Photo: TCR UK

TCR UK racer Dan Kirby passes away

TCR UK race winner, and former British Touring Car Championship team owner, Dan Kirby has died suddenly at the age of 37.

Kirby competed in TCR UK during the 2020 and 2021 seasons when the series was part of the Touring Car Trophy, scoring a maiden race win at Brands Hatch in his second en-route to third in the championship standings behind Lewis Kent and Bruce Winfield.

After a season away, Kirby rejoined the grid this year with Zest Racecar Engineering in a Cupra León Competición TCR, although his programme would come to an early end following the opening two rounds.

Prior to joining the TCR grid, Kirby had competed in a range of championships, with outings in the BMW Compact Cup before joining the BTCC-supporting Ginetta GT4 Supercup, where he scored multiple Am Class podium finishes and a class victory.

Kirby also made guest outings across two seasons in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.

Aside from his own on-track career, Kirby was best known for being the man behind Trade Price Cars, which would have a presence in the BTCC for a number of seasons.

Initially sponsoring Team HARD, Kirby and his Trade Price Cars brand acquired two TOCA BTCC Licences ahead of the 2019 season as well as two Audi S3s from AmD Tuning, which would then be given the job of running the cars.

Jake Hill would grab his maiden BTCC win with the team at Knockhill, whilst ex-Le Mans winner Mark Blundell joined the grid for his debut – which would eventually lead to him forming his own MB Motorsport squad the following season. Kirby himself would also get chance to sample the Audi when he appeared during the mid-year tyre test.

Again running the Audi in 2020, the team looked set to challenge for the Jack Sears Trophy with Bobby Thompson before an accident at Croft ruled him out of the final rounds. Following the campaign, Kirby and Trade Price Cars would then join forces with EXCELR8 Motorsport for two seasons, which included Tom Ingram’s title-winning campaign last season.

Kirby’s wider motorsport involvement would extend beyond Trade Price Cars through his other automotive companies, backing Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Harry King and then agreeing a deal to support Richardson Racing and youngster Robert de Haan through his Octane Finance business, as well as GB3 racer Tom Lebbon under the WeFinanceAnyCar name.

TouringCarTimes extends its deepest sympathy to Dan’s wife Bethany and his two children, as well as his wider family and many friends.