By Mick Palmer

It is getting close. The 2023 TCR UK Championship is just around the corner, and there appears to be an influx of fans taking an interest in the ‘other’ Touring Car Championship based in Britain after a strong off-season where growth and consolidation has been the name of the game.

Is TCR UK for you? Okay, we’ve seen it all – on both sides. There is certainly a section of Tin Top fans who will forever have an aversion to their ‘opposition.’ Even though the BTCC and TCR have developed in separate environments, they kind of crossover, but some BTCC fans will never watch TCR, and vice versa. But, If TCR IS catching your attention, read on. If BTCC is your only passion however then fear not, we’ve got some excellent features from that side of things coming to the mag and website, so keep those eyes peeled.

At Motor Racing UK Magazine we reckon it’s the right time for a couple of primers for newer (and older) TCR UK fans, so we’ve got a couple of articles that will answer some of the questions and queries about the differences and rules, and a poorly filmed on-board lap that features some offensive language, and the struggles of a fat lad getting into a modern Touring Car!

We won’t be covering the wall thickness of catalytic converters, or the transverse or longitudinal plane positional limits of seat mountings in these couple of articles. It’s more:- What is the points system? How many tyres can drivers use? How many engines and turbos? What is the race weekend timetable? How fast does a driver have to be able to get out of a car in an emergency? That kind of thing.

Inevitably there are comparisons between the British Touring Car Championship and TCR UK, after all both use production based cars with (for the most part) two litre engines, and this year the younger offering will be appearing only at tracks that have featured on the BTCC roster for a number of years. No Castle Combe or Anglesey for TCR this season, and gone are the alternative Snetterton (200) and Silverstone (International) layouts. However the weekend set-up is different to the BTCC, and it isn’t the same at every meeting.

Seven weekends, three timetable formats. Photo: MRUK/Palmer


For all of the TCR UK events there are Friday test sessions – these are not compulsory (for TCR UK there are no testing restrictions, so expect to see cars out and about during the year.) Five meetings feature a Saturday morning practice session with qualifying on the afternoon with two Sunday races. For Oulton Park and Knockhill the schedule is different. As a reward for the long journey North of the border there is a third race (although the day of the extra round is TBD.) Because of local restrictions at Oulton Park preventing racing on Sunday mornings the TCR UK meeting will run as a one day event with less support championships. Practice, qualifying and both races are on the Saturday.

If you aren’t at the meetings don’t worry. The races are all live on YouTube and TCR UK socials, with a highlights package on TV following the races. On the bill all season is the Fiesta Junior championship. The Civic Cup runs at five meetings, and 17 other other championships appear across the year before the season ending tie-up with the Formula Ford Festival.

40 points for a win, 6 for pole. Photo: MRUK/Palmer


That end of year jaunt will feature the title showdown, but how do the drivers get there? In TCR there are points for the single qualifying session (and prize money) with six points on offer for pole position, down to one for sixth place. There are dropped scores. The two worst race results from the first six rounds are out of the window, and no points are dropped from the last meeting. So the championship weekend doesn’t need any countback.

A race winner gains 40 points, second picks up 35 with third bagging 30. It drops in three point increments down to 15 points for eighth, and by two points down to a single one in 15th place. Fastest lap also picks up a point.

Apart from the overall Championship there is the Goodyear Diamond Trophy for drivers aged over 40, and the Tom Walker Memorial Trophy – which is similar to the BTCC Jack Sears competition. This is for the highest placed rookie or driver who has not scored a TCR UK podium, or a TCR Europe or BTCC win.

Our TCR UK season magazine was released last week, and while the print version has sold out you can download the PDF version for £1.20 which features an 18 page season preview featuring the drivers, and the cars – because for 2023 the influx of new machines is a BIG story!

You can get that – featuring a ton of other Touring Car coverage here:

30 minute qualifying sessions. Photo: MRUK/Palmer


The 30 minute qualifying session for TCR UK sets the grid for race one (all races are 25 minutes long.) The race two starting line up is set by the race one results, with the top 10 reversed. The third race at Knockhill will see the grid set by second fastest laps. A driver causing a red flag will be removed from the session and will see their fastest lap stripped. A session stopped in the last five minutes will not restart.

£1,500 for a race one win, £15,000 for the champion. Photo: MRUK/Palmer


In a rare move in modern motor racing the 2023 TCR UK Championship will dish out prize money. The drivers championships, qualifying and the races will see cheques handed over to those at the front of the grid. The overall title winner will take home £15,000, with second place earning £10,000 and third taking a haul of £5,000. The Diamond and Tom Walker winners will receive £2,500 each.

The driver taking pole position from the qualifying session will bag £1,000. For the first race of the weekend the winner will be awarded £1,500 with the other podium finishers nabbing £1,000 and £500. For the reverse grid races half of that is splashed out with £750, £500 and £250 the order of the day. Theoretically a dominant driver could max out to the tune of £41,000 if they grab every pole, every win, the title, and come from the ranks of the Diamond or Tom Walker entrants – but BoP makes that a highly unlikely scenario, for that read part two – where the cars and the tech regulations receive an accessible eyeing over.

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