Lewis Kent steps up from the BRSCC Ford Fiesta Championship to the brand new 2018 TCR UK Series, driving a Hyundai i30 N TCR. The Checkered Flag spoke to the young driver recently about his ambitions for the season ahead.
Whats inspired your move from the BRSCC Ford Fiesta Championship to the 2018 TCR UK Series?
“After racing in the Fiesta’s for the last few years and having seen The TCR International Series on TV, we decided to take part in the taster day at Brands Hatch to try out the various cars and we loved the Hyundai,” explained Kent.
“We think TCR UK is the best and most economical route to make it eventually into the BTCC rather than following the traditional TOCA route.”
What was behind the choice of purchasing the Hyundai for this year?
“We watched the final two rounds of the 2017 TCR International Series and we were impressed with the performance of the car itself and we were in touch with a team to run a car for us,” said the former BRSCC Ford Fiesta driver.
“However that didn’t work out, so we approached Hyundai ourselves and we managed to secure a car for 2018. Its a great car to drive with a lot of direct feedback and the fact that its very fast, its exactly what we wanted.”
What are your goals or objectives for the year ahead?
“We want to race in TCR competition for at least the next several years with the aim this year of taking at least top ten finishes in all of the rounds,” explained Kent.
“However 2018 is going to be a learning year, so next year we’ll aim for the title and in year three we’re looking to race in TCR Europe against the bigger teams. This would also offer the chance where we can learn more from the bigger teams as we get used to the car and the competition.”
If you could race in another series as well as in the UK, which series would this be?
“With racing in the family, it would be great to race with my Father and Brother in the TCR Endurance class of the 24 Hours Series. It would be great to race in at some of the iconic circuits in Europe.”
With the TCR UK Series starting soon, the TCR Europe Series expanding to seven rounds and the introduction of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), what are your thoughts on the changing landscape of TCR Competition?
“I think its great. To be able to have a set of regulations designed for Customer racing progress from an International Series to a World Championship in just three years is brilliant.”
“For people starting in the TCR UK Series, they now have the chance to progress further before moving to TCR Europe and WTCR. This means they don’t have to buy a car only to sell it off the next year because of moving to other Championships.”
Whats surprised you about the TCR environment in your recent experiences from securing the car to announcing your entry?
“During the process of securing the car and getting our plans in place for this year, we have been looked after by teams and drivers from both The TCR Europe and The TCR International Series.”
“I’ve had so much support from and advice about the car and support on Social Media for my 2018 programme and that’s been really helpful with our preparation for TCR UK.”