Support championships kick off new season in entertaining style

03 Apr 17

Brands Hatch provided the perfect venue for the TOCA support championships to kickstart the new season with exhilarating action being provided across the board.

Following a bumper pre-season of announcements and testing across all categories, a huge crowd turned out in force at the Kent venue to see who would draw first blood in the variety of one-make series'.

Boasting one of the most competitive grids in recent years, the Renault UK Clio Cup lived up to the hype with two scintillating encounters. The opening race of the weekend saw rain play its part as drivers battled in the tricky conditions. At the front Lee Pattison opened up his account with a win whilst there were starring performances for young guns Jack McCarthy and James Dorlin.

Former champion Mike Bushell, who had taken pole position for both races, broke his winless duck at Brands Hatch with a lights-to-flag triumph. Bushell and Pattison head to the next round at Donington Park now tied for the lead.

In the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup, George Gamble took two victories to establish himself at the helm of the early points standings. Gamble stormed to a new lap record in qualifying and went on to convert his front row start into a lights-to-flag victory around the Indy layout.

Rain fell for race two of the weekend and although Gamble led off the line, a spin saw him drop to the foot of the pecking order. That left Ginetta returnee Jack Mitchell to take the chequered flag in his Laser Tools Racing machine. Gamble bounced back in race three to produce another virtuoso performance as he prevailed from a nine-car train to win race two.

The second of the Ginetta categories saw the traditional thrills and spills provided by the 14 to 17-year-olds competing in the Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship. Battling tricky conditions on the Saturday, a jaw-dropping battle saw the battle for the lead in race one go down to the final lap where rookie racer Harry Dyson clinched the win.

Race two saw Sebastian Priaulx underline his title credentials as he regained the lead he lost off the start to Tom Gamble. As plenty of paint-swapping ensued behind, Priaulx held his nerve to take victory and with it, the lead of the points.

Daniel Cammish carried on his rich vein of form in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, beginning the defence of his title in the only way he knows how - by winning. Looking to win his third title on the spin, the Redline Racing driver converted a double pole position into a brace of victories.

Whereas in the past Cammish traditionally romped clear of his rivals, the Yorkshireman found himself constantly hounded to the flag by both Charlie Eastwood and Dino Zamparelli.

Also kicking off a new season of racing was the British F4 Championship, the only single-seater category on the TOCA package and a clear step on the ladder to Formula 1. With a diverse range of drivers all signed up to compete this year, Brands Hatch witnessed home-grown talent reign supreme as Jamie Caroline to a brace of victories with Ayrton Simmons claiming a breakthrough win in the series.

View the all of the results and championships standings from all TOCA championships here.