The Milltek Sport Civic Cup is all set for a thrilling championship decider at Brands Hatch on Sunday (22 October).
Three drivers are in contention to be crowned the champion after a season-long battle in the official TCR UK feeder series.
With 15 races completed, there are just two left to decide the destiny of this year’s title.
By 5pm on Sunday, we will know who has earned the fantastic prize of a two-day trip to JAS Motorsport in Italy, including runs in the Honda touring car specialist’s race simulator and a track test of the new-for-2023 Honda Civic Type R FL5 TCR car.
The spectator-friendly 1.2-mile Indy circuit at the former British Grand Prix venue is the setting for the championship shootout, offering unrivalled views of almost the whole circuit from the grandstands and spectator banking.
It is Dan Thackeray who leads the standings going into the weekend. The Motion Motorsport driver has five wins to his name in 2023, more than double anyone else. Two of those came last time out at Silverstone when Thackeray put in a commanding performance, so the Londoner has momentum on his side.
He also won on the Civic Cup’s last visit to Brands Hatch in 2022 and must start as the pre-weekend favourite on his home circuit.
The second of our contenders is young gun Max Edmundson. The Durham racer has actually scored more points than anybody this year, but some early-season misdemeanours were costly and leave him 15 points in arrears. The Area Motorsport driver has developed a more mature approach which, blended with lightning pace, is a lethal combination.
Four front-row starts from six race weekends demonstrate that there’s arguably no one quicker. Can Edmundson convert that into a title?
Experienced campaigner Alistair Camp remains in the title hunt but, 41 points down on Thackeray, his destiny is not in his own hands. The Pro Alloys man will need an element of luck if he is to repeat his 2021 championship crown. Fortune has not always been on the Derby driver’s side this year, and mechanical maladies were particularly costly at Silverstone last month.
In his favour, Camp knows how to win championships and was a double winner at Brands last year. Ahead of a planned progression to TCR UK in 2024, he would love to leave with another title in his back pocket.
For the rest of the field, this weekend will be mainly about seeking to end the season on a high and hold the momentum going into next year. Camp’s Pro Alloys team-mate Ryan Bensley is another looking to bounce back from a tough weekend at Silverstone.
The Norfolk racer has won two races so far this year, and adding to that tally would go down a treat.
The impressive awning of Neil Greenland’s Pro Alloys squad will be a hive of activity with another six cars to tend to. The team’s other regulars, Alex Kite, Owen Hillman and Travis Chapman, will be joined again by Loui Hounsell, last year’s Production class runner-up who made his seasonal debut last month.
The squad is completed by two exciting additions. Fiesta Junior graduate Harry England will make his Milltek Sport Civic Cup debut while Bradley Kent, a multiple race winner in TCR UK, will be out to get among the EP3-shape Civics in an FN2 model.
Kent’s elder brother Lewis will have his second outing in the championship with Area Motorsport. The two-time TCR UK champion got to experience just how competitive the Milltek Sport Civic Cup is when he made his debut at Silverstone, managing a best result of sixth. Nothing less than a podium will satisfy Lewis this weekend.
Liam McGill is also making a second appearance with Rob Baker’s Area outfit, having been a race winner on home ground at Knockhill in the summer. The four-strong team is completed by Tommy Knight who has made impressive progress in his debut year.
Another exciting debutant joining the championship this weekend is Charlotte Birch. Having shared a Ginetta with Hounsell for the latter’s rear-wheel-drive debut in Britcar at Donington Park last weekend, the GT regular is effectively having the favour returned.
Piloting Vinna Sport’s EP3, she will experience front-wheel-drive tin-tops for the first time since graduating from the Junior Saloon championship.
Among the others set to feature towards the sharp end, Cadwell Park race winner Dave Marshall (DMR Powered by KA Car Sales) will be one to watch in his FN2, having been in terrific form over the second half of the season.
Harvey Caton will be gunning for a maiden victory – having twice finished second – which would go a long way to overhauling Bensley for fourth in the standings. Fellow privateer Sam Nicolaou will look to establish himself in the top 10 and benefit from the top-10 reversal for the race two grid.
Nick Charlier (Kinetic Motorsport), Jack Ruddell (Wheatley Motorsport) and Jordan Brennan (T2 Motorsport) are three more who will aim for a top-10 finish in race one to catapult themselves into podium contention.
There are two further championship trophies on offer within the Milltek Sport Civic Cup. In the Goodyear Diamond Award, for drivers aged over 40, Simon Welch (Team Squelch) has moved to the top of the standings, with Anthony Gannon (Detail Car Care Racing) also in contention.
The Paul Winfield Trophy, for rookies and drivers without podium finishes in the previous two seasons, was effectively sealed by Edmundson last time out. He just needs a clean weekend at Brands Hatch to be sure of the title.
A busy day of racing for the Milltek Sport Civic Cup begins with Qualifying at 1000hrs on Sunday morning. The first race is scheduled for 1335hrs, with the championship finale scheduled to begin at 1625hrs.
Qualifying and both races will be streamed live and can be accessed via TCR UK’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/@tcrukseries