During the 2019 season, TCR Talk will be reporting on the British drivers running in various international TCR series and giving you updates on how they are performing during the season in a regular event review.
It’s not surprising to see British motor racing drivers plying their trade abroad, choosing to take on a different series in different countries to further their careers and open up the chance to be successful outside of the UK.
Whether this is by choice or due to necessity/funding etc, British drivers who race overseas often come to the fore in international series and set the bar for performance for local drivers to attain or beat.
There are some British drivers who are already well known to the fans and followers of TCR, with the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) season seeing Gordon Shedden and Rob Huff returning for a second year where both men remain at Audi and Volkswagen respectively.
Three-time WTCC Champion Andy Priaulx is also competing this year, making a return to touring car action, where he joins the epic lineup at Lynk & Co. You can find all of the reports regarding their activities in WTCR already being covered by Phil at both The Checkered Flag and Downforce Radio.
2019 also sees two British Drivers competing in the second season of the ever popular and exciting TCR Europe Touring Car Series. Three-time TCR Champion Josh Files has switched from Honda to Team Target to driver a Hyundai this season (The same team with whom he won both of his TCR Germany titles).
Meanwhile, Alex Morgan has stepped up from his TCR Germany and TCR UK adventures last year to make his debut in TCR Europe, staying on board with Wolf-Power Racing where he is driving the new 2019 Renault Megane RS.
So, with those details now out of the way, we need to tell you about which British drivers are racing in the various TCR Series around the world, who they are racing for and give you a bit of background about them!
Daniel Lloyd: TCR China Touring Car Championship & TCR Europe Touring Car Series
We start with Daniel Lloyd! Lloyd joined the TCR International Series midway through the 2017 season, replacing the retiring Hugo Valente in the Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing team from round five at the Salzburgring in Austria. Lloyd would drive one of the teams SEAT Leon TCR machines.
The Huddersfield driver took podium finish in the first race in Oschersleben where he fought against Gianni Morbidelli for the win, eventually finishing second. In 2018, Lloyd signed a last-minute deal to race for WestCoast Racing in the TCR UK Touring Car Championship, moving across to the Volkswagen Golf GTi.
Despite running with virtually no backers for the first part of the season, Lloyd went on to take the Drivers title at the penultimate round of the year at Donington Park. Overall, he took 7 pole positions, 8 race wins and a further 4 podium finishes from the 14 race season.
Not only has Lloyd been a competitor in various TCR Series, but he has also been selected two years in a row to be a driver in the annual Balance of Performance tests that take place in February and March.
For 2019, the Yorkshire driver has been signed to race for the Dongfeng Honda Racing Team, operated by championship-winning squad MacPro Racing Team in the TCR China Touring Car Championship, driving a Honda Civic Type R TCR. Daniel has already competed in two races for the team in Zhuhai where he won the first race and finished third in the second race.
Adding to his program, Lloyd has also signed with Brutal Fish Racing, to drive a second Honda Civic Type R TCR alongside regular driver Martin Ryba in the remaining rounds of the TCR Europe Touring Car Series. His first appearance in the series will be next weekend at Hockenheim.
Matt Howson: TCR Japan Touring Car Series & Super Taikyu Endurance Series
The next driver on our list to follow this year is Matt Howson. Howson has a varied background in Motorsport, starting off with a single seater background that began back in 2001 before making the move to Asia and Japanese F3 in 2007.
2013 saw the Norwich based driver move to Endurance racing with KCMG where he competed in the LMP2 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Howson won the LMP2 class of the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans with with with Richard Bradley and Nicolas Lapierre.
2019 sees Howson re-unite with KCMG where he is taking on a dual programme for the same team that secured the 2018 TCR Europe Teams Championship. Armed with a Honda Civic Type R TCR, Howson has already competed in two rounds of the Super Taikyu Endurance Series.
In the opening round at Suzuka, the team secured a podium finish, however in the next round at Sugo, the British driver suffered misfortune when a puncture took them out of contention for a second podium.
Howson is also making his Sprint Touring car debut for KCMG in the new TCR Japan Touring Car Series, again at the wheel of a Honda Civic for KCMG. Joined in the lineup by former WTCC driver Yukinori Taniguchi. With a 17 car entry confirmed, TCR Japan is already looking like it has a good year ahead of it.
Bradley Burns: ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship
Bradley Burns is another driver making his Touring car debut in 2019. The former UK Clio Cup racer has teamed up with Pyro Motorsport to make his debut in the ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship.
Armed with the same Honda Civic Type R TCR that Ollie Taylor drove in the 2018 TCR UK Touring Car Championship, where he finished as runner up to Daniel Lloyd and competed in two rounds of the 2018 TCR Europe Touring Car Series (where Taylor fought with tintop legend Fabrizio Goivanardi in Italy and beat him for a top ten finish), Burns is already driving a car that has a years worth of competition underneath it.
Pyro Motorsport already has a years experience of the car, having run it in the UK for Taylor as well as looking after Finlay Crocker’s identical machine which also raced in the UK. The team were able to understand the Honda very quickly, having had experience of running in TCR Italy previously.
By choosing to race ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship, Burns has already set himself a tough challenge. Germany was one of the first countries to have a national TCR Series back in 2016 and despite also having the legendary DTM series, TCR Germany has thrived with large grid numbers and excellent competition.
Burns has already competed in the opening rounds of the series at Oschersleben, where he started his season off to a good start by taking a fifth-place finish in the first race, before going one better in race two and taking a fourth-place finish. Burns is back in action this weekend where he will race in rounds three and four of the series at the Most Autodrome in the Czech Republic.
By the way, have you noticed that all of these drivers are racing in Honda’s?
Just me then…
TCR Talk will be following Daniel Lloyd, Matt Howson and Bradley Burns during the 2019 season and reporting back on they go in the various TCR Series they are competing in. We wish all three drivers the very best during their 2019 programmes and look forward to providing the fans with coverage of their activities.
We will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.
Until next time, all the best!