BRSCC VENTURES NORTH AS TCR UK AND CO VISIT CROFT


A favourite with many a driver up and down the country, the fast, flowing and challenging Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire plays host to the third meeting of the season for the TCR UK Touring Car Championship and Dunlop Touring Car Trophy. With a host of top championships also on the supporting timetable throughout the weekend, it’s set to be another fantastic two days with the weather also set to play its part with dry and clear conditions forecast.

There was drama in the previous rounds of TCR UK and TCT at Donington Park, as Lewis Kent could have been on course for a double victory and the first wins of his career. Alas, his luck just didn’t seem to turn as running out of fuel on the last lap gave honours to Max Coates in the DSG gearbox equipped SEAT Leon TCR, while Race saw Kent suffer rear suspension problems that forced him out of the race, also from the lead. Coates did the double in the end but with Max not on the grid on this occasion, surely it’s Lewis’ time to shine. Darelle Wilson and Sunny Wong are back to try and stop him, while the TCT lineup once again sees Henry Neal, James Turkington and Alex Day present, with Richard Woods’ Ford Focus NGTC and Warren Scott’s VW Passat CC also set to line up this weekend.

On the support timetable, the Avon Tyres National Formula Ford Championship has so far seen five different winners from the first three weekends, although drama befell points leader Ross Martin with retirement in the third race last time out at Anglesey. Victory in the first two races helped him maintain the lead heading to Croft, with American ace Luke Kohlbecker keeping him honest just three points behind. Fellow race winners Neil MacLennan, Jonathan Browne and Rory Smith will also be hungry for success, while James Clarke is still searching for his first Formula Ford win which must surely be on the horizon. Could it finally happen here?

In the Mazda MX-5 SuperCup, there’s a mere 12 point gap separating the top three in the standings with double defending champion Luke Herbert leading the way from perennial rivals Jack Harding and Aidan Hills. Herbert comes here after a winless weekend at Angelsey, while Harding and Hills were both able to take one each and keep the #1 in touch. Expect all three to frantically dice for the top step all weekend once again, with Steve Roberts, Jack Sycamore and Patrick Fletcher also set to be in the hunt for a podium or two.

There were plenty of talking points from the Volkswagen Racing Cup last time out at Donington Park as Mark Wakefield and Rob Allum shared the spoils. Wakefield capitalised on what turned out to be weekend long problems for Josh Coggan to win Race 1, while the second race saw a sensational battle between Allum and championship leader Martin Depper, with the former coming out on top. The Audi TT pairing of father and son Simon and Owen Walton, Depper’s son Jack, 2018 vice champion Ruaridh Clark and Tony Prendergast should also be in the mix too.

More tin-top style action in the paddock comes in the form of the ever popular Nankang Tyres BMW Compact Cup bringing another strong grid of 30+ cars to the table. It’s been a few weeks since their epic three race weekend last time out at Snetterton, with championship leader and double defending champion Steven Dailly continuing his charge towards a third crown with two wins, while main rival Tom Griffiths also collected a victory of his own. Both are back out in action to go for glory. But don’t be surprised to see Mark Skeats, Mikey Doble, Ian Jones, Wayne Flint, Ben Huntley and Matthew Parkes in the mix too.

Over in the Disklok Civic Cup, 2017 champion and current points leader Lee Deegan added another win to his 2019 tally at Anglesey with Alistair Camp also another name to reach the top step of the podium this season too. This championship is a true touring car style battleground for one of the best hot hatches of all time, and the racing is always close, energetic and thoroughly exciting. Deegan will be keen to increase his 20 point lead at the head of the championship with Daniel Reason looking to close the gap in contrast, while Camp, Daniel Hobson, Jason Ballantyne, Bruce Winfield, Phil Wright and David Buky just a handful of names who are more than capable of reaching the podium at least.

This weekend will see two BRSCC championships racing together for the first time as the Alfa Romeo Championship and Toyo Tires Porsche Championship sharing a grid for two races this weekend, with the Porsches also running a third race solo. The Alfa Romeos boast the larger of the two entries, with Bryan Shrubb’s Alfa 33 set to square off against Gary & Mervyn Miller in their Alfa 156 in the Modified class. In contrast, regular Modified runner Richard Thurbin is swapping his Lancia Delta Integrale for a brand new car running in the Power Trophy, as he debuts a newly built Fiat Uno Turbo. He will be abl to see how it stacks up against Paul Webster and Dave Messenger’s pair of 156s, Ben Sharich’s MiTo and Jamie Thwaites’ 155. In the Twin Spark Cup, defending champ Tom Hill will line up once again against Andrew Bourke, Simon Cresswell, Richard Ford and Martin Jones. For the Porsches, Garry Lawrence will look to come out on top of the Supersport Boxster class ahead of Andrew Porter and Anthony Hutchins, while Peter Smith, Hugh Peart and Chris Valentine will dice it out for honours in the 924 class.

Last but certainly not least, there’s a truly local flavour to proceedings with the ever popular and well supported DDMC Northern Saloon & Sports Car Championship bringing a mass variety of marques, models and engines. Class A undoubtedly houses the fastest cars on the grid, with Neil Finnighan’s Caterham R400SV, Andrew Morrison’s SEAT Leon TCR, Matty Cobb’s Lotus Elise and Paul Brydon’s Solution BMW set to be the pace setters here. The rest of the entry sees a brilliant mix of Lotuses, Honda Civics, Peugeots, Caterhams, Ginettas and kit cars. Expect plenty of action, plenty of overtaking and even the odd surprise or two!

Scott Woodwiss