Turkington Crowned Provisional 2019 Champion, as Neal Winsadmin
A dominant win for Henry Neal was his second overall Dunlop Touring Car Trophy / TCR UK victory of the year, at Donington Park. The Team Dynamics driver was virtually unchallenged throughout as James Turkington provisionally secured the TCR UK Championship. Turkington, racing the Cupra TCR with Ciceley Motorsport finished seventh on track, which was enough to deny his main rival; Lewis Kent by 5 points.
With all eyes on the championship battle, Lewis Kent knew he needed a strong race in order to seal the title. Alex Morgan was not eligible for points and further complicated the breakaway top four with Adam Morgan leading away from pole. Henry Neal was the first to make a move, jumping into the lead on lap five having got the better of Kent and both Morgan’s within two laps.
Lewis Kent knew that he needed to win TCR in order to stand a chance of taking the title. The TCR Europe driver Alex Morgan proved to be a tough competitor, failing to make a move into the Old Hairpin stick with ten minutes to go. He would eventually make it past, but it proved too late to catch Adam Morgan who finished second overall, as the top TCR UK runner.
As for James Turkington, a cautious start only saw him gain one position, into seventh, at the start. He would soon lose a position to Darelle Wilson, and crucially points, but with Kent unable to get past his Ciceley teammate A. Morgan, Turkington claimed the crown 161pts to Kent’s 156.
In the overall race, Henry Neal was mostly unsighted throughout, scything away from the opposition and crossing the line almost eight seconds ahead of the battle for second. He also secured his fourth weekend in which he finished as top TCT driver. Cupra driver Morgan and Kent rounded out the podium.
Darelle Wilson, who was forced to start from eleventh, proved the Opel Astra’s pace was genuine, narrowly finishing behind Alex Morgan in fifth. Will Neal was best of the rest in sixth in his Honda Civic Fk8. Neal finished four seconds ahead of Turkington, who moved ahead of Josh Coggan in the closing laps, the highest placed Team HARD driver. Darren Lewis initially finished seventh, but a 5 second penalty for track limits would drop him to ninth in the overall standings.
Rounding out the TCR UK field, Nick Halstead was another driver penalised for track limits, though it did not make a difference to his final position. After starting from the back row, Paul Taylor would be 11th, in front of Stewart Lines in the Vauxhall Astra usually driven by Rob Collard in the BTCC. Richard Woods rounded out the result, after spending five laps in the pits due to an issue that saw him forced to start from the back.
Race Winner Henry Neal said; “It was pretty special. Especially after race one, where we were down in the dumps, but I got fired up and ready for the second one. Starting p6, I knew we had a good chance with the top 3 carrying weight, so I knew their tyres would drop off.
“I got a good start, had an altercation getting past both Team HARD Passats and thought I wasn’t going to get round turn one, but I kept my foot in, and picked off the top three one-by-one. I’m over the moon for all the Team Dynamics boys, for all the hard work they’ve done this year and it’s great to end my season on a high.”