PREVIEW: 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship – Oulton Park

by Phil Kinch

The 2018 TCR UK Touring Car Championship finished last October with Josh Price crossing the finish line ahead of Stewart Lines and 2018 Champion Daniel Lloyd at Donington Park to win the final race of the season.

Saturday will see the start of the 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship, having a different look to it for season number two, which begins on the Oulton Park International circuit alongside the 2019 Dunlop Touring Car Trophy.

Plenty of Changes for season two… 

During the winter, there have been changes behind the scenes. Announced earlier this year, an agreement was reached between WSC Group and Maximum Motorsport to jointly run the series. This decision has meant a change in the weekend format regarding Free Practice, Qualifying and the two races and a reduced calendar.

TCR UK returns to action after the 2018 season finished at Donington Park. Credit: BRSCC / TCR UK

The drivers that enter TCR cars for each round will score points towards the 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship, running to the same Balance of Performance that is set for all TCR Series worldwide.

With the calendar reduced to ten races from fourteen, the option of competing in the TCR Europe round at Spa-Francorchamps on June 8-9 is still open to TCR UK entries. A trophy will be awarded to the highest placed TCR UK driver only.

The Oulton Park Entry List…

The grid has a different look to it after the departures of WestCoast Racing and Pyro Motorsport to other TCR Series this year. Several returning drivers have already announced that they will be competing in the 2019 season alongside new teams and drivers entering TCR UK.

Ollie Taylor is back for another crack at the TCR UK Drivers Title. Credit: BRSCC / TCR UK

2018 TCR UK runner up Ollie Taylor has signed up with Maximum Motorsport, where he will be behind the wheel of one of the teams CUPRA’s. Taylor adapted quickly to the FWD TCR Honda last year and has already enjoyed a recent run in the Maximum Motorsport entry in a previous round of Britcar this year.

Carl Swift is another returning driver to the series, reuniting with the CUPRA TCR that he took to a podium finish at Castle Combe last season. Swift has already confirmed that he is due to missing the two rounds on the British GT support package at Donington Park, therefore results this weekend will be important in deciding his return afterwards.

Lewis Kent was the first driver to announce he will be back, returning with the family-run Essex and Kent Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR. Kent has spent time testing with the BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse team over the winter, learning more about the car that has dominated so much on the International scene and is confident of a leap in form with the car.

Darelle Wilson is out for a much improved second season in TCR UK this year. Credit: BRSCC / TCR UK

Darelle Wilson is also back with the DW Racing Vauxhall Astra. After a difficult season last year, some winter testing has unlocked more potential in the car, Wilson is looking forward to a better year where he can show the fast pace of the Astra.

Finally, Teamwork Huff Motorsport have announced an entry, with Ciceley Motorsport taking care of the preparation and running of the Volkswagen Golf GTi that Sunny Wong will race in the series. Wong has already driven the car in various TCR Asia and TCR China events and will be well prepared for Saturday’s action.

With more entries expected throughout the season, TCR UK can only build on the groundwork established last year and look to improve as a part of the TCR Family over its five-weekend calendar. With both David Sonenscher and Stewart Lines running the show, Oulton Park will be the beginning of a new era for the series.

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