UK: TCR Brands Hatch race one report

SUPERB START TO THE YEAR FOR LEADING SALOON SQUAD TCR Renowned saloon car team Total Control Racing enjoyed a truly outstanding start to its 2009 motor racing campaign at Brands Hatch in Kent today, Saturday, 4th April, by winning the first ...

SUPERB START TO THE YEAR FOR LEADING SALOON SQUAD TCR

Renowned saloon car team Total Control Racing enjoyed a truly outstanding start to its 2009 motor racing campaign at Brands Hatch in Kent today, Saturday, 4th April, by winning the first Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup race of the year and just missing out on similar success in the ELF Renault Clio Cup.

Lee Brookes' Wednesbury-based squad, one of the most successful teams on the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship race package, headed into its first full season in the Ginetta G50 Cup -- which is new to the BTCC tour this year -- confident of a good start but it actually became a dream result with experienced racer Carl Breeze claiming a hard-fought win.

Lining up second on the grid for the first of three G50 Cup races this weekend, the Kings Lynn driver wasted no time in hitting the front in his TCR-prepared machine with a scintillating start catapulting him past pole-sitter Frank Wrathall into an unassailable lead. He also set the new circuit record for Ginetta G50 with a lap of 49.194 seconds (87.71mph) which also earned an extra point.

Backing up Breeze's success was Fulvio Mussi, the Colchester racer earning a fine fourth place result, just six 10ths of a second shy of the podium, having battled his way through at the start from seventh on the grid.

In the Renault Clio Cup, a championship won on numerous occasions by the West Midlands outfit, Alex MacDowall came within a whisker of making it two wins on the day for TCR as he finished just 0.268 seconds behind round one winner Philip Glew.

Securing pole position just 0.033 seconds ahead of Glew during an entertaining qualifying session this morning, MacDowall seemed to get away well from the line but Glew just had the edge heading into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time. The Carlisle-based youngster pressured Glew throughout the 20-lap encounter but there just wasn't a way through, try as he might.

He did post the fastest lap of the race though, beating his own lap record by three 10ths of a second, with a time of 52.885 seconds (81.59mph) which secured two bonus points.

TCR's three other Clio Cup runners, Mike Robinson, Sam Tordoff and Jamie Ackers, all raced well with Robinson emerging from a great top 10 scrap with a seventh place result, less than four 10ths of a second outside the top six.

Tordoff, new to cars this season after a highly successful career in karting, secured a top 15 finish on his championship debut with a best lap just a 10th of a second outside team-mate Robinson's best, while Ackers -- making the switch from the SEAT Cupra Championship -- finished inside the top 20 as well with 19th place and a couple of points.

"I'm pleased for all the lads in both championships, they did a great job and it's been a fantastic start to the season for TCR", said team boss Lee Brookes, "Winning today's G50 race with Carl was a brilliant start to the year for us and hopefully things can only get better too! We learned a lot from that race and it was great to see Fulvio drive so well to fourth place.

"In Clios, Alex did a brilliant job. That second place was like a win really, he put Glew under a lot of pressure and got fastest lap too which was important. Mike, Sam and Jamie all did a good job, we're delighted with the start we've made and we're looking forward to tomorrow."

TCR will be back in action tomorrow, Sunday, 5th April at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit with the team's first track outing coming at approximately 10.40 for round two of the Michelin Ginetta G50 Cup.

Round two of the ELF Renault Clio Cup is expected to get underway at 13.35 while the third round of the Ginetta G50s is timetabled to commence at 16.25. Both of the afternoon races are currently scheduled to be screened live on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4.

-credit: totalcontrolracing.com

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Series General
Drivers Carl Breeze , Philip Glew , Alex MacDowall , Sam Tordoff , Frank Wrathall