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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.

By Andrea Hurcombe, Jul 27 2018 07:00PM

Maximum Motorsport have confirmed that Tom Walker has joined the team for the remainder of the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup season.

Tom started his racing career in 2011 competing in the Formula Renault BARC Championship. He has then competed for several years in VAG Trophy and Volkswagen Racing Cup.

Having driven for Allumy Motorsport from the start of the season, Tom made the decision to return to a team that he had driven for previously to try his hand in the race-winning ex- Tim Docker Volkswagen Scirocco.

Tom said, “I’m really looking forward to being in the ‘Rocco’ and winning races. I know that the set up will be great, having raced for the team before. I’m really looking forward to getting in the car!”

Maximum Motorsport Team Boss Stewart Lines said, “I am really looking forward to seeing Tom compete in our Volkswagen Scirocco. He was very fast in a recent test in our TCR car and I’m sure that he will do well.”

Tom’s first outing in the Maximum Motorsport Scirocco will be at Oulton Park on 4th August 2018.

By Andrea Hurcombe, Jul 26 2018 11:31AM

Maximum Motorsport have confirmed that Darron Lewis has joined the team for the rest of the season, competing in the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup in the race-winning Diamondbrite VW Scirocco.

Darron started his racing career with short ovals banger racing, Legends, Hot Rodsand Mazda MX5 (BRSCC), progressing to VAG Trophy and Volkswagen Racing Cup with Team-HARD. Most recently he has been competing in Britcar Endurance in a Ginetta.

Darron said, “I am really happy to be joining Maximum Motorsport for the last 3 rounds of the VW Cup. I’m looking forward to competing and getting back behind the wheel in a sprint race. Let’s see what the rest of the season holds. Oulton Park is one of my favourite circuits so I’m confident that we will be competitive straight away. I can’t wait to work with the team.”

Maximum Motorsport Team Boss Stewart Lines said, “I’ve always respected Darron as a driver and have enjoyed racing against him previously. He has a winning mentality so I’m sure that he will be an instant success.”

Darron’s first outing in the Maximum Motorsport Scirocco will be at Oulton Park on 4th August 2018.

By Andrea Hurcombe, Jun 19 2018 05:15PM

After another two warm-up laps, the Team-HARD. team mates lined up at the front of the grid with Dennis Strandberg taking his pole position, Toby Davis beside him in 2nd and Jamie Bond right behind in 3rd.

As the lights went out it was a charge to Paddock Hill Bend with Davis taking first place down the hill on the outside of Strandberg, who took the place back on the inside of Druids as Bond came round the outside to claim the place. As they went three abreast into Graham Hill Bend, Davis in the middle went sideways hitting Bond from behind, pushing him onto the grass which resulted in him falling back to 3rd. Strandberg was able to scamper away in the lead.

Matthew Evans and Paul Taylor had a coming together at Surtees, resulting in Evans’ race being over. Taylor then succumbed to the gravel at notorious Paddock Hill Bend, resulting in the Safety Car being deployed. With 12 minutes to go the race got back underway with Strandberg leading the way, Simon Walton in 2nd and Jamie Bond 3rd. Josh Coggan was having a great battle with Mark Wakefield, who was able to take the place as Coggan went wide. S Walton‘s car stopped on track just after Surtees but got going again, allowing Bond and Davis to pass him.

The Power Maxed drivers didn’t have a great time during the race. In lap 1 Russell Joyce and Tony Prendergast came together at turn 4. Prendergast was unable to continue the race. With damage to the car making it difficult to drive, Joyce ended up in the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend on lap 8, resulting in another extended Safety Car period as they extracted the car. Under the Safety Car Tom Witts ran into new Team-HARD. driver Ashley Clements who spun off at Graham Hill Bend, but rejoined the race to finish in 15th place.

As the Safety Car period finally ended it was a one-lap shoot-out. Strandberg maintained his lead but the racing wasn’t finished behind him. Ruaridh Clark overtook Davis at Druids but went wide at Graham Hill bend, allowing Davis to re-take the place. Tom Walker made up a fantastic 9 places, going from 18th to 9th. Race 1 winner Chris Panayiotou finished in 5th place.

The final result: 1st Dennis Strandberg (Team HARD.) 2nd Jamie Bond (Team HARD.) 3rd Toby Davis (Team HARD.) The Hankook Trophy was awarded to Mark Wakefield (Team HARD.)

Race winner Strandberg said, "It wasn't much of a race with two extended safety car periods. I'm settling into the Team, the car is good but lacking a little bit of pace but we'll work on that. I'm very happy with the win."

Jamie Bond agreed, "That was the most boring race I've ever been in, following the safety car round. I had an interesting moment at Graham Hill Bend where I was hit from behind. I could have had the win but the safety car hindered us. The podium lockout is great for the Team. Race 1 was disappointing to be on the podium in 3rd for it to be taken away after a penalty. But 4th and 2nd in a weekend is good. Thank you to my excellent sponsors."

3rd place man Toby Davis said, "I had a good start and there was a little altercation between Dennis and Jamie at Druids where I saw an opportunity. Unfortunately I ended up sideways into Graham Hill Bend. With damage to the wheel I think the safety car probably benefited me as I may have had an issue with the tyres because of the damage. P18 to P5 in Race 1 was fantastic, which I was able to convert into a 3rd in Race 2 and back on the podium, where I belong".

*In Race 1 - Jamie Bond was issued with an 8.5 second penalty for 'driving in a manner incompatible with general safety' Ref C.1.1.5*

By Andrea Hurcombe, Jun 17 2018 02:50PM

After two warm-up laps the drivers formed the grid. With the red lights on, both the pole-sitter Ruaridh Clark and Panayiotou crept forward before the lights went out, eager to get going. Clark maintained the lead into the Paddock Hill Bend with Panayiotou close behind. Behind were Simon Walton and Jamie Bond battling for 4th and 5th place. Mark Steel had a spin at Graham Hill Bend, re-joining the track.

Panayiotou took the lead on lap 4 at Paddock Hill Bend with close contact between himself and Clark at Graham Hill Bend.

Across the start/finish straight Paul Taylor, Owen Walton and Tom Walker were three abreast and they continued to closely challenge each other for the duration of the race. Ethan Hammerton in 3rd place was being challenged by Bond who won out into Paddock Hill Bend.

With Taylor and O. Walton battling for position, Toby Davis was able to overtake Walton with Hammerton dropping to 5th place. The black and white flag was given to Car 12, Josh Coggan, for exceeding track limits. Matthew Evans slid into Graham Hill Bend, kicking up some dust. Dennis Strandberg was able to move up to 7th place.

With 6 minutes of the race to go, there was only 0.555 between to top two. Hammerton went off track at Graham Hill Bend, going straight on and through the gravel. Crawling along the grass, he was able to get the car back to the pits. The next car to take a trip into the gravel was Simon Walton, with Mark Steel taking another wide line into Graham Hill Bend. The Power Maxed cars of Taylor and Tom Witts took to the gravel down Hailwood Hill on the last lap of the race.

The final result saw Panayiotou (Maximum Motorsport) claim the top podium step with Ruaridh Clark (JWB Motorsport) 0.381 seconds behind in 2nd and Jamie Bond (Team HARD.) in 3rd. The Hankook Trophy was awarded to Josh Coggan.

*Post race amendment. 3rd - Simon Walton, 4th - Jamie Bond*

Panayiotou said, “I’m glad that we did 2 warm -up laps. I think it would have been mayhem if we’d only done one. I knew we had a good car, we didn’t change anything from qualifying. Ruaridh is quick and I knew I had to try and keep him behind me and it was going to be a close fight. He had the pace through Paddocks and Druids and I think Surtees and Clearways is where I felt I had the legs on him but he’s a fair racer. You love racing with people who are fair and if there is a clear opportunity you both want to get it.”

Clark said, “It was a bit frustrating as I really wanted that first win, but these things happen. To be fair to him, Chris did a really good race, but I was trying so hard. He drove such a good race, I take my hat off to him. He won it fair and square. Chris got the fastest lap, but I think it was by only half a tenth which is nothing. We will have ballast in the next race, so we will see what happens with that. I’m saving my champagne bottle for later!” (Ruaridh confessed that he’s never opened a bottle of champagne yet!)

The grid for Race 2 sees Dennis Strandberg (Team HARD.) on pole with his Team-mate Toby Davis behind him and Simon Walton (Slidesports) in 3rd.