Lewis Kent took victory in the second race of the Silverstone to top the Goodyear Touring Car Trophy standings. Kent had started on the third row for the reverse grid, but quickly made an impression scything into contention early on and commanding the race from the front for much of the race.
Despite a late challenge by his key title rival, Max Hart in the closing stages, Kent looked unfazed as he took the full 26 points available (including fastest lap) to end the weekend as joint points leader.
Starting on the front row, William Butler and Hugo Cook knew a strong start was vital in order to build up the gap to the expected front runners of Kent and Hart who started fifth and sixth respectively.
For the second race in a row though, Cook struggled to get away on the line as Lewis shocked all to jump to second after going wheel to wheel with Darron Lewis at Village. Early race leader Dan Kirby knew what was coming and set about maintaining his 1 second distance to the charging Hyundai i30 N TCR behind.
Kent was not hanging around though, very aware of the encroaching Max Hart also making his way through the field. Kirby was not about to hand over the keys easily though, forcing Kent to dive into Village. The Essex & Kent Motorsport driver made the move work, but in doing so lost time, allowing Hart to close in on the pair ensuring that by the time Hart cleared Kirby, the Irishman remained in touching distance of the leader.
Setting the fastest lap, Kent kept Hart at bay to end with a reversal of the opening race result. It means that both end the weekend with 44 points each.
Kirby, as he did in race one, gradually drifted off the pace of the leaders as the race dragged on, allowing Darron Lewis and the charging Bradley Kent to catch in the closing five minutes. Kent, the younger, had been picking off cars with ease throughout, but it had taken the best out of the tyres. By the time the trio had caught the battling VW Cup leaders, all progress was halted, Kent even losing his position to Lewis he’d only achieved a few laps before.
Power Maxed Car Care Racing’s Kirby instead took a decisive third to round out the podium for the Cupra TCR, leaving the weekend third in the standings. Kent regained fourth at the finish to cap a learning weekend for the VW Cup vice-champion, while the Mercedes A Class NGTC was the highest placed TCT runner at the hands of Darron Lewis.
Sixth was another strong result for the promising 16-year-old Hugo Cook, as he gets to speed with the Class that he hopes will be spear him to greater success as the year goes on. Despite dropping away on the opening lap, Cook was adamant to find his feet quickly, getting the better of fellow front row starter Butler. The Power Maxed driver had been on course for seventh, but a mechanical issue saw him stop at the final corner of the last lap meaning he will not be classified.
Instead it was Bruce Winfield who finished seventh after starting tenth as another race-long battle saw Toby Bearne beat defending VW Cup champion Andy Wilmot to eighth, as Danny Krywyj rounded out the top ten. A maiden weekend for Krywyj, Motus One Racing #14 will be determined to fight harder come Castle Combe.
Speaking afterwards, Kent said;
“We had a good start and pushed our way into second. Then after catching Dan, I sold him a dummy into the hairpin which I was happy with. From that point on it was about keeping my head down. I have been doing this for four years against drivers who’ve been up to the top and back, and so there’s no real pressure from seeing Max [Hart] behind me. A huge thanks to the Essex & Kent Motorsport boys for preparing the car over the winter.”
“BOP is a big game in this industry, especially TCR, Hyundai make such a good car that they obviously want to make it a level playing field. But you can put so much weight in it that it’d still be a dominant car.”
About the event
With teams based in the Grand Prix paddock and Wing pit complex, the new-look Maximum Networks Volkswagen Racing Cup and Goodyear Touring Car Trophy and TCR UK season is set for a spectacular start.
Sunday’s meeting is administered by the BARC and utilises Silverstone’s 1.851-mile International circuit configuration.
For further championship details visit: