You may have heard about the new TCR series. It's not strictly new, having been run since 2015, but 2018 is its first year in the UK. It's the fastest-growing motor sport ever! Part of the appeal is that the cars are standardised and may race in any of the global arenas. TCR is also the basis for the current World Touring Car series.
TCR was launched last in the UK, having been successful in every other geographic region so far. The perception is that the UK is the pinnacle of global motor sport, and would therefore be the toughest nut to crack. Having started back in March 2018 at Silverstone, TCR is likely to grow more steadily in our market. With the legendary BTCC for competition, TCR UK grids are a little light at present however the cars are great to watch, and it thoroughly deserves to succeed.
Pictured below is the Civic Type-R of Oliver Taylor at Quarry Corner. In the background, the Whiteline stand on the day.
TCR Cars are production based and compared to BTCC cars are very much a “budget” formula where a significant amount of the production car remains. Sporting around 350 hp, and sequential gears, combined with a wide track and sophisticated damping, the Fastest TCR Lap was 1:07, which is about 3 seconds faster than a Formula Ford.
Race 1 saw a fairly spectacular off on lap 1 at Quarry where Stewart Lines and Jessica Backman ended up in the tyre wall. Lines had some honest commentary on what he thought of the driving standards of the Backmans (brother & sister race in West Coast Racing Golf TCR). Backman received 2 penalty points.
Race 1 was won by Lloyd but a controversial “bash to pass” move on the last lap saw him demoted by the stewards after a complaint was made by Taylor, which handed Taylor his first win of the series.
Car number 45 Carl Swift in the Leon TCR, alongside serial winner no 23 Dan Lloyd in the Golf TCR.
Race 2 saw the roles reversed with Lines taking out Jessica Backman and himself being penalised, this time being disqualified and getting 4 penalty points.
Lloyd (Golf) took the win with Taylor in the Civic Type R finishing 1.7 seconds behind.
Castle Combe Saloon Car Championship
If TCR can field a grid the size of the Castle Combe saloon car championship in the not too distant future, it will really be onto something. The ever-popular local series has a strong following. A wide variety of machinery is tuned differently and races in a class-based system. Generally speaking cars from the higher classes will be faster.
A particularly notable performance then was the second place finish of class B car a 1.5 litre Mitsubishi Colt, driven by Simon Thorton-Norris sandwiched between a Class A Leon Cupra and Nissan 200SX
It was great to see a Clio running its registration plate, I imagine this vehicle is driven to the event. It is not possible to see from this picture if the car was running a Whiteline rear anti-roll bar, but if you happen to know the driver and it's not, here is the link he needs to activate more grip.
It's particularly good fun to hear the range of different engine noises, particularly the sharp induction bark of some of the class C naturally aspirated cars.
BMW Compact Cup
I'm not sure quite why so many of the Compacts were locking up into Quarry, but the noise was spectacular. It may be a factor of the large grid of cars, being driven very aggressively, resulting in everyone trying to inch out a gap on the brakes. However, there's no doubt there was also a number spins caused by shift locking.
I took a look at the regulations and you are allowed a bias valve, but it certainly seemed to be affecting most of the grid. It did make for exciting racing though, with lots of spins and trips off road.
Both races were won by Steven Dailly but the fastest lap was from the man finishing second, Owen Hunter. In race 2 Hunter was disqualified “driving in a manner incompatible with general safety”.
It's a shame that they aren't allowed modified Anti-roll bars as it did look like there was too little rear roll stiffness (the largest factory rear bar is 16mm). The Compact uses the E30 back end and excessive roll causes unfavourable toe change. Whiteline offer a bar that is also 16mm in diameter, but which is 3 point adjustable. A large increase in roll stiffness can be found by shortening the lever length.
Mazda MX5 Supercup
The MX5 Supercup run by the BRSCC, uses exclusively the Mk3 version of the MX5. Over 3 seconds a lap quicker than the BMW Compacts, the Mazda’s looked like they handled well.
There was a lot more heel and toe being used and only the occasional shift lock. Unfortunately, with such a large grid of cars, the top 7 all lapping in 1:18, contact was almost inevitable. Several incidents occurred, and extensive barrier repairs were necessary. The victim of this was the lunch break, as the organisers fought to catch up.
Whiteline offer a 24mm front anti-roll bar for the NC MX-5 which is 2 point adjustable, more usefully though is the heavy duty rear anti-roll bar which is 16mm in diameter and 3 point adjustable. This would give racers in the series an excellent way of tuning the chassis to suit their style and driving conditions.
All in all, it was an excellent day of fast paced and close racing. Perhaps the savage heat raised levels of competitiveness and maybe that had a bearing on some of the incidents. Certainly the track temperatures are quite uncommon in the UK, and this may well have made set up more difficult.
We hope to see you at some other events across the UK later this year, and remember whenever you want to #ACTIVATEMOREGRIP, you can contact one of our Whiteline Specialist Dealers local to you.