Tim Docker made his touring car debut in the TCR UK Series last year where he drove the Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR run by the Maximum Motorsport squad at Oulton Park.
As well as competing in TCR UK, Docker also competed in the Britcar Endurance Championship in the same car. The Checkered Flag spoke to the Volkswagen driver at the 2019 Autosport International Show.
First of all, for those who don’t know, who is Tim Docker and where have you raced?
“I’ve been racing for three years, starting off in the Volkswagen VAG Trophy before moving onto the Volkswagen Cup. Last year I moved into the Britcar Endurance Championship with a Volkswagen Scirocco which I enjoyed immensely,” explained Docker.
“I took two class wins in the first few outings, however, whilst I enjoyed the format of the series I soon realised that I needed to move classes to be more competitive. So we purchased the former Motorbase Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR and the season went really well. Outside of the cockpit, I run a Data Communications business as my day job which I’ve been involved in for many years.”
You raced the Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR in both the Britcar Endurance Championship and the TCR UK Series last year. With both Endurance and Sprint racing included in these series, what type of racing do you prefer?
“I enjoy the Endurance format more out of the two. What I love about Britcar is the intense format of each event where you have a twenty-minute Practice session, thirty-minute Qualifying session and then two one-hour races all on the same day,” said the Britcar driver.
“TCR UK is a different challenge altogether. during my debut at Oulton Park, my car was running with full success ballast due to the performances of the WestCoast Racing team with their Volkswagens. Despite that, you have to be right on your game in what was a very competitive series last year.”
You’ve been working alongside Paul O’Neill last year as a Driver Tutor. How did that agreement come about and what have you learnt from the former BTCC racer?
“When I started racing, I worked with a number of different driver coaches on a regular basis before working with Josh Cook at Brands Hatch. I wanted to book a further day of coaching at Oulton Park and Josh was unable to attend so he sent Paul in his place,” said Docker.
“I found that I gelled with Paul and the relationship developed further from there. For the last two years, Paul has been my driver coach and we have a pretty good understanding of each other. I want to invite Paul to drive the car with me in Britcar this year if its possible. If I were to do that then I would only consider doing this with Paul.”
You made your debut in the TCR UK Series last year at Oulton Park. How did you feel that went and what lessons did you learn?
“I learnt a lot! There were some very good drivers taking part such as Ash Sutton, Daniel Lloyd and Ollie Taylor and it was great to have the chance to race alongside them. We had a reasonable setup that we brought from our Britcar experience and we worked from that during the event,” explained the Volkswagen driver.
“I found on Friday that it was the first time I’d driven the car on Yokohama tyres as opposed to Dunlops in Britcar. We worked on the setup so that I could get as comfortable as possible and I brought the gap down to my team-mates in Stewart Lines and Carl Swift. It was a different level of competition to race in and I took some lessons away from this experience.”
This year you’re confirmed to compete in both the Britcar Endurance Championship and the new Touring Car Trophy run by Stewart Lines. What was behind the move to join TCT and what are your aims for the new season?
“My focus is primarily on racing in the Britcar Endurance Championship this year and that comes an important decision. Do I race as just a single driver, or if I should team up with another professional driver for this season,” explained Docker.
“I genuinely think that Paul and I would be a class winning combination in the Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR as well as featuring well in the overall championship. With regards to TCT, subject to the confirmation of a grid then I would be looking at competing in at least four race meetings out of the five on the calendar.”
“In regards to my goals in TCT, its going to be a new venture involving cars such as NGTC, Super2000 and other classes so the main point there will be how the Balance of Performance will work. My only goal is to perform to the best of my ability in the TCR car whilst running on Dunlop tyres and also hope that there’s some good respectful racing between the drivers on track.”
The Checkered Flag sends its thanks to Tim Docker for taking the time to speak with us at the NEC.