Photo: PSP Images

TCR UK qualifying pacesetter Kent excluded, Files inherits pole

Bradley Kent has been excluded from the opening TCR UK qualifying session of the season at Snetterton, meaning Josh Files will start the first of today’s races from pole.

Essex & Kent Motorsport driver Kent was fastest by 0.078 seconds in his Hyundai Veloster N on Saturday, but will start Sunday’s season-opening race from last on the 23-car grid and with a 10-second delayed start.

“I am truly gutted,” said Kent after finding out he would not be starting from pole. “Unfortunately, due to an intermittent reading on a wheel speed sensor, I have been disqualified from qualifying after being fastest under a technical infringement that is not our fault.

“From no fault of myself or the team, I will be starting from the back of the grid for race one. This has shocked us as a team after all the hard work and effort we have put it. Thank you to everyone for the continued support.”

While a Hyundai junior loses pole, it now means the manufacturer’s Elantra N TCR car has taken pole for its series debut. The car has already had success in Europe with Files at the wheel.

Kent’s exclusion also means Area Motorsport now lock out the top three places on the Race 1 grid, with Bruce Winfield and Adam Shepherd lining up behind Files in Hyundai i30 N TCR cars.

Reigning TCR UK champion Chris Smiley moves up to fourth in his Honda Civic Type R FL5, another new-generation car which is not only making its series debut but actually being raced for the first time in any TCR series.