Area Motorsport 2022 Season Review
Heading into the 2022 Season off the back of Championships won in Civic Cup 2020 and 2021 aswell as Overall, Class A and Class B Champions in Club Enduro the last 2 years and Vice Champions in TCR UK in 2021 it was going to be hard to beat our achievements of the previous 2 years having Won pretty much every championship we’ve entered.
Civic Cup would see us have 4 – 6 cars in the Team throughout the Season, Civic Cup Champion Alistair Camp was back with us in 2022 for his 3rd year with the team, Matt Luff Civic Cup Vice Champion again was back with us for 2022 as was George Alp Williams, Paul Mchugh and various other drivers joined us for varying rounds throughout the season including Natalie Brookes, Rob Butler and Max Edmundson.
Club Enduro would see us line up with very much the same team we’ve had in the previous 2 years. Rob Baker and Carl Swift would again pilot the YGHP TCR Car off the back of two Class A and Overall Championships. Luke Handley again would return for a 3rd Year in Class B and his 6th year with the Team off the back off 2020 and 2021 Class B Championship wins. Jonathan Packer who piloted a Class C Civic to many victories with us in 2021 would now be in another Area Golf in Class B as would the very quick Chris Freeman, again in his 4th year with the Team. Matt and Simon Wallis would do selective rounds in there TCR Car and new to the Team Chris Plaskett would again enter Class B in another Area Golf GTI.
Early on the Championship the top 3 positions were occupied by Area Motorsport drivers up until around round number 4 where Morgan Bailey and Dan Thackeray started to reel in Camp, Luff and Alp Williams. Camp and Luff just like 2021 were separated by no fewer than 15 points for most the season. With a accident taking Alp Williams out the running and the rest of the season Baliey and Thackeray caught up with Luff and Camp going into the Final Round. The Final round was most probably some of the most dramatic racing we’ve seen. Going into the final race Camp and Luff were separated by just 1 Point with Bailey a further 11 behind. Off the line and into Turn 1 Camp had contact which resulted in a DNF, Luff with 5 minutes ago was hit into the wall, he spun the car round and quite amazingly finished 4th with no Coolant in the car and no front end left of it to win the Championship by 1 point from Bailey, Camp would end up 3rd in the Championship.
We highly recommend going and watching race 2
With Luff taking the championship Area Motorsport become 5 time champions with 5 different drivers.
2016 – Carl Swift
2018 – Rob Baker
2020 – Bruce Winfield
2021 – Alistair Camp
2022 – Matt Luff
In Class A Club Enduro Swift and Baker would take a commanding lead early on and cement the championship with a round to spare. The car and driver pairing consistently on the podium all year taking 5 race Wins. Backed by YGHP they’ve been a formidable force in Class A that have took 15 Wins in the past 3 years, next year they switch away from their Factory Build Cupra TCR car too a Area Motorsport Golf Gti for Class A. The Overall Championship was decided at the last round and was a much tighter affair where they would win by just 2 points ahead of the Class C BMW of German Autoworks.
Class B was a much closer championship, With Area Motorsports Handley, Freeman and Packer battling against the intelligent Money Cayman, Darkside Developments Golf and Flying Tangerine Ginetta most the season. Up until Anglesey it was extremely close between Freeman and Handley up front until accident damage saw Freeman drop out the running. Handley would take the championship for the 3rd year in a row. Next year will see him also move upto Class A along with Chris Freeman.
With those results Area Motorsport have taken the Club Enduro Overall, Class A and Class B Championships for 2020, 2021 and 2022. We have no Class C cars entered.
After 2021 TCR UK was on the up in terms of grid numbers with 27 cars taking to the grid at the first round. We had at the start of the season with us once again Vice Champion Bruce Winfield and new to TCR but not necessarily to the Team Jamie Tonks and Jessica Hawkins. Adam Shepherd would then join us midway through the season along with Alex Ley and Andy Wilmot for the final round.
The start to the season certainly had it’s ups and downs, the first round was fantastic in seeing Jessica Hawkins make history being the first female ever to win a TCR race worldwide. Throughout the first 3 rounds of the season aside there weren’t to many highlights, Tyre issues and contact amongst other things plagued the drivers progress in the championship. Round 4 at Oulton park saw Adam Shepherd join the Team along with multiple TCR Champion Josh Files as driver coach. This round would be the turning point in our season with Adam Shepherd taking P2 in Race 1 and Jamie Tonks after a fantastic drive winning race 2 along with Winfield in P2. From this point forward Bruce Winfield would win at Combe and Adam Shepherd at Donington with some great Race 2 podiums from the reverse top 10 they both put themselves in contention for the championship.
At the last round we were missing Tonks and Hawkins both with their sights now set on 2023 and we took on Andy Wilmot and Alex Ley. Wilmot did enough to seal his Goodyear Diamond Trophy Championship. Sadly Shepherd would have a incident in Warm up with damage sustained putting him out of the races. Winfield had since switched to his 2023 Hyundai for the final round and secured results to give him 3rd in the Championship. Ley put on two great drives after starting back of the grid for race 1 to secure two top 10 finishes.
Other Congratulations to note go to Jake Hewlett for winning the Tegiwa Type R Trophy in his Area Motorsport built car.
Overall it was another great season for the team which wouldn’t be possible without our fantastic Engineers, Driver Coaches, Mechanics and every other Team member that ensure the drivers have the best tools at their disposal on a race weekend.
A huge thank you to our Team Sponsors YGHP Yates Group heating products and HPA Motorsports for their support throughout the year along with partners Tegiwa, Nitron and Coordsport.