TRIO TOPS TCR UK TEST TIMES AT SILVERSTONE
Three different drivers topped the timesheets during the official Media Day test sessions ahead of the TCR UK Series’ inaugural event at Silverstone.
Inclement conditions prevented the field from finding the true limit of all six marques set to compete in the series opener, but Finlay Crocker cemented the potential of his new-for-2018 Honda Civic Type R FK7 by topping the timesheets in a damp opening session, setting a best time of 1:03.314, a mere seven thousandths of a second clear of the Laser Tools Racing duo of Aiden Moffat and Derek Palmer Jnr.
Moffat, who confirmed his deal to run in the eye-catching Alfa Romeo Guilietta TCR in the week preceding the event, set the pace in a drier middle session on a 59.187, edging out Ollie Taylor’s Honda Civic TCR and guest entry Andreas Bäckman’s Volkswagen Golf GTi (WestCoast Racing). Taylor (Pyro Motorsport) continued his form from the championships first official test day at the same venue earlier in March, setting a best time of 1:04.808 in the final session amid the inclement conditions at the ‘Home of British Motorsport’.
The combined 105 minutes of track time also provided a valuable opportunity for the sister WestCoast Racing VWs of Dan Lloyd and Bäckman’s sibling Jessica to clock up testing mileage, as was the case for Howard Fuller (SWR), Lewis Kent (Essex & Kent Motorsport) and the DSG Trophy pairing of Stewart Lines (Maximum Motorsport) and Carl Swift (Endurance Financial Racing). Both Darelle Wilson (DW Racing) and guest entry Olli Kangas (LMS Racing) will join the fray from tomorrow behind the wheel of a Vauxhall Astra and CUPRA TCR respectively.
All 13 entries will have the opportunity to further acquaint themselves with the 1.6 mile National circuit configuration at Silverstone with a Warm-Up and Free Practice on Saturday [31st March] ahead of Qualifying, with both races scheduled to kick off a new era in domestic touring car racing on Sunday 1st April.
Finlay Crocker said, “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.”
Aiden Moffat 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.”
Ollie Taylor said, “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.”