The Milltek Sport Civic Cup heads to Scotland this weekend, 22-23 July, as Rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the official TCR UK feeder series take place at Knockhill. It’s a long journey for many, but the fantastic 1.3-mile circuit that always serves up terrific tin-top action is worth it, as the 26-car entry demonstrates.
Five different winners from six races so far this season prove how competitive the championship is. But there were very mixed fortunes last time out at Oulton Park for some of the top title protagonists. Pro Alloys pairing Alistair Camp and Will Redford will be looking to continue their winning form, while the likes of Jack Harding, Dan Thackeray and Morgan Bailey will be aiming to bounce back strongly from wretched weekends.
It is 2021 champion Camp who leads the way after scoring his first win of the season in last month’s Oulton Park outing. A cracked fuel pump had hampered his pace at the opening two weekends but, with the issue diagnosed and sorted, the Derby driver shot back to form with a classy performance that shot him into the points lead.
Young gun Redford has been one of the stars of the season and lies second in the standings. By claiming a maiden win at Oulton Park, he’s shown that a championship challenge is realistic, provided he can blend consistency with his undoubted pace.
Also in the Pro Alloys camp, Ryan Bensley already has a win to his name this year and is currently fifth in the championship points. Neil Greenland’s busy team fields four further cars for former TCR driver Alex Kite, Travis Chapman, Owen Hillman and Jackson White.
Ben Sharpe Racing’s Jack Harding led the way after the first two weekends of the season but suffered a nightmare at Oulton Park, crashing out of the first race and leaving Cheshire with no points. Only a monumental off-track effort, and the support of family and friends, has allowed Harding to continue his season. Team-mate Dan Macdonald is grateful to have an event that is slightly nearer his Hebrides home and is also looking for some better luck.
Morgan Bailey’s MJB Motorsport Civic sustained heavy damage in Harding’s Oulton Park incident and has also done well to keep his season on track. He has twice qualified on the front row this season but only has finished on the podium once, and lies eighth in the points, so will be aiming for a return that better reflects his efforts this weekend.
Motion Motorsport driver Dan Thackeray is another coming to Knockhill on the back of a difficult outing last month. After he was fired off in the Oulton Park opener, Thackeray’s team did well to get the car back on track for the second race, allowing him to salvage a few points that could prove crucial. The only driver to have won twice so far this season is currently joint-third with Harding in the standings and should be back at the sharp end this weekend.
Area Motorsport is the most successful team in Civic Cup history but has yet to win a race so far this year. Teen sensation Max Edmundson couldn’t have come much closer though. Polesitter at both Croft and Oulton Park, the north-easterner has bucketloads of pace and commitment, and you get the sense that once he’s broken his duck, the floodgates could open.
Edmundson’s team-mate Tommy Knight recorded his first top-six finish last time out and will be aiming to continue his upward trajectory in his debut season. Area regulars Danny Hobson and Louie Capozolli sit out this weekend.
Instead, Rob Baker’s quartet is completed by two exciting additions to the field. One-time MG Trophy champion Sam Kirkpatrick makes a second appearance after impressing on his debut at Croft, ahead of a planned full campaign in 2024. The quartet is completed by local driver Liam McGill. The reigning Focus Cup champion has focused his racing on Knockhill this year and, with his home-track knowledge, is sure to be one to watch.
Privateer Harvey Caton is a dark horse for success, having impressed this year. He bagged a big points haul at Croft, narrowly missing out on victory in the second race, but had his momentum checked by a tough day – and zero score – at Oulton.
Despite missing the Snetterton season-opener, Kinetic Motorsport team principal David Buky sits a creditable 11th in the points after a strong weekend on his home circuit last month, including a podium in race two. He could look to capitalise on the second race’s reversed grid again this weekend.
Anthony Gannon has moved to the top of the Goodyear Diamond Award standings, for drivers over the age of 40. He will look to consolidate his advantage over erstwhile leader Mark Hughes (who, unlike most, drives the newer FN2 model Civic) and Simon Welch who missed the opening round.
This weekend is the first of three consecutive triple-header rounds so could play a crucial role in the outcome of the championship. It means the drivers will be on track twice each day, starting with qualifying at 1205hrs on Saturday (22 July). Race one is scheduled for 1625hrs that afternoon. Two more races take place on Sunday (23 July), starting at 1120hrs and 1610hrs.
All the race action will be streamed live and can be accessed via the Civic Cup’s official YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@civiccup7654
To find out more about the Milltek Sport Civic Cup, visit https://civic-cup.co.uk/ for more info and how to get involved.