For race one on the Knockhill reverse circuit layout, the TCR UK Series championship points leader – Dan Lloyd – lined up on pole position, while his fiercest rivals (Aiden Moffat and Ollie Taylor) would start just behind in second and third place. As the lights went out, Lloyd got a brilliant getaway and edged out a small gap over the others. On the run down into the hairpin at turn one, Ollie Taylor got the better of Moffat and moved up into second place. Likewise, Lewis Kent out-dragged Finlay Crocker at the start in order to climb up into sixth place.
By lap two, Lloyd was already beginning to create a comfortable gap between himself and Taylor. Meanwhile, Kent was also on a charge up past Jessica Backman on the outside line as the cars entered turn one. Further back, Josh Price (who started at the back following a penalty for replacing his engine) had moved up ahead of Derek Palmer jr and Sean Walkinshaw. A lap later, Backman conceded her position once again on the entry to the hairpin; this time, Josh Price was the beneficiary on the inside line.
In the slightly damp conditions, Darelle Wilson then became the first of many drivers to lose grip at the rear end of their car. Unable to recover the slide, Wilson took a detour into the gravel trap at Clarke curve, re-entering the fray just behind Palmer’s Alfa Romeo. Speaking of sliding cars, Ollie Taylor then lost the rear end of his Honda at Butcher’s corner, allowing Moffat to reclaim second place. Andreas Backman also followed through, but Taylor was back past the Swede at the hairpin on the following lap.
After a promising start, Lewis Kent’s race took a turn for the worse at roughly mid-distance. Having already dropped back due to a lack of visibility through his mud-glazed windscreen, he was then awarded a five second time penalty for exceeding track limits.
Andreas Backman then got back ahead of Taylor, the latter once again sliding out wide, this time at Clarke curve. Finlay Crocker also had a rather spectacular looking spin through Butcher’s corner. By the time he’d recovered and got going again, Dan Lloyd had managed to go a full lap ahead of the Scotsman.
At the front, Josh Price was really beginning to show his potential. Having started from dead last, the youngster had closed onto the battle for third place between Andreas Backman and Ollie Taylor. But then, just as a battle was about to commence, the safety car was deployed.
Blinded by mud, Lewis Kent finally ran out of luck and planted his Hyundai into the tyre barrier at McIntyre’s corner. He wasn’t the only retiree that lap either. A driveshaft failure for his Alfa Romeo meant that Laser Tools Racing’s star driver, Aiden Moffat, was out of the race; his second retirement of the season after his car ran out of fuel in race two at Silverstone. For Moffat, this was disastrous news. In pre-season, both he and Lloyd had been the favourites to become champion at the end of the season, but with another race gone by without scoring any points, Lloyd was beginning to eek out a huge advantage over the Scotsman. In addition, Darelle Wilson followed in the footsteps of Kent by picking up a time penalty for exceeding track limits.
On the restart, once Kent’s Hyundai had been recovered, Andreas Backman ran too deep into the hairpin and promptly lost what had now become second place to Ollie Taylor as their ding-dong battle continued. At the same corner two laps later, Backman then brushed past Taylor’s Honda to reclaim the number two spot, while Josh Price then got in on the act and followed the Swede up into third place.
On the exit of the hairpin, Price got far better traction and drew up alongside Backman’s Volkswagen. Past Clarke curve, Price then made the move stick by going up the inside line into Butcher’s corner. Inevitably, Taylor then passed Backman for third place as the pair swapped positions for the umpteenth time in this opening race.
As Darelle Wilson and Finlay Crocker came to blows at McIntyre’s corner, Dan Lloyd’s car remained spotless. Comfortably out in front, Lloyd took victory to make it three wins from the opening three races of the season.
Full Race Result:
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