Carl Boardley takes dominant race one victory at Knockhill
Carl Boardley delivered a consummate performance to take a dominant lights-to-flag victory in the opening TCR UK race of the weekend at Knockhill.
The CBM with Hart GT driver started from pole position and was never headed throughout the 30-minute encounter and came home 10.819s clear of Jac Constable’s Rob Boston Racing Audi RS 3 LMS at the finish.
Area Motorsport’s Adam Shepherd finished fourth on the road but inherited the final step on the podium following a five-second track limits penalty for Constable’s team-mate Joe Marshall.
After a difficult qualifying, Winfield managed to limit the damage to his points lead by ending up fourth, despite finishing sixth on the road as track limits penalties for Alex Ley and Marshall affected the final order.
Boardley launched off the line at the start and quickly built a comfortable margin over the chasing Constable as the field filed into Duffus Dip for the first time.
Behind, Marshall headed Ley and Jenson Brickley with Shepherd dropping a position on the opening lap. But Shepherd soon made swift progress up the order and deposed of Brickley and Ley by the end of the second lap to run fourth.
With arguably the faster car, Shepherd had hoped to find a way by Marshall, whose defence of third ultimately cost him a place on the podium by running beyond the track limit on multiple occasions. Shepherd had the theoretical third place but had to defend from Brickley for the majority of the race and the trio came home in that order at the flag.
At the front, Boardley masterfully controlled the race and easily pulled away from Constable behind to the tune of half a second per lap. It was a gap that eventually ballooned to over 10-seconds by the end of the race.
Further back, the action was intense, particularly for Brad Hutchison whose race came to an early end following a dramatic incident with Darrelle Wilson’s Vauxhall.
The pair had been disputing 10th place, with Wilson getting ahead of the Audi exiting the Hairpin. Hutchison then cut back to the inside of Duffus but wasn’t far enough alongside and Wilson was sent spinning into the barriers.
The Astra TCR driver continued back to the pits but his race was ended a lap later, as was Hutchison’s.
A number of others also fell by the wayside, with Bradley Kent encountering mechanical difficulties from sixth.
That allowed Winfield, who had slipped to ninth at the start, a chance to move further up and the points leader passed Brickley at the start of the final lap to run sixth, which then became fourth over the line once all the penalties had been applied.
Behind Brickley, Ley was classified sixth following his own five-second penalty, with Marshall seventh. Arguably the star of the race was Callum Newsham who charged through the field from the back of the grid to finish eighth, one place ahead of a struggling Chris Smiley.
Matthew Wilson completed the top 10 finishers.
Race two for TCR UK is scheduled to take place tomorrow at 10:20 local time