Adam Shepherd and Alistair Camp took a win apiece at the penultimate round of TCR UK at Donington Park, with both picking up their victories in the Stewards’ room after the races. Jenson Brickley had been first in Race 1 but was demoted to second for overtaking during a safety car period. In Race 2, Camp in only his second TCR UK weekend had finished third behind Bradley Hutchison and Chris Smiley, but was declared the winner when the first two were excluded for ride height infringements.
Race 1 – Brickley put his CUPRA on pole ahead of Shepherd, whose teammate and title rival Bruce Winfield was third in qualifying but would start eighth following a grid penalty from the previous event. Championship leader Carl Boardley was tenth on the grid. At the start, Brickley held the lead, but was under attack from Shepherd who went side-by-side through the first sequence of corners. Shepherd took the lead just as the safety car was called with Darelle Wilson’s Vauxhall Astra going off at Redgate. When the race restarted, Brickley began to pull away from Shepherd, with Jac Constable in third, while last year’s champion Smiley put on a brief challenge, passing Bradley Kent for fourth, before he found himself vulnerable to attack and began to be picked off by the chasing pack. The driver on the most notable charge was Boardley, who scythed his way through the order and was up to fourth by the final lap. While Brickley was first under the chequered flag, a post-race investigation deemed he had passed Shepherd during the safety car period and was demoted behind his rival in the final order.
Race 2 - Just before the start, the circuit was hit by rain, and all drivers opted to start on wet tyres. Scott Sumpton started from the reversed grid pole, but he was quickly passed by Hutchison, who had driven from last to eighth in the first race. Smiley also was able to pass his teammate Sumpton and was up to second, but was unable to make any gains on Hutchison, who pulled away on his way to his first win. Shepherd had another strong race, and picked his way from tenth to fourth, making his final pass at the Esses on the last lap, overtaking his teammate Alex Ley. Camp, who was second on the grid, had begun to reel in Smiley but had to settle for third. Boardley crossed the line in 12th place, ensuring this weekend will count as his dropped score round. After the technical checks, both Hutchison’s CUPRA and Smiley’s Honda were found to low and were excluded, which promoted Camp, Shepherd and Ley onto the podium.
The season will come to an end on 21/22 October at Brands Hatch, where Boardley will arrive with a 47-point lead in the championship over Shepherd, and 56 over Winfield.
Donington Park – Race 1
Donington Park – Race 2
Picture: Jakob Ebrey