Backman makes temporary Honda switch

by James Bowers
SWR-Backman-TCRUK

The 2018 TCR UK Series is heading into crunch time, with the drivers taking to the track for the penultimate event this weekend at Croft. WestCoast Racing stalwart, Daniel Lloyd, could wrap up the drivers championship honours over the course of Sunday’s races, after having recently finalised a deal to complete the remainder of the season.

However, due to a date clash with TCR Scandinavia, his Swedish team have had to split their resources this weekend. At the Norwegian track, Rudskogen, the team are fielding a Volkswagen for Scandinavian title challenger Fredrik Ekblom. As such, this proved to be a logistical conundrum for the UK team as it meant that they had more drivers than cars.

Luckily, a deal has been struck with Sean Walkinshaw Racing (SWR). SWR had run a Honda Civic FK2 TCR for Howard Fuller earlier in the year, before budget issues halted that particular campaign. Therefore, Lloyd’s team-mate Andreas Backman has been given the opportunity to compete in the vacant Honda this weekend.

As for the rest of the field, there are some welcome returnees and unfortunate absentees to mention too. Alongside the series regulars, Darelle Wilson and Finlay Crocker return to the track this weekend. After a lengthy testing programme, Wilson will have his fingers crossed that his Vauxhall’s mechanical gremlins have been permanently dealt with. Crocker, meanwhile, returns to his Verizon Connect sponsored Honda after handing over the reigns to 2017 BTCC champion Ashley Sutton last time out at Oulton Park.

Two drivers who sadly won’t be racing at Croft are Carl Swift and Robert Gilmour. At Oulton Park, the pair came together in a high speed accident which left both of their cars significantly damaged, particularly the Alfa Romeo of Gilmour who was judged to have been the instigator of the crash. Due to these circumstances, neither have been able to get ready to race again this time out, though we hope to see the pair back on track at the season finale at Donington Park.

The same can also be said for Gilmour’s DPE Motorsport team-mate, Derek Palmer jr. The Scotsman had originally hoped to take part this weekend, however a lack of spare parts for his Alfa Romeo has forced him to sit on the sidelines too. This will be particularly disappointing for the team after Palmer showed strong form at the Oulton Park event, during which he challenged for podium positions. As such, the grid is down to just eight cars.

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