By Andrea Hurcombe, Aug 6 2018 03:37PM
The first race of the day ended in dramatic fashion with Tom Walker taking the race victory, his first VW Racing Cup win, with Owen Walton in 2nd and Tom Witts in 3rd.
Simon Walton started on pole position with Walker 2nd and Owen Walton and Martin Depper on the 2nd row. As the red lights went out, S Walton got a slow start dropping down the field. With a busy few corners, Depper went through to take the lead as they came out of Cascades, from 4th on the grid. Walker was close behind and by the 3rd corner he had taken the lead and started to pull away from the pack. Jamie Bond came under pressure from Witts, who overtook him continuing his move up the order.
O Walton and Walker were trading fastest lap times as the rest of the field were having battles of their own. Matthew Evans spun off at Old Hall Corner but re-joined the race, undamaged.
There was a tremendous battle for 3rd that was raging between Depper and Witts who was doing everything he could to find a way past. Contact was made as they came out of Lodge as Depper was speared off into the tyre wall, causing heavy damage to the barrier and car.
As Toby Davis and Mark Wakefield were closely racing each other the Honda Civic Type R Safety Car was deployed. Depper was transported to the Medical Centre for routine checks. An early red flag was deployed followed by the chequered flag after only 5 laps of racing. Depper’s Scirocco was recovered and repairs had to be made to the damaged barrier. The race result was declared as Walker 1st, O Walton 2nd, Witts 3rd. O Walton claimed the fastest lap with 1:52.519.
In the post-race interview Walker said, “I’d have preferred not to win under a red flag situation, but a win is a win and I’m really happy. I would have been disappointed if I’d have had to start again with a re-start after the effort I’d put in. I was a but slow off the start and I knew Depper would be quick, so I let him go but got past him quicker than I thought I would and then pulled away. The Scirocco is and exciting car to look at and to drive.”
O Walton said, “I had a difficult start. I felt that I had more straight-line speed than Depper so once I got past him I was able to manage the gap. It felt a little bit like a race on my own and was disappointed when I saw that the safety car was coming out as it would close the gaps. So, I was pleased hen I saw the chequered flag and the race ended there.”
When asked about the incident with Depper, Witts said, “I was having a good race, and, in my mind, I got the cut back and was alongside his rear wheel and had nowhere else to go. I was on the edge of the track and he came across the front of me. We will have to wait and see what happens. To go from 8th to 3rd I’m really happy and PMR and Joyce Design have done us proud”.
Simon Tomlinson claimed 1st place in the VAG Trophy with a fastest lap of 1:59.946.
Matthew Wilson was awarded the Hankook Trophy.
No penalties were issued for Round 11.
Round 12 featured the reversed grid with Mark Wakefield on pole, Matt Wilson in 2nd beside him on front row and Jamie Bond 3rd.
Martin Depper’s car was too badly damaged to repair in time for the race so he borrowed the Chris Panayiotou’s Maximum Motorsport, who was not racing this weekend.
Anticipation for a great race was high as Wilson went around the outside of Wakefield into the first corner with Witts moving up to 2nd. Witts was on the attack at Cascades, trying to find a way past Wilson as they dropped down through the left handers. Witts forced Wilson to defend into Island bend. Witts ran wide and there was a bit of contact between him and Wilson as they battled on. Wakefield was running closely behind in 3rd. Depper was making good progress 14th place. Davis was on a charge as he tried to go around the outside of Bond through the Shell hairpin, but Toby got the momentum, moving into 4th place. Towards the Hislop Chicane, there was contact between Wakefield and Witts, who ended up sideways. Wakefield just tapped the barrier coming out of Knickerbrook corner.
Bond and Davis continued with their close battle as they came together at Lodge corner with Davis spinning off the road. Ruaridh Clark had moved up to 6th place and was having a great squabble with Walker. Ethan Hammerton was racing with Depper over 10th and 11th place with new entrant for Maximum Motorsport, Darron Lewis in 12th in car 285. Lewis sadly had a mechanical issue and had to retire the car on lap 6.
Wilson drove a very clever race, defending vigorously, but fairly against Bond. The top 4 were only separated by 8 tenths of a second after 19 mins of racing. Clark went up the inside of Paul Taylor for 3rd place but Taylor was knocked sideways after contact. At Druids Bond and Wilson were side by side. With a drag race to the line, Bond won by 86 thousandths of a second over Wilson with Witts crossing the line in 3rd.
Bond was subsequently issued with a 15 second time penalty for exceeding track limits, dropping him to 9th place. Clark also received a 1 second time penalty for gaining an unfair advantage. Hammerton also received a 5 second time penalty to exceeding track limits. Therefore, the amended result saw Wilson 1st, Witts 2nd and Taylor 3rd.
Simon Tomlinson again claimed 1st place in the VAG Trophy with a fastest lap time of 1:57.060
The Hankook Trophy was won by Russell Joyce.
Jamie Bond was interviewed in parc ferme and said, “I don’t know, it is what it is, if I got track limits penalties then I have to take it on the chin. That was the best drive I’ve ever had in my life. Matt defended for his life and it was good racing. If I get penalised I get penalised. Matt drove a cracking, stellar race, he deserves it.”
Matt Wilson was told that he was actually 1st, saying, “I’m over the moon! It's my first VW Racing Cup win. I was upset that I got overtaken at the end of the race but it all came good in the end.”
Tom Witts said, “It was a hard-fought race. I went back then forward again. I used too much of my tyres too soon and bent the steering when I bumped over the kerbs. Then when Ru Clark got past me because I made a mistake I thought to myself that I must look after the tyres. But I thought I’ve just got to keep battling and I might get my chance and I did. I had to take it and pick my way thru at the chicane. Obviously, you want to do it on track, but we’ll take a 2nd place any day of the week.”
Rounds 13 & 14 will take place on 8 -9 September at Croft Circuit.