The second TCR UK Series race at Croft was certainly a dramatic one, with a huge impact on the championship standings. Darelle Wilson had been set to start from the front row of the grid alongside Ollie Taylor, but further strife for the Vauxhall rendered him unable to take part. This promoted Taylor’s team-mate, Finlay Crocker up into second place on the grid.
As the race got underway, Ollie Taylor made a good start, as did Dan Lloyd who managed to swiftly work his way past Jessica Backman for fourth place. However, by the second corner, it was all over for the championship leader. It remains unclear what caused the issue, but a suspension failure on the front-right side of Lloyd’s Volkswagen sent it understeering off into the grass, and into retirement.
Lloyd’s first non-finish of the entire season now presented a huge opportunity to his closest championship rival, Ollie Taylor. A win now would slash Lloyd’s 71 point lead in the standings by a whopping 40 points.
Meanwhile, Lewis Kent appeared keen to bounce back from his clutch woes in the opening race, though in the end was perhaps too keen. Having worked his way up into fourth position in the early stages, the youngster’s Hyundai quickly picked up a puncture and wheel damage, which left him seeking pit lane assistance. It was a huge shame as Kent managed to set the fastest lap in the early stages of the race, and appeared to have incredibly competitive pace.
Andreas Backman, fresh from his first race victory in the opening event earlier in the day, began to pressure Finlay Crocker for second place with ten minutes left to go. The two generations of Honda Civic would battle closely for the remainder of the race, but ultimately would end up cancelling out each other’s strengths and weaknesses around the Croft circuit layout.
So, the order remained as it was until the chequered flag was waved. Ollie Taylor took a comfortable victory, ahead of a jubilant Finlay Crocker and Andreas Backman. By his own admissions, Crocker has had a tough season this year, so a breakthrough podium finish proved to be highly worthy of celebration.
Andreas Backman completed the podium ahead of his sister Jessica, while Stewart Lines came home in fifth place, two laps ahead of Lewis Kent’s hampered Hyundai.
But, of course, the main talking point is what this has done for the context of the championship. For the majority of the season, it appeared as though Dan Lloyd would ease to overall victory, however Taylor’s championship hopes are now very much alive. With just two more races to go at Donington Park, Lloyd and Taylor are split by just 31 points. Game on.
Full Race Result:
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