Edmundson rises to the challenge at Brands Hatch season opener

2024 Milltek Sport Civic Cup – Rounds 1, 2 & 3 
Brands Hatch Indy – 13th & 14th April 2024

A new season of the Milltek Sport Civic Cup began at Brands Hatch with Max Edmundson confirming his status as the man to beat.

The 2023 champion faces stronger competition than ever in 2024 and yet produced an almost flawless performance to win two races and climb from 10th to fourth in the shortened reversed-grid encounter, won by 2021 champion Alistair Camp.


Reigning champion Max Edmundson picked up where he left off last year with an imperious performance in Saturday morning’s qualifying session, which set the grid for Races 1 and 3. Area Motorsport’s #1 scorched to a double pole and was joined on the front row by surprise package Spencer Stevenson.

The former Fiesta and Mini racer was making his Civic Cup debut, driving a car prepared by Ben Sharpe Racing, and fell just 0.11s short of the pacesetter. Multiple TCR champions Josh Files and Lewis Kent were third and fourth fastest, while Liam McGill made it four Area cars in the top five.

Stevenson’s team-mate Will Redford completed the top six, despite his engine measuring a significant 11bhp under the maximum.

While most of the field remains in EP3 model Civics, there is an increasing representation of FN2s this year. Fastest of the later cars was Dave Marshall’s DMR with KA Car Sales example in seventh overall. Alistair Camp is leading the development of Area Motorsport’s version and was ninth fastest.

That pair sandwiched the EP3 of Harvey Caton (BSR), while Ale Kite (Pro Alloys Racing) completed the top 10, who were all separated by less than 0.5s.

Owen Hillman (Pro Alloys) was 11th fastest, with Sam Kirkpatrick 12th of the 25 qualifiers after an engine problem robbed him of the VTEC power boost at higher revs.


Round 1 – Race Report

In Saturday afternoon’s first race, Edmundson converted pole into the lead, with Stevenson slotting into second and Files third. Kent’s unsuccessful challenge on Files allowed McGill to pass him for fourth.

Further back, there was contact as the big field negotiated Graham Hill Bend for the first time, putting Kirkpatrick out of the race.

McGill fired in a couple of quick laps to put the pressure on the lead trio, but he could not find a way past before the race settled down with Edmundson gradually eking out a small lead as Files made sure he kept Stevenson’s attention.

As McGill’s pace dropped in the closing stages, Kent managed to reverse their earlier position change and the lead trio edged clear. There were no further changes in the top five as, unusually, they each finished in the order they started.

Marshall was the leading FN2 driver home in sixth ahead of Kite. An entertaining three-way scrap for eighth went the way of Caton, from Redford and Camp.


Round 2 – Race Report

The grid for Sunday morning’s race was based on the Race 1 result, but with the top 10 finishers reversed. That earned 2021 champ Camp pole, with Redford starting alongside.

A good start for Camp put him in the lead, while Caton got inside team-mate Redford for second. Behind them, there was the inevitable rough-and-tumble opening corners of a reversed-grid race. Files ran into team-mate McGill at the Druids hairpin, sending McGill onto the grass and into the barriers.

Through the melee, Kent emerged in fourth, ahead of Kite, Marshall and Files, with Edmundson avoiding trouble to run ninth. Files showed his experience to slip past Marshall as he tried to battle Kite, with Edmondson also getting a run and completing an audacious move around the outside of Marshall at Clearways.

Edmundson then latched on to team-mate Files. He dived inside under braking for Paddock Hill Bend at the start of lap three, only to run slightly wide and allow Files back ahead. But a lap later and the impressive Edmundson had effectively completed the move before they reached Paddock, and a couple of laps later he took fourth from Kite.

Out front, Camp was having to manhandle the slightly skittish FN2 to keep Caton behind, while Redford had a fast-closing Kent in his mirrors. Kent set the fastest lap as he reeled in the BSR youngster, only for a wheel rim to fail on the next tour and pitch him into retirement at Surtees.

Kent’s stranded EP3 brought out a safety car which was upgraded to a red flag, owing to the difficulty of moving a three-wheeled car.

The restarted race was due to run over five minutes but sadly it didn’t get that far. When Files got inside Kite at Surtees, the pair made contact and Kite spun before Macauley Austin’s Pro Alloys car butted heads with his rearward facing team-mate.

Among the resulting checking up and avoiding action, Kirkpatrick and Harry England (Pro Alloys FN2) were left in a heap further round the Clearways complex at Clark Curve. With England’s car stranded in the middle of the circuit, another red flag was required and the result declared based on positions at the first stoppage.

It meant Camp scored his FN2’s first victory in only its second race start, while BSR pairing Caton and Redford completed the podium. Given that the race had run to less than half its full distance, Edmundson had done very well to climb to fourth, ahead of Kite, Files and Stevenson.

Austin, Marshall and Nick Cristofaro (BSR) completed the top 10 ahead of Josh Bromley, who climbed to 11th from the back of the grid after retiring from Race 1 with engine trouble. Jamie Petters too made the top dozen having retired from Saturday’s race.


Round 3 – Race Report

After the hectic action of Race 2, a slightly calmer race was in order for the finale, though it was still an entertaining affair.

This time, Stevenson managed to pass Edmundson with an inside move at Druids on the first lap. But Stevenson had been struggling with gearchanges, and when he missed one on lap two, Edmundson seized the opportunity to move back in front, with Files and Kent also following through.

With Kent running new rubber, Files didn’t put up much resistance to his team-mate, who then recorded the fastest lap as he set about reeling in Edmundson. He did so successfully and made a couple of attempts at the lead before deciding discretion was the better part of valour and settling for second.

So Edmundson completed his double, and Kent and Files made it an Area Motorsport 1-2-3. Stevenson was fourth, ahead of a big scrap for the remaining top-10 places. Redford and Caton were again well involved, along with McGill and Camp. It was Redford who prevailed from McGill, as Caton was hit with a double track-limits penalty which dropped him to 14th.

Camp, Marshall, Hillman and Kite completed the top 10.


In addition to the overall championship, the Milltek Sport Civic Cup runs additional classifications for those aged over 40 as well as less experienced drivers.

Mark Hughes (DMR with KA Car Sales FN2) took the Goodyear Diamond Award honours, for drivers over 40, in all three races across the weekend.

The Paul Winfield Trophy is for genuine championship rookies or those without top-10 championship placings in the previous three seasons.  Spencer Stevenson’s fine weekend meant that he swept the board, taking the honours in all three races.

Driver quotes

Rounds 1 & 3 winner, Max Edmundson

“The plan was just to get a good start and try and pull a gap. I knew that Josh [Files] was going to be trying to launch an attack on Spencer [Stevenson] if he didn’t get past at the start, and that’s what happened. And obviously that helped me to pull the gap.”

Round 2 winner, Alistair Camp

“You’ve got to battle the FN2 through the bends as much as you can. I just focus on my corner exits but then you’re watching the mirror into Paddock thinking, ‘Are they diving?’ But fair play to Harvey [Caton], he used his head.

“We’re just trying to find the right balance, but it was fully enjoyable!”

Next time – Snetterton 300!

The 2024 Milltek Sport Civic Cup is back in action in 4 weeks time, on Saturday 18th May and Sunday 19th May, where rounds 4, 5 & 6 will take place at Snetterton in Norfolk on the 300 layout.

Racing on the 300 layout has always been a thriller for the Milltek Sport Civic Cup contenders, and who could ever forget the 2022 season finale on the 200 layout in changing conditions?

Tickets for this event can be purchased at the following link: https://www.snetterton.co.uk/2024/may/tcr-uk-touring-car-championship

To find out more about the Milltek Sport Civic Cup visit https://civic-cup.co.uk/ for more info and how to get involved.

To find out more about the events on the 2024 Milltek Sport Civic Cup Calendar, visit https://civic-cup.co.uk/2024-season-calendar/ for more info.