Just ahead of the opening round of the new national series at Silverstone, we joined the drivers and TCR UK organisers at the media launch.
The series joins other TCR Touring Car Championships under the TCR banner, this means the same cars can be used through those championships as well as the FIA World Touring Car Cup. This concept gives a lot of scope to a driver wishing to compete, it also for instance, allows a team to rent their car to other drivers across those championships when not competing with it themselves. This makes the UK series an attractive proposition as it means cost such as buying a TCR car can be recouped relatively quickly. The championship also aims to be a springboard for up and coming driver talent. TCR itself is a fast growing concept, having only launched in 2015 and now with 17 series running internationally, regionally and nationally, making TCR UK a very attractive prospect for touring car drivers.
As TCR UK will be the headline championship on BRSCC race weekends it will also have a great series of support races, guaranteeing plenty of track action for competitors and spectators alike. The TCR Series regulations differ from series to series but TCR UK follows the former TCR International Series regulations of Free Practice and Qualifying on Saturday and and two sprint races on Sunday.
Topping the test times in session one was Verizon Connect Racing’s Finlay Crocker in the new Honda Civic, Finlay had earlier commented: “I’ve done a couple of rounds so familiar with the concept. The new Honda is slower handles differently but is more stable” after the mornings test session he went on to say: “The car performed really well this morning in the wet conditions. As it dried it was reassuring to see everything went as we thought it would. Generally, I’m very happy; we’ve had some decent running and we keep making progress with the car.”
The second test session found Laser Tools Racing Aiden Moffat out in front. Moffat who will be dovetailing his TCR commitments with his BTCC campaign earlier talked about his decision to compete in TCR UK and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta “None of the dates clash so there will be a few weeks living out of a suitcase! But it will be good. Obviously TCR is a great Championship worldwide, now moving to the UK. It’s great to be involved, so will be interesting to see how it goes. I’ve never tried another TCR, it’s a nice car to drive but don’t know how competitive it is with other TCR cars, we’ll see.”
During the second test session which found the damp track starting to dry out, Moffat managed to squeeze ahead of Ollie Taylor, the 21 year old later said: ““It got drier towards the end of session two so we decided to get a feel for the car – it’s handling fine and I’m feeling confident. We’ve just used today to learn about the car, we’ll sit down tonight with some data and then build from that tomorrow. We’re up there on the timesheets and we haven’t really given it maximum attack and there’s a lot more in the bag, which is a nice position to be in.”
In the third test session it was Pyro Motorsports Ollie Taylor who sat ahead in the timings in the Honda Civic: ““Every time we go out in the car we learn, which is really good. It’s always nice to feel ‘on the pace’, as we had quite ranging conditions today. I don’t think there’s too much to be looked into in regards to the times today, because a lot of people have been on different tyres all day. It was good to use the Yokohoma tyres and do some homework on how they react; it’s good to see pace from the other people as well and I’m really looking forward to the weekend.”
Also on the grid is former BTCC driver Stewart Lines. Lines has had a ten year career in racing, now aboard his Maximum Motorsport Cupra, Lines is the senior driver on the grid and has been a huge supporter of the TCR UK format “ There are a lot of decent guys and girls in in TCR UK, so I’ll give it my best shot, TCR is only going to go forward”
Qualifying at Silverstone commences later on this afternoon.
Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©AllisonRemzi
Additional quotes courtesy TCR UK