reverses the top ten of those times. That gave the Pyro Motorsport driver the upper hand over title rival Lloyd in both of Sunday’s races, with the latter starting race two from seventh after his second-best time was reversed.

Andreas Bäckman secures maiden TCR UK win in first race at Croft

Bäckman took his first victory in the opening race for the TCR UK series at Croft, taking a lights-to-flag win in the Honda Civic ahead of duelling title rivals Ollie Taylor and Dan Lloyd.

Bäckman made a clean start from pole position and immediately pulled into a lead at the front, as Taylor slotted into second and was unable to keep pace with Bäckman in the early laps.

Championship leader Lloyd, meanwhile, made a superb start from last on the grid and hauled his Volkswagen into fifth by the time he got to the first corner, before getting past Finlay Crocker’s Verizon Connect Racing Honda further around the opening lap.

That put Lloyd in fourth and challenging for a podium position behind the CUPRA of Maximum Motorsport’s Stewart Lines. Lines did his best to hang on to a podium position, but on lap five Lloyd made a move at Tower bend and contact was made between the pair, allowing Lloyd to take third and sending Lines into the field on the exit of the corner.

With Lloyd released, he closed down the near-three second gap to Taylor ahead and by lap ten was on the rear bumper of the Honda. Lloyd kept the pressure on Taylor throughout the final five laps, even drawing alongside on the start straight on lap 11, but Taylor was able to hold on to the position and keep his fading title aspirations alive.

Crocker took the chequered flag in fourth to record his best result of the season, ahead of WestCoast Racing’s Jessica Bäckman in fifth. Lewis Kent (Essex & Kent Motorsport) and Lines completed the classified finishers in sixth and seventh respectively, one lap down, with both having made visits to the pitlane. DW Racing’s Darelle Wilson retired from the race after just two laps following contact with Kent early on.

Ollie Taylor reignites TCR UK title tilt with race two victory

Ollie Taylor reignited his championship challenge in the TCR UK series at Croft with a lights-to-flag victory in the reverse-grid second race, as his main rival Dan Lloyd retired on the opening lap.

Pyro Motorsport’s Taylor started the race from pole position and led into the first corner from Verizon Connect Racing’s Finlay Crocker and WestCoast Racing’s Andreas Bäckman, whilst further back Lloyd had hauled his Volkswagen into fourth after the first two corners.

Disaster then struck for Lloyd at the chicane, as he thumped the kerbs and his Volkswagen Golf speared off the circuit onto the infield with suspension damage, forcing him out of the race. Lloyd could then only watch from the sidelines as Taylor went on to secure his second win of the season, slashing Lloyd’s championship advantage to 31 points with only two races left to run.

Crocker took his best-ever TCR result on his return to the series, making it a 1-2 for the Pyro-run Honda Civic FK8 cars, whilst WestCoast Racing’s Andreas Bäckman made it a podium lock-out for Honda in third. Jessica Bäckman was the leading Volkswagen driver in fourth, with the WestCoast Racing driver improving on her race one performance after a relatively quiet race.

Stewart Lines brought his Maximum Motorsport CUPRA home in fifth, whilst Essex & Kent Motorsport’s Lewis Kent was the last of the classified finishers in sixth after pitting for a new tyre after picking up a puncture early in the race.

DW Racing’s Darelle Wilson failed to take the start after his recurring steering rack problems returned in race one, ruling his Vauxhall Astra out of the second encounter in Yorkshire.

The final round of the 2018  TCR UK Series would take place at Donington Park on 13-14 October.

2018-2018 Croft Race 1---2018 UK Croft R1, start

As per usual, I will be keeping things up to date on here with the blog as well as with the members of the The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group who will also be sharing their thoughts as well as any news from FIA WTCR, The TCR Europe Series, Domestic & Regional TCR Series and any news on the TCR UK Series which started this year.

All images are used courtesy of BRSCC / TCR UK Touring Car Series

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

Darelle Wilson – My Road to the TCR UK Series: Part 2 – Funding Secured!

Darelle Wilson competed in one of the most recognisable cars of the first ever season of the TCR UK Series, where he drove the family-run Vauxhall Astra TCR in its bright green livery.

Whilst preparations are underway to compete in the 2019 season, Wilson himself has opened up about how his journey to joining the TCR UK Series took place. The TCR Talk Blog will be sharing this journey on a regular basis.

In this second part of the story, the Vauxhall driver explains how he secured funding to buy the Opel Astra TCR and was able to finally get to grips with the car during the first weekend of the TCR UK Series.

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The Vauxhall Astra that Darelle Wilson drove in the 2018 TCR UK Series. Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Having tested the Opel Astra TCR in Germany, it was already clear that Darelle wanted to race the car in the UK. However, as always, to go racing you first need some funding…

“On returning from Germany I was buzzing with the excitement of racing in TCR for the inaugural season. But the reality of it was, that after working out the minimum budget to do the series we were a long way off being able to raise that sort of money,” explains Wilson.

“Stefan from Kissling Motorsport came up with a payment plan which would involve an initial deposit, another payment before the car was delivered and a final payment before June.”

In order to raise the money to buy the car, tough decisions had to made and this process involved the Volkswagen Scirocco that Darelle had driven to end the 2017 season on a high note.

“We decided to sell the VW Scirocco however this would mean we had nothing to fall back on should the TCR plan not come to fruition. With the decision made I sent the deposit to Kissling & they set about building the car.”

With the Astra being built in Germany, there was still the matter of getting funds together to racing in the full season of TCR UK. Fortunately, a familiar Saviour was about to save the day…

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Martin Depper came to the teams rescue by paying to drive the Volkswagen Scirocco Darelle had driven in 2017. Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

“At this stage, we had secured a few small promises of sponsorship but nothing major. Then I had a phone call from Martin Depper to ask could we run a car in the VW for him,” explained Darelle.

“I suggested that we use the Scirocco and a test day at Donington was quickly arranged. Thankfully everything went well and Martin agreed on a package to race our car for the season!”

And just like that, the funds were secured!

With the funds in place, Darelle contacted Kissling Motorsport and confirmed that they would make the second payment before the Official press day for TCR UK. His only request was to have the car delivered to Silverstone when it was ready.

After a great effort from Kissling Motorsport, the car arrived at Silverstone on Thursday 29th March, which was the day before the Official test.

Taylex Display & Exhibition arrived a little later to wrap the car and apply graphics so the car would appear in the familiar DW Racing team colours for Friday’s running of the cars.

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Darelle finally got his hands on the Vauxhall Astra TCR during the opening weekend of the TCR UK Series at Silverstone. Credit: Les Latham

Come Friday and the team were informed not to start the car until the technicians arrived from Germany as this would be the official hand over of the car to them. Unfortunately, their flight to the UK was delayed and the team could do nothing but wait.

Once Darelle was in the car, it was a realisation of all of the hard work put in so far.

“During the day we managed to get 2 laps behind the camera car with the other cars which was both a relief and a pain at the same time,” he explains.

“Yes we had made it !! but I wanted to go FASTER!!”

At this stage, Darelle and the team had managed to get the car to Silverstone but they were also broke…

“The car had arrived with Hankook tyres that were used in the ADAC TCR Germany Series and the championship organisers would not let us do the morning warm-up on them as TCR UK uses Yokohama’s.”

“At this stage, We could only afford 1 set of slick tyres & 1 set of wet tyres so we chose to wait until the start of qualifying to use them.”

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The first ever TCR UK Series race at Silverstone. Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

With the car setup at Silverstone and only having tyres for both Qualifying and the two races (Where the conditions were very mixed!) the next challenge was how would Darelle fair in a brand new car on tyres he’d never tried against a field of debutants in the Opening races of TCR UK?

To Be Continued…

Darelle has made it very clear that without the support from Martin Depper, Taylex Display & Exhibition and his other backers that it wouldn’t have been possible for him and the family to run the car in 2018. To everyone involved, he passes on his heartfelt thanks and gratitude.

My thanks to Darelle for sharing this journey with me and opening up on how difficult it can be to go racing in any series with a new car.

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Darelle Wilson. Credit: BRSCC / TCR UK Series

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from FIA WTCR, The TCR Europe Series, Domestic & Regional TCR Series and any news on the TCR UK Series which started in 2018.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

Darelle Wilson – My Road to the TCR UK Series: TCR Tryouts

Darelle Wilson competed in one of the most recognisable cars of the first ever season of the TCR UK Series, where he drove the family-run Vauxhall Astra TCR in its bright green livery.

Whilst preparations are underway to compete in the 2019 season, Wilson himself has opened up about how his journey to joining the TCR UK Series took place. The TCR Talk Blog will be sharing this journey on a regular basis.

In this first part of the story, the Vauxhall driver explains how he went about making the decision to choose which car he would race in. The story begins with the Test Day that took place at Brands Hatch back in November 2017.

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There was a variety of TCR Machinery on offer to test at the TCR UK Test Day back in November 2017. Credit: WSC / TCR Series

“I first became interested in TCR UK in October 2017 when press releases about the series were brought to my attention. So I turned up with my Father Les for the Brands Hatch Test Day in November,” explained Darelle.

The Test day included cars from Alfa Romeo, Audi, Volkswagen, CUPRA, Opel/Vauxhall, Hyundai, Honda and Peugeot. This was an open day to all interested parties looking to compete in TCR UK.

“Having had previous experience of driving an Alfa Romeo I was very interested in what they had to offer but man that Audi looked sweet! I must say after driving the Alfa I wasn’t that impressed but the Astra had caught my eye during the day.”

With testing completed at the Kent circuit, the decision process of which car to buy and race in TCR UK in 2018 was next. Which cars had made the biggest impression and which cars were affordable?

“So we get home and started talking about the costs. We were already all set up if we decided to stay with the VW Scirroco that we had won the final race of 2017 with and we knew what the budget would be…”

“Or should we take a leap into the unknown and go down the TCR Route?”

This was the question that faced the VW Scirroco driver.

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The Opel Astra TCR turned out to be the car that Wilson would choose to compete with. Credit: ADAC Motorsport

“The Audi was our first choice of car if we did decide to go with TCR but it also turned out to be the most expensive car! So maybe there was also the option that we could buy a used one?” wondered Wilson.

As it turned out, the Opel Astra had a big effect from the Test Day and the next steps were clear to follow.

“After more deliberation, we decided to speak with Kissling Motorsport about the Opel (as it had looked fast at Brands). We arranged to meet with them at the Silverstone Launch and as it was the same day as VW Cup launch we took the Scirroco with us,” explained Wilson.

“Stefan from Kissling Motorsport turned up as arranged and he was very keen for me to have a test in Germany after seeing me do a few laps in the Scirroco. After spending some time talking with him and discussing costs we agreed to speak again.”

However, it turned out that it wouldn’t be long before Wilson would hear back from Kissling Motorsport about the Astra.

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A Test with Kissling Motorsport in Germany would seal the deal for Wilson to choose the Astra as the TCR car he wanted to race. Credit: WSC / TCR Series

“Three weeks later we were in Germany testing the Opel! And I loved it! We agreed with Stefan that if we could find the funding we would definitely race the Astra and he agreed to work out a package for us,” Darelle confirmed.

“We went back to Birmingham to work out how we could afford to purchase and buy a car as we had now decided to go and compete in TCR UK.”

The next question was: How would they raise the required £140,000 to buy the car and then go racing?

To Be Continued…

My thanks to Darelle for sharing this journey with me and opening up on how difficult it can be to go racing in any series with a new car.

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Darelle Wilson at Silverstone in the TCR UK Series. Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from FIA WTCR, The TCR Europe Series, Domestic & Regional TCR Series and any news on the TCR UK Series which started in 2018.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

2018 TCR UK Series: Oulton Park

The 2018 TCR UK Touring Car Championship arrived at Oulton Park in Cheshire for its “One Day Special” event in Cheshire for its fifth weekend of racing.

This event ran on the Saturday only due to noise restrictions, however it saw a new entry in Tim Docker. Docker was entered as the third Maximum Motorsport driver, piloting the ex-Motorbase Volkswagen Golf which he has also driven in Britcar competition this year.

A last minute change of driver saw reigning BTCC Champion Ash Sutton step in for Finlay Crocker, who was unable to compete at the Cheshire circuit due to business commitments.

It can be safely said that Sutton left his mark on the Championship…

The 2018 TCR UK Series Entry List For Oulton Park:

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Super-sub Sutton secures Oulton Park pole on TCR UK debut

Verizon Connect Racing’s Ash Sutton secured pole position on his TCR UK début at Oulton Park with a supreme lap that was 0.567 seconds quicker than WestCoast Racing’s Dan Lloyd.

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Having topped Friday’s second test session and then Saturday morning’s Free Practice session, Sutton marked himself as the man to beat around the Oulton Park International circuit.

The Honda Civic Type R driver went to the top of the times on his first full flying lap in the 30-minute qualifying session, posting a lap of 1 minute 42.348 seconds. That time put Sutton at the top by a comfortable margin over the TCR UK series points leader Lloyd, who left it until late in the session to secure a front-row grid position for the first race of the day, setting his best time with just two minutes to go.

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Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor was third, just under eight tenths behind team-mate Sutton, having been set for a Pyro 1-2 until Lloyd’s Volkswagen separated the Hondas. Andreas Bäckman (WestCoast Racing) was fourth fastest in his Golf GTi, whilst DPE Motorsport’s Derek Palmer Jr secured a best qualifying result of the season in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta by going fifth.

Also taking a best qualifying result of the year was CUPRA driver Stewart Lines in sixth, ahead of the third WestCoast Racing Volkswagen of Jessica Bäckman in seventh. Lewis Kent was eighth quickest in his Hyundai, after his team had to work flat-out after the practice session to fix a problem with his front-left wheel hub, which saw him lose a wheel earlier in the day.

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The second DPE Motorsport Alfa Romeo of Robert Gilmour and Maximum Motorsport’s second CUPRA of Carl Swift rounded off the top ten, whilst the Maximum Motorsport-run Volkswagen of Tim Docker completed the times in 11th.

Swift secured the pole position for race two, which is set by the reversed second fastest times of each driver, with Sutton alongside him.

Sutton sprints to victory in interrupted race one

Ash Sutton claimed his maiden win in the TCR UK series with a dominant display in a disrupted race one, with the Verizon Connect Racing driver winning by over 16 seconds from WestCoast Racing’s Dan Lloyd.

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The first start saw Sutton hold on to his lead into Turn 1 as behind him Ollie Taylor slipped past Lloyd to claim second. However, after just one lap of racing, the red flags were brought out when Robert Gilmour and Carl Swift tangled at Island bend, making heavy contact with the barriers and causing extensive damage to both the Alfa Romeo and the CUPRA.

After a half-hour delay whilst the barriers were repaired, the race restarted as a 15-minute sprint to the flag. Sutton immediately got down to business, opening up a clear gap, whilst behind him Derek Palmer Jr moved into second at the first corner.

Palmer would then hold that position for the remainder of the race, despite pressure from firstly Taylor and latterly Lloyd. However, the Alfa Romeo driver would be demoted to fourth upon completion of the race, due to receiving a 5-second penalty for exceeding track limits.

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That gave Lloyd second and allowed the Volkswagen driver to extend his championship lead, whilst his team-mate Andreas Bäckman completed the podium after Taylor was also given a 10-second penalty for being out of position on the starting grid.

Lewis Kent took fifth in his Hyundai, whilst Jessica Bäckman was sixth in her Volkswagen.

Stewart Lines followed up his best qualifying of the year with another points finish in seventh as the only CUPRA driver to finish, whilst Taylor was classified in eighth after his penalty was applied. TCR UK newcomer Tim Docker completed the classified finishers in ninth.

Sutton reigns supreme in action-packed Oulton Park Race Two

Ash Sutton continued his dominance of the TCR UK races at Oulton Park with a second successive lights-to-flag win in race two, as Ollie Taylor pipped Lewis Kent to second place on the last lap.

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Sutton inherited pole position when reverse-grid pole-sitter Carl Swift was unable to take up his pole position after a shunt in race one. That gave Sutton a clear run down to the first corner on the opening lap, and the Honda Civic Type-R racer never looked back.

Second went to Taylor on the very last corner of the final lap, as several laps of sustained pressure on Kent finally paid dividends for the title challenger. Kent completed the podium in third, having run over the grass on the run up to the finish, to claim his second silverware of the season.

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Lloyd took the chequered flag in fourth, although the championship leader received three points on his licence and a five-place grid penalty for his next race following contact with Stewart Lines on lap seven, whilst the duo were scrapping for what was then the final podium place.

Jessica Bäckman finished in fifth, whilst Lines took the finish in sixth after losing significant time in the contact with Lloyd at Cascades. The CUPRA driver was buoyed after posting the fastest lap of the race.

Tim Docker and Andreas Bäckman completed the top ten, the latter after having to pit to deal with gearbox issues.

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Derek Palmer had been running in the final podium position, but the Alfa Romeo driver went off at Lodge Corner on lap six and retired from the race. Neither Carl Swift (Maximum Motorsport) nor Robert Gilmour (DPE Motorsport) took the start due to the damage their cars sustained in race one.

The 2018 TCR UK Touring Car Championship resumes for its penultimate weekend of action at Croft in Yorkshire on the 8th and 9th September.

The Guru’s Thoughts…

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Oulton Park showed us one of several things: Ash Sutton left his mark on the Championship…

The reigning BTCC Champion filled in for Finlay Crocker in the Pyro Motorsports run Verizon Connect Racing Honda Civic TCR and promptly took the car to being Fastest in Practice, setting Pole Position in Qualifying and then romping home to take both of the race wins.

Championship leader Daniel Lloyd has some competition! Now just imagine how the series would have looked with just Croft and Donington Park left if Ash had also run a dual campaign over the season. That would have been an impressive fight!

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What was also good to see were the CUPRA’s and the Alfa Romeo’s showing good pace with improved Qualifying and Race paces respectively. Maximum Motorsport have been threatening this form since Brands Hatch and I suspect they will be challenging for more podiums at Croft and Donington Park.

With Croft and Donington Park looming on the horizon, this also means that the first ever season of TCR UK is slowly winding down. However there are so many more stories to be told before the end of the final race at Donington Park in October. The series has done well so far and there is a lot of talk about a bigger entry for 2019 after seeing the racing and cars in action this year.

For me, its all about seeing if Ollie Taylor can catch Dan Lloyd. Retirements can happen and its been seen before where a massive championship lead advantage has been zeroed or lost. The final two weekends of the year will have four more exciting weekends with the chance that there could always another twist in the tale.

2018-2018 Oulton Park Saturday---2018 UK Oulton PK, 76 Robert Gilmour_3

As per usual, I will be keeping things up to date on here with the blog as well as with the members of the The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group who will also be sharing their thoughts as well as any news from FIA WTCR, The TCR Europe Series, Domestic & Regional TCR Series and any news on the TCR UK Series which started this year.

All images are used courtesy of BRSCC / TCR UK Touring Car Series

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

2018 TCR UK Series: Castle Combe

The 2018 TCR UK Touring Car Championship moved on to Castle Combe in Wiltshire for its fourth weekend of racing.

This event has been one of the most talked about rounds with the fans on Social Media as top line Touring Car Racing raced at the circuit for the first time.

The 2018 TCR UK Series Entry List For Castle Combe:

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Taylor snatches Castle Combe pole by three thousandths of a second

Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor secured pole position for the opening TCR UK race at Castle Combe, eclipsing championship leader Dan Lloyd by just 0.003s.

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Lloyd had set the pace earlier on in the half-hour session, only to be denied in the latter stages from scoring a fourth consecutive pole position by Taylor’s impressive effort.

Consolation for Lloyd is that he will start second in both the races, with his second-best time ensuring a front-row start in the reverse-grid contest at the 1.85-mile Wiltshire circuit. Lloyd led a WestCoast Racing trio in front of Andreas Bäckman who heads the second row with sibling Jessica for company with a time within a second of Taylor’s benchmark.

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Lewis Kent jumped from ninth to fifth in the second half of the session, with a time of 1:08.238, meaning the Brands Hatch podium finisher will start from the third row of the grid. Finlay Crocker was sixth, 1.265 seconds off pole position, ahead of the Maximum Motorsport CUPRAs of Carl Swift and Stewart Lines in seventh and eighth respectively.

Derek Palmer (DPE Motorsport) was ninth in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta, with Darelle Wilson rounding out the top ten with a time he set before his session-ending incident.

Due to his accident Wilson was set to start race two from reverse-grid pole, but his participation is looking uncertain after he sustained heavy damage after an off into the infield at Bobbies. The Alfa Romeo of Robert Gilmour was forced to miss the session after an earlier ECU problem.

Ollie Taylor takes first TCR UK win at Castle Combe

Ollie Taylor secured his first TCR UK win after surviving contact with Dan Lloyd’s Volkswagen Golf on the final lap.

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Standings leader Lloyd made a poor start and dropped back on the opening lap, but survived drama at Quarry Corner as Jessica Bäckman and a fast-starting Finlay Crocker made contact. Crocker’s Verizon Connect Racing’s Honda went across the grass and hit Stewart Lines, forcing the latter to retire with radiator damage.

The safety car was then deployed, and Lloyd began to progress once the race got back underway, passing Lewis Kent on the start/finish straight after forcing him into an error through Camp Corner. He then made his way past team-mate Andreas Bäckman – who eventually completed the podium – before setting his sights on polesitter Taylor.

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He steadily reduced the gap before making a last-gasp move into Quarry Corner, hitting the side of Taylor’s Honda Civic Type R FK7 before completing the overtake at The Esses. Taylor attempted to fight back but was forced to settle for second, ahead of Andreas Bäckman and Kent, who tried to challenge the Swedish racer in the middle phase of the race.

The top five was rounded out by Carl Swift’s CUPRA, who had breathing space at the line after a tense battle with Derek Palmer’s Alfa Romeo, which slowed on circuit after challenging Swift and pitted with a few laps remaining. That DNF continued DPE Motorsport’s woes as Palmer’s teammate Robert Gilmour did not contest the opening race due to an ongoing ECU problem.

Afterwards the Stewards overturned the race win and awarded this to Taylor, with Lloyd’s move being deemed as Un-Sportsman-like.

Dan Lloyd secures his seventh win of 2018 campaign

Dan Lloyd won a dramatic reverse-grid race at Castle Combe to take his seventh TCR UK victory this season, ahead of Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor.

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Lloyd started the race from pole and faced early pressure from Carl Swift, who made a great start to challenge Lloyd around the outside at Quarry Corner on the opening lap, before settling for second for the remainder of the lap.

Race one winner Taylor made progress on the opening lap, and eventually hunted down Lewis Kent and then Carl Swift to take the chequered flag in second position, 1.7 seconds adrift of Lloyd. By the time Taylor made it to second, Lloyd enjoyed a seven second advantage, which was then nullified by a late safety car period following contact between Jessica Bäckman and Stewart Lines at Camp Corner.

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The pair were battling for fifth and sixth position when they tangled at the last turn and made heavy contact with the barrier, necessitating the safety car. Lines was later disqualified from the race and received four penalty points for the incident.

When the field returned to green flag racing, Lloyd got the jump on Taylor while Swift held station in third position. The CUPRA racer finished the race third but initially received a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits, dropping him down to fifth. After the race, Swift successfully appealed the decision and the penalty was withdrawn, which reinstated his first TCR UK podium result.

Derek Palmer secured his best result so far this season with fourth in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta, while his teammate Robert Gilmour did not start either race this weekend due to an ongoing ECU problem.

The Guru’s Thoughts…

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So, lets recap. There were twelve entries for the weekend and this dropped to eleven when Howard Fuller confirmed that due to budget reasons he wasn’t able to take part. To further add to this Darelle Wilson suffered terminal damage to his Vauxhall Astra after a big off in Qualifying and Robert Gilmour had an ECU issue that kept him out of the running.

Despite this, nine cars took part in both races and both races were really exciting with a lot of chasing and strategy required in trying to make passes on the fast Wiltshire circuit. With this event being one the fans were really talking about, the response back was really positive about the racing and the access to the drivers and teams.

However what the circuit also posed was a challenge with potentially two places to pass with a lot of high speed panning required. That’s not a bad thing as with most UK circuits, its bloody difficult to pass anyway!

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Again the subject of numbers came up, however you can’t account for the possibility of Budget issues or Mechanical/Damage Issues during a weekend. These things happen over any race weekend in any series, however it seems to be highlighted more with this series than anyone else. To add to this, other expected entries didn’t appear due to Budgets or trying to secure a car to race with. Its not that easy to do!

Oulton Park is next on Saturday 4th August and the action all takes place on the Saturday with Qualifying live online and both races also streamed live as normal. Oulton is always a challenge and its one I’m looking forward to.

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As per usual, I will be keeping things up to date on here with the blog as well as with the members of the The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group who will also be sharing their thoughts as well as any news from FIA WTCR, The TCR Europe Series, Domestic & Regional TCR Series and any news on the TCR UK Series which started this year.

All images are used courtesy of BRSCC / TCR UK Touring Car Series

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

2018 TCR UK Series: Brands Hatch

The 2018 TCR UK Touring Car Championship moved on to Brands Hatch for its third weekend of racing and saw an increased entry list as well as some interested observers who just failed to make the entry in time…

The biggest news was that between Knockhill and Brands Hatch Laser Tools Racing decided to leaves the series, which left a question on the participation of the Alfa Romeo’s. This was soon answered with DPE Motorsport (who originally purchased the Alfa’s and announced their participation) confirming the cars would be a season long entry with Robert Gilmour brought in to race the second car.

There was also a provisional entry list that alluded to a potential 17 car entry, however due to a lack of funds/time/resources, these entries did not make it to the grid. One of the provisional entries was for BTCC runner up Sam Tordoff…

The 2018 TCR UK Series Entry List For Brands Hatch:

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Daniel Lloyd secures pole position for the opening TCR UK Series race at Brands Hatch.

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A quickest time of 48.483 seconds around the 1.2 mile Indy Circuit configuration on his final run meant the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR racer and championship leader headed up the front row alongside Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor, who enjoyed a strong start to life with the Honda Civic Type R FK7 in second, three tenths adrift.

Strong performances from Swedish siblings Andreas and Jessica Bäckman put the sister WestCoast Racing machines into third and fifth respectively, with Lewis Kent’s Hyundai i30 N TCR separating the pair as he chases a season-best result from fourth.

BMR Autoglym Academy’s Josh Price was another to improve in the second half of the session and will start the FK2 model from sixth, whilst the second Pyro-run FK7 of Finlay Crocker and championship newcomer Robert Gilmour (DPE Motorsport) share the fourth row behind in close company.

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Row five was an all-CUPRA and Maximum Motorsport affair, with Stewart Lines heading Carl Swift, both of whom have now made the switch to a sequential gearbox from a DSG unit, and the latter will start the second race from a reverse-grid pole position.

Sean Walkinshaw Racing’s Howard Fuller marked his racing return to Brands Hatch with eleventh, half a second clear of Alex Morgan as the Renault Mégane TCR makes its competitive debut in the UK.

Darelle Wilson’s Vauxhall Astra lines up in thirteenth, a further tenth of a second behind, with Derek Palmer set to round out the field after a mechanical issue prevented his Alfa Romeo Giulietta from setting a fast lap.

Lloyd fights back to win fifth consecutive TCR UK race

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WestCoast Racing’s Daniel Lloyd claimed victory in the opening TCR UK championship race at Brands Hatch after recovering to edge out a fast-starting Ollie Taylor.

The Pyro Motorsport racer made the better start from the front row and edged ahead in the Honda Civic Type R FK7 on the outside line heading into Paddock Hill Bend. Drama ensued behind the pair as Lewis Kent (Essex & Kent Motorsport) moved up to third and then made light contact with Lloyd’s Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR at Druids, before sliding a little wide at Graham Hill Bend and allowing the top two to escape up the road.

Though Taylor held firm in his defence of the lead, Lloyd would not be denied and pounced on an opening at Clearways to reclaim top spot and then extended his advantage to 1.8 seconds before the end. The result increases his advantage in the championship to 80 points, whilst second for Taylor means he moves up to the same position in the standings.

Josh Price (BMR Autoglym Academy) looked to have held onto fourth after an absorbing race-long contest with Jessica Bäckman (WestCoast Racing), but disaster struck on the run to the chequered flag and the Honda Civic FK2 slowed, allowing the TCR Scandinavia racer to seize a strong result on her debut at the 1.2 mile Indy circuit.

Another drama struck the CUPRA TCR of Stewart Lines (Maximum Motorsport) on the formation lap as an issue with the air jacks forced him to a halt, but swift work by his mechanics allowed him to make the start, and he recovered in composed fashion to post a season-best result of fifth. Jessica’s sibling Andreas survived a sideways moment after contact at Surtees to put all three WestCoast Racing machines in the top six, ahead of the Pyro Motorsport machine of Finlay Crocker.

Carl Swift claimed eighth and looked to capitalise on pole position in the reverse-grid race as he chases a maiden victory in the series, with Price eventually crossing the line ninth and Howard Fuller (Sean Walkinshaw Racing) rounding out the top ten after edging out a thrilling scrap with Darelle Wilson’s Vauxhall Astra.

Alex Morgan was forced to retire the Renault Megane TCR on its competitive debut on domestic shores, but gathered valuable data on the car and will look for a better turn of luck in the second contest later today.

Daniel Lloyd and Jessica Bäckman give WestCoast a 1-2 finish

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WestCoast Racing secured a 1-2 finish in the final TCR UK Touring Car Championship contest at Brands Hatch, with championship leader Daniel Lloyd taking a sixth victory in a row to extend his lead in the standings.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR started on the fifth row of the grid but made a strong start and cut through the field in sublime fashion, eventually besting a stoic defence from the CUPRA of Carl Swift to seize the advantage into Graham Hill Bend. The result extends Lloyd’s advantage at the top of the table to 99 points.

Team-mate Jessica Bäckman followed Lloyd through to complete a strong result for the Swedish outfit – her first podium in the championship – with Howard Fuller (Sean Walkinshaw Racing) emerging on top of a duel for the final spot on the rostrum with the sister Maximum Motorsport machine of Stewart Lines.

Swift drove valiantly but was unfortunate to pull off at Surtees in the closing stages with a suspected front-right suspension problem, whilst contact between Lines and Andreas Bäckman on the exit of Druids similarly prevented the latter from challenging for silverware.

Ollie Taylor saw out a strong weekend with fifth in the Pyro Motorsport-run Honda Civic Type R FK7, though team-mate Finlay Crocker’s obvious pace went unrewarded and a spin at McLarens forced the Scottish racer into the pits and out of contention.

Darelle Wilson put in a season-best showing in the Vauxhall Astra, claiming sixth ahead of Lewis Kent’s Hyundai i30 N TCR, which started well but fell back and eventually took seventh via a trip to the pit lane for a tyre change.

In a race of high attrition Swift came next ahead of Backman, with Crocker, Josh Price’s Honda Civic FK2 after a suspected recurring fuel surge and the Renault Megane TCR of Alex Morgan rounding out the field after continued mechanical struggles.

The Guru’s Thoughts…

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Brands Hatch offered some great racing from the TCR UK Series and it also confirmed that the interest from Knockhill wasn’t just a one off. Whilst Laser Tools Racing decided to return to the BTCC, the cars remained in the series with DPE Motorsport, putting to bed the many rumours that the series was in trouble without the cars or team being involved.

Dont. Be. So. Bloody. Ridiculous!!!

With the arrival of Alex Morgan and the Renault Megane being developed by Wolf Power Racing for their ADAC TCR Germany campaign (the car is in its first year of development) and also the signal of intent from both Sam Tordoff and BMR Team Principal Warren Scott about wanting to take part, this showed that there are others out there watching with interest.

14 cars is a great entry list and even with the two Alfa Romeo’s not competing due to engine issues, 12 cars on track is still a good sign. I maintain that unless the series reaches the lows of TCR Italy in its first year (2 full season entries, 7 part time entries that did not race at every TCR Italy event…) then there is still a lot of hope for TCR UK.

Lets give it a bloody chance eh?

Finally I felt for Carl Swift. The Maximum Motorsport driver led the most laps of the year so far before Lloyd found a way past. It was great to see Swift holding and defending his line and retirement for the CUPRA driver was a poor reward for a podium that was waiting for him. Looking forward to more positive performances!

2018-2018 Brands Hatch Race 1---2018 UK Brands Hatch R1, 32 Oliver Taylor_2

As per usual, I will be keeping things up to date on here with the blog as well as with the members of the The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group who will also be sharing their thoughts as well as any news from FIA WTCR, The TCR Europe Series, Domestic & Regional TCR Series and any news on the TCR UK Series which started this year.

All images are used courtesy of BRSCC / TCR UK Touring Car Series

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

2018 TCR UK Series: Knockhill

The 2018 TCR UK Touring Car Championship moved on to Knockhill in April for is second weekend of racing and enjoyed a larger entry on the grid.

Sean Walkinshaw stepped in to make his FWD debut in the Honda Civic whilst Howard Fuller was unable to drive due to other commitments whilst Josh Price made his first appearance in a 2017 Honda civic run by the BMR Autoglym Academy outfit.

Dan Lloyd secures pole position in competitive Knockhill qualifying

Round 2 TCR UK Series
Credit: Craig McAllister / CMC Images

Dan Lloyd made it two pole positions out of two events by securing the top time in qualifying for the TCR UK series at Knockhill, as local racer Aiden Moffat qualified on the front row of the grid in second.

Championship leader Lloyd made his intent clear early on in a sunny Qualifying session when he went to the top of the times after eight minutes.

But with Scottish racer Moffat getting ever-quicker, Lloyd had to improve his lap time throughout the session, eventually setting a time of 50.823 seconds to claim pole position for the first race.

Laser Tools Racing’s Moffat ended up two and a half tenths back having posted his best lap time of the weekend on the anti-clockwise configuration of the Knockhill circuit.

Round 2 TCR UK Series
Credit: Craig McAllister / CMC Images

The series once again featured a diversity of brands in the top three positions, as Lloyd’s Volkswagen and Moffat’s Alfa Romeo were followed by the Honda Civic of Ollie Taylor (Pyro Motorsport) in third, who improved his time twice inside the final ten minutes to secure a strong starting position.

Swedish racer Andreas Bäckman was fourth fastest, giving the WestCoast Racing driver a second row starting position for Race One.

TCR newcomer Josh Price (BMR Autoglym Academy) overcame an engine failure in practice to take to the circuit with seconds to spare at the beginning of the half-hour session, qualifying his Honda Civic in fifth, ahead of the 2018-specification Honda of Scottish racer Finlay Crocker (Verizon Connect Racing) in sixth.

Lewis Kent put his Hyundai i30 N in seventh for the first race, with the third WestCoast Racing Volkswagen of Jessica Bäckman in eighth.

Darelle Wilson (DW Racing) was ninth in his Vauxhall Astra, ahead of TCR UK debutante Sean Walkinshaw in tenth and Derek Palmer Jr (Laser Tools Racing) completing the field in 11th. Walkinshaw had earlier missed practice whilst he waited for a spare suspension component to be delivered to the circuit after a failure on Friday.

The grid for the second race, which is based on a reversal of the top ten drivers’ second fastest laps, saw Walkinshaw start from pole position with Wilson alongside.

Daniel Lloyd victorious in exciting opening race at Knockhill

Round 2 TCR UK Series

WestCoast Racing’s Daniel Lloyd put in a flawless drive to take victory in the opening TCR UK Series race at Knockhill, as Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor and the BMR Autoglym Acamdemy’s Josh Price completed the podium after a thrilling scrap.

Lloyd started the race from pole position and never looked back as he built up a comfortable margin early in the race, whilst the pack behind him scrapped for position in a thrilling race.

Taylor had got the jump on Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat at the start, before he slid wide in his Honda Civic on lap six and dropped to fourth, releasing Moffat to try to reduce Lloyd’s then six-second gap.

However, Moffat’s charge came to an abrupt end at the mid-point of the race when he suffered from a driveshaft failure, elevating WestCoast Racing’s Andreas Bäckman into second.

A mid-race safety car period was required in order to retrieve the beached Hyundai i30 N of Lewis Kent (Essex & Kent Motorsport) who had gone off at McIntyres whilst running in 11th, and when the race resumed on lap 22 Andreas Bäckman made an unforced error into the first turn, locking his brakes and handing second to Taylor.

Round 2 TCR UK Series

Bäckman sought to re-pass the Honda two laps later but contact between the pair gave Price the opportunity to move into second. The BMR driver would only hold the position for two laps though, and Taylor re-passed with just five laps to run and the podium positions would remain unchanged thereafter.

Fourth went to Bäckman, ahead of Sean Walkinshaw in fifth, who is making his TCR UK race début for his team of the same name this weekend.

Derek Palmer finished the race as Laser Tools Racing’s sole remaining Alfa Romeo in sixth after a relatively uneventful drive for the Scot, ahead of Jessica Bäckman (WestCoast Racing) in seventh.

Darelle Wilson (DW Racing) was eighth, having received a five-second time penalty for exceeding track limits in the race, although his race ended with an accident with Finlay Crocker (Verizon Connect Racing) at McIntyres bend on the final lap, despite the latter running a lap down. Crocker had earlier suffered from several spins during the race and was a lap down as a result.

Incident-packed Race 2 at Knockhill delivers thrills aplenty

2018-2018 Knockhill Race 1---2018 UK Knockhill R1, 23 Daniel Lloyd_3

Daniel Lloyd continued his dream start to the TCR UK Series with victory in the reversed-grid second race at Knockhill, coming through from ninth on the grid to take his fourth win of the year ahead of Josh Price and Sean Walkinshaw.

Walkinshaw started the race on pole position and led heading into Turn 1, but the Hyundai of Lewis Kent got an even stronger start from the second row of the grid and immediately made a move into Taylor’s Hairpin, with slight contact allowing Kent into the lead. Further back Team BMR’s Josh Price, who had started from sixth, got past Walkinshaw for second on lap four, and immediately set about slashing Kent’s early lead. On lap seven Kent made a mistake at Turn 1, gifting Price the lead, although the Honda driver would only be at the front of the field for four laps.

Championship leader Lloyd had been making steady progress in the early phase of the race, moving up to sixth by the end of the first lap and into second by lap eight. On lap 11 Lloyd got a superior exit from Turn 1 and passed Price for the lead heading towards Turns 2 and 3 with a clean pass.

Lloyd had opened up a lead of over two seconds by lap 23 when the safety car was required to clear up the damaged Honda of Ollie Taylor. The Pyro Motorsport driver had spent much of the first half of the race running seventh, before stepping up a gear heading into the final third of the race. Whilst trying to pass WestCoast Racing’s Jessica Bäckman for fourth at Turn 1 the two cars made contact and title contender Taylor was out of the race with broken steering.

Round 2 TCR UK Series
Credit: Craig McAllister / CMC Images

With the clock continuing to count down there was only time for one more racing lap when the action resumed, and Lloyd went early to build enough of a lead to take his fourth win of 2018. Price ultimately settled for second, ahead of Walkinshaw in third, giving the latter’s fledgling team a maiden podium in TCR. DW Racing’s Darelle Wilson was fourth, with the Vauxhall Astra racer almost securing a podium finish after pressuring Walkinshaw late in the race.

The Bäckman siblings finished in fifth and sixth, with Andreas ahead of sister Jessica respectively. Both WestCoast Racing cars were involved in fierce battles during the race, with their Volkswagen Golf GTi cars bearing the scars of multiple contacts at the end as the Knockhill circuit once again delivered close battles. Derek Palmer once again had to fly the flag for the Laser Tools Racing team and finished in seventh, as team-mate Aiden Moffat failed to make the start with a different failure to the driveshaft issue that took him out of the running in race one.

Lewis Kent completed the finishers in eighth, two laps down after tyre issues struck during the race.

Another two victories mean Lloyd leaves Scotland with a 66-point lead over Andreas Bäckman in second, with Taylor a further seven points behind in third.

The Guru’s Thoughts…

2018-2018 Knockhill Saturday---2018 UK Knockhill, 28 Josh Price_.jpg

The second weekend of the 2018 TCR UK Touring Car Championship showed that the exciting spectacle of TCR Racing takes place in every TCR Series around the world. Add some greasy conditions on a drying track and your guaranteed of exciting races.

I’m not going to talk about the Qualifying/Race Day issue, as far as I’m concerned it was sorted out on the day. Its not the best way to have done things with the decisions taking place live on air, but time constraints led to this happening in the way it did.

It was great to see Josh Price enter with BMR Autoglym Academy Honda Civic and it showed that others are interested in join the series in its first year. In a season where so far a lot of people have commented on the grid size (due to oversized expectation built by everyone outside of the series), a new car and team entering the fray shows that what I have said all along is correct:

People are waiting in the wings to see how it progresses before committing to an entry. Thats fair enough, its a new series and to make it worth their while the teams’/drivers want to see some action and racing to justify budgets.

Finally, racing in the reverse direction seemed to offer more overtaking spots than the normal way around. I liked it! I hope it returns for 2019…

2018-2018 Knockhill Race 2---2018 UK Knockhill R2, 55 Sean Walkinshaw

As per usual, I will be keeping things up to date on here with the blog as well as with the members of the The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group who will also be sharing their thoughts as well as any news from FIA WTCR, The TCR Europe Series, Domestic & Regional TCR Series and any news on the TCR UK Series which started this year.

All images are used courtesy of BRSCC / TCR UK Series & CMC images where credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!