BRSCC SELECTS REVERSE WITH TCR UK AT KNOCKHILL
One down, six more to go – at least, that’s how it stands right now for the new TCR UK Touring Car Championship, after it made its debut in fine fashion at Silverstone last month. Now, the teams and drivers head Knockhill to face an entirely new challenge – the prospect of tackling Scotland’s only race track in the opposite direction! Not only will it test the drivers and teams with something completely different, but also should mean everyone competing this weekend puts on an incredible show.
TCR UK’s second race meeting should see just as exciting a spectacle as was seen at the inaugural rounds at Silverstone, where double race winner Dan Lloyd dominated proceedings from start to finish. Laser Tools Racing’s Aidan Moffat kept him honest in both races, while Ollie Taylor and Lloyd’s WestCoast Racing teammate Andreas Backmann both shared podium space each. This weekend’s grid should feature almost all of the same names and cars, along with the appearance of fellow BTCC racer Josh Price who joins names such as Lewis Kent, Finlay Crocker, Carl Swift and Derek Palmer Jr.
In support of TCR UK come two very hotly contested and competitive championships. The first is the excellent Mazda MX-5 SuperCup which produced all kinds of excitement, drama and thrilling racing that you could imagine. Back at Silverstone, the three wins were shared between Will Stacey, Jack Harding and James Blake-Baldwin, although reigning champion Luke Herbert, Jonathan Greensmith, Colin Bysouth, Carl Garnett, Simon Baldwin, Steve Roberts and Aidan Hills all had their moments while dicing up at the front. Another healthy entry is in store for this popular one-make series and if the opening rounds are anything to go by, this should be another good one.
The second main support act is the Avon Tyres National Formula Ford 1600 Championship, another series which inspired many of the spectators at Silverstone with the kind of action that’s typical of which this classic formula provides. Joey Foster, Luke Cooper and Niall Murray all took a win apiece as they battled both wet and dry conditions all weekend, so all three are guaranteed to be in the mix for the top step again. Other frontrunners will be Matt Round-Garrido, Joshua Smith, Nico Gruber and Rory Smith, while local favourites should include the likes of Jamie Thorburn, Sebastian Melrose and Ross Martin
Much of remainder of the supporting cast on the timetable comes from the ever incredible and intense roster of championships from Caterham Motorsport. After starting their season last month at Snetterton, they come to a circuit which just about all of their drivers won’t have seen before, let alone in this configuration. First up, the Draper Tools Caterham Roadsport Championship see drivers from last year’s Academy tackling their first season full of double-headers. James Murphy was unbeatable in the season opener with a brace of wins, while Daniel French, Daniel Halstead, Oli Pratt and Matt Shepherd all made sure he had to work hard for it. Additionally, watch out for Caterham CEO and proud Scotsman Graham Macdonald as he grabs a rare chance to be the local hero and race in his homeland. Maybe a victory may come his way if he plays his cards right?
Moving up a level, the ALACO Motorsport Logistics Caterham Seven 270R Championship put on two breathtaking opening rounds in which Jay McCormack stole a victory in Race 1 from reigning Roadsport champion Pete Walters and Team BRIT’s Jamie Falvey, but the latter struck back phenomenally to pick up an incredible first win of his career. All three are back for more, as are Gary Smith, James Wingfield, David Ridley and Douglas Christie for what should be two more intense races.
The final evolution of the original Academy car comes with the Santander Caterham Seven 310R Championship, where Snetterton’s opening round saw no less than 40 cars take to the grid! Christian Szaruta picked up his first Caterham race victory for a couple of years while Gordon Sawyer also claimed one for his own, as the pair also had to fight off the attentions of Chris Rankin, Chris Hutchinson, James Beardwell, Andrew Perry and more. There are at least a dozen drivers in the field who have race winning capabilities and plaudits, and while some may be taking a little longer to get up to speed than others, you can be sure this season is going to get better and better with each passing race.
Then we move into the fastest Caterhams of them all with the Avon Tyres Caterham Seven 420R Championship, where thoroughbred racing versions of the Seven sportscar compete at high speed. Reigning champion Danny Winstanley banished a lousy qualifying at Snetterton to take a win and a second place, kicking off his title defence in the best possible fashion. He wasn’t allowed to have it easy as Sean Byrne, William Smith, Stephen Nuttall, John Byrne, Jack Brown and Henry Heaton all ensured he had to fight his way the front, plus there’s others such as Anthony Barnes and Elliott Norris who could make an impact, as could former Tracksport champ and 420R new boy Tim Dickens. How quickly will he adapt to the new car?
Elsewhere, there’s set to be action from the Toyo Tires Porsche Championship, where aero-enhanced Porsche Boxsters will battle each other in Class A, while the slightly more classic 924s will be embroiled in a race of their own. Adam Southgate couldn’t be topped all day in the Oulton Park season opener while Alex Stocker, Jayson Flegg and James Coleman all shared podium positions between the two races. Southgate and Flegg are here in Scotland, while the other two are unconfirmed. As for the 924s, look for Gavin Johnson, Karl Rossin and Philip Waters to set the pace within their own contest.
Finally, some local content appears in the form of an “all-comers” style race from Scotland’s very own. The SMRC Trophy race is set to feature a wide variety of makes and models of all shapes, sizes and power output, with cars expected to appear from local championship such as the Celtic Speed Scottish MINI Cooper Cup, Scottish Fiestas & Hot Hatches, Scottish Saloon & Sports (both classic and contemporary) and even the Rockstar Revolt SuperLap Scotland (SLS) Race Series, the latter home to some very fast Time Attack style machines.
Touring car racing at Knockhill isn’t an unknown thing in the slightest, but seeing TCR touring cars at full speed around the Reverse layout is a unique spectacle that isn’t to be missed! Enjoy!