The latest rounds of the TCR UK championship at Castle Combe this weekend will take place at a track that hasn’t hosted Touring Cars for many years. The Wiltshire circuit, however, traditionally enjoys strong support for its race meetings and, together with a buzz on social media that’s been steadily growing over the last few weeks, it’s hoped that this weekend will see one of the largest crowds of the season.
The championship’s headline story so far this year has been the incredible consistency of Dan Lloyd in the WestCoast Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI. Three pole positions from three and six wins from six mean Dan currently holds a 99-point lead over Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor in the Drivers’ championship. Dan’s teammates, Swedish brother and sister Andreas and Jessica Bäckman, have also both scored podium finishes and lie third and fourth in the standings, split by just three points.
There are several other drivers who’ll also be worth watching this weekend. Ollie Taylor beat Dan Lloyd to Turn 1 in the first race at Brands Hatch and so Ollie will be hoping to repeat that kind of performance to claim his first TCR UK race victory. In the sister Honda Civic Type-R TCR, Finlay Crocker will be hoping that a previous visit to Castle Combe will give him a slight advantage going into the weekend.
The decision to switch from DSG to sequential transmissions seems to have paid off for the Maximum Motorsport CUPRA duo of Stewart Lines and Carl Swift. Carl was denied a maiden podium at Brands Hatch after contact with Andreas Bäckman in Race 2, so will be determined to clinch that elusive top three result at Castle Combe. Lewis Kent did just that last time out, with his third place in Race 1 helping to elevate the 18-year old to fifth in the Drivers’ championship behind the Bäckmans.
After a frustrating weekend for DPE Motorsport at Brands Hatch, in which both of the Alfa Romeo Giuliettas were withdrawn with engine problems after Qualifying, the team travelled to the cars’ builder Romeo Ferraris near Milan and returned in confident mood. Derek Palmer and Robert Gilmour will be hoping that the trip has sorted out the engine issues and can deliver strong results this weekend. Another car that headed for the continent after Brands Hatch was the Vauxhall Astra of Darelle Wilson, who was concerned that the car was down on power. A total of five hours was spent on a rolling road in Germany and, as a result, several technical issues were identified and solved.
The Castle Combe meeting sees the first full implementation of the TCR UK Compensation Weight figures. As a result, all cars except the Volkswagen Golf GTIs will run with zero Compensation Weight while the Volkswagens will have 60kg. Race 1 starts at 12.55 on Sunday and Race 2 at 15.45. Both races will be streamed live on Facebook, the TCR websites, the TCR UK YouTube channel, Motor Trend on Demand and the online platform of motorsport.tv