WestCoast Racing’s Daniel Lloyd posted an impressive late effort to secure pole position for the opening TCR UK Series race at Brands Hatch tomorrow.
A quickest time of 48.483 seconds around the 1.2 mile Indy configuration on his final run means the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR racer and championship leader will head up the front row alongside Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor, who enjoyed a strong start to life with the Honda Civic Type R FK7 in second, three tenths adrift.
Strong performances from Swedish siblings Andreas and Jessica Bäckman put the sister WestCoast Racing machines into third and fifth respectively, with Lewis Kent’s Hyundai i30 N TCR separating the pair as he chases a season-best result from fourth.
BMR Autoglym Academy’s Josh Price was another to improve in the second half of the session and will start the striking black-and-white FK2 model from sixth, whilst the second Pyro-run FK7 of Finlay Crocker and championship newcomer Robert Gilmour (DPE Motorsport) share the fourth row behind in close company.
Row five is an all-CUPRA and Maximum Motorsport affair, with Stewart Lines heading Carl Swift, both of whom have now made the switch to a sequential gearbox from a DSG unit, and the latter will start the second race from a reverse-grid pole position.
Sean Walkinshaw Racing’s Howard Fuller marked his racing return to Brands Hatch with eleventh, half a second clear of Alex Morgan as the Renault Megane TCR makes its competitive debut in the UK.
Darelle Wilson’s Vauxhall Astra lines up in thirteenth, a further tenth of a second behind, with Derek Palmer set to round out the field after a mechanical issue prevented his Alfa Romeo Giulietta from setting a fast lap.
The opening race of the weekend in Kent is scheduled to get underway at 13:25 tomorrow [3rd June], with live streaming available as normal via the TCR UK website, TCR Hub, through the championship’s social media platforms and MotorsportTV’s ‘On Demand’ online platform.
Daniel Lloyd (1st) said, “It was a difficult session. We had a few unexpected characteristics with the car which took us by surprise and we had to make a few tweaks during the session, so it wasn’t straightforward.
“We tweaked it perfectly and got the tyre usage and the peak of the tyre spot on. I’m really happy with my lap, again we just really hooked it together at the end. It’s mega for the team, I’m helping Andreas and Jessica as much as I can - but maybe I need to stop helping Andreas!
“I’m happy for them, especially Jessica, she did really well to get into the top five. It’s great for the whole team and shows what a fantastic job they’re doing as well.
“I’ll do the best I can tomorrow, try and nail everything and hopefully the results will come, but I’m not too fixed on them. I just make sure I’m doing my job and then hopefully everything else will follow.”
Ollie Taylor (2nd) said, “We chipped away throughout the session and kept getting quicker and quicker. I’m happy with that and feeling comfortable in the car, it’s been fantastic to drive as always.
“I don’t know where Dan [Lloyd] pulled that lap time from, it’s very impressive, hats off to him. It was quite an intense qualifying session, but amidst everything it was good fun, I’m pleased with a front row start and we should be able to get a decent start from there - into the first corner, who knows?
“It’s quite a lot hotter than it was earlier, but I think the track has rubbered in a little bit now so it’s grippy. I like coming through the field, so that’ll be fun in race two, as long as I can get a good start ahead of Dan and keep him behind me - someone needs to beat him at some point, hopefully that’ll be me!”
Andreas Bäckman (3rd) said, “I’m very pleased with that result. I tried to improve my lap time on my last run but just tried a little too hard and made some mistakes, but I’m still glad with third place - it’s a good place to be starting tomorrow, on the inside line.
“Obviously the track is new for me, but it improved throughout the day and in qualifying it felt really good, as did the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
“Tomorrow is hard to call. Of course, the objective is to be on the podium, but we’ll have to see how everything turns out. We haven’t really done any race runs, so it’s difficult to say where we’ll be during the races. I think we have a strong car though, so it’s going to be good.”