It would be Dunlop Touring Car Trophy / TCR UK Championship leader Henry Neal who extended his title lead after winning the opening race of the Silverstone weekend. A dramatic opening race saw early race leaders Darrelle Wilson and Dan Kirby both clash, denying both an opportunity for a maiden race victory.
Collecting the fastest lap, Neal heads into the second race of the weekend with a 9 point lead over title rival Lewis Kent who followed him across the line Despite claiming pole position, Henry Neal was unable to convert the start, initially losing the lead to Dan Kirby as the lights went out.
All eyes were on Darrelle Wilson after the first lap, hounding Kirby in the PMR and allowing third place Neal to regain the momentum. Knowing he needed to make the move soon, Wilson forced the issue into Brooklands, resulting in contact as Kirby held the inside line for Luffield, shedding Wilson’s rear bumper.
The action in front allowed Neal to slip by on the main straight, taking the lead as Wilson demoted previous race leader Kirby to third. From here, Neal knew he quickly had to establish the gap as his rivals struggled with minor damage.
Wilson and Kirby continued their battle until the twelfth lap when Kirby threw his Cupra TCR into Brooklands, though ran wide, allowing the Vauxhall Astra to cut back inside at Luffield. Two into one did not work and this time contact ended in disaster as Wilson hit the barrier, with Kirby skating into the gravel.
Neal would take a convincing win in the opening race of the weekend as Lewis Kent was promoted to second, after brake bias issue in qualifying, the Hyundai i30 was determined to make up ground, making the most of his new-found power.
Max Hart finished third ensuring a carbon copy podium from the first race of the season. The Maximum Motorsport driver had been battling with Kent in the opening laps, shaking hands with the Essex and Kent Motorsport driver in parc ferme as both came away with silverware.
Tim Docker, despite not taking part in qualifying, finished a spectacular fourth, making it four manufacturers in the top four places. The Volkswagen Golf GTI remained out of trouble in the early stages, holding off a recovering Kirby on the final two laps.
Completing the finishers would be series rookie Williams Butler. The Cupra TCR dropped to the back after a poor start but will be one to watch in the second reverse grid race.
Both Sunday races will be livestreamed thanks to the BRSCC with race two taking place on Sunday 12th August at 16:30pm.