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By karlbowdrey, May 1 2018 02:19PM

Rounds 3 and 4 of the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup took place at Rockingham Motor Speedway this weekend (28th and 29th April).

With multitude of drivers exchanging the lead over the course of the 15-minute qualifying session, Chris Panayiotou took the early lead but it was very short lived with Martin Depper and Jamie Bond both jumping ahead just moments later, however on lap 3 Panayiotou managed to perfect a lap on the very wet track going top once again.

Russell Joyce and James Coggan both started the session late but it was Tom Walker who then fancied upsetting the party at the top of the timing screens, improving by 9 places to jump into 3rd position whilst further down the field it was Tim Docker who was also impressing posting faster and faster times each lap.

Championship contender Toby Davis managed to temporarily go top on lap 4 however it was Panayiotou who returned to 1st position just moments later but his time at the top was short-lived yet again as Depper, Bond and Davis all exchanged the lead before ultimately it was Bond who came out on top at the chequered flag.

As the lights went out on the opening round of the weekend all the cars made a clean start from the line but the drama was just about to unfold. Side on contact between Ruaridh Clark and Josh Coggan sent Clark into a spin resulting in heavy contact with the concrete wall on the outside of the circuit. Clark did walk away from the incident; however a long delay in excess of 15-minutes forced a re-grid and a new race start.

For the 2nd time it was Depper who made a great start off the line along with Owen Walton and by the end of the opening turn, Depper had taken the lead. Bond made a critical mistake running wide, clipping the grass sending the Team-Hard golf spinning and dropping him down the leaderboard.

As the pack emerged over the line there was a 5-way fight for the lead. Depper, Davis, Panyitou, Paul Taylor and Ethan Hammerton all nose to tail fighting the potential lead but it was Panayiotou who ultimately made the first move of the pack squeezing passing Davis.

The remainder of the field was now starting to spread out and with 10 minutes remaining the front 5 remained unchanged however Depper managed to out-brake himself entering turn 2, clipping the grass sending his bight green Scirocco off the track handing the race lead over to Panayiotou with Davis, Taylor and Hammerton following close behind.

Bond was fighting his way back from his earlier spin and had made it back up to 5th. Dennis Strandberg was finding the weekend's conditions difficult and was struggling to make the move in his Scirocco down in 7th place.

With Panayiotou now leading the race by over 1.8s, Hammerton managed to pass Taylor promoting him to 3rd with only 0.588s separating Davis, Hammerton and Taylor there was now a 4-way battle to secure the podium positions. Disaster struck, as the race was drawing to a close Panayiotou found himself losing time as his front bumper has dislodged and was caught under his wheels posing a serious problem for the current race leader with his time gap dropping and Davis now closing in fast.

Davis now has Panayiotou in his sights and as they entered turn 2, Davis darted up the inside of Panayiotou to steal the race lead and with clear air ahead Davis made the most of the opportunity and started to pull away.

As the chequered flag was deployed it was ultimately Davis who crossed the line first ahead of Panyitou and Hammerton.

The top ten was rounded out by Taylor, Bond, Wakefield, Strandberg, Walker, Depper and Coggan.

Race 2 of the weekend would feature a top 6 reverse gird meaning Mark Wakefield was starting on pole with Bond, Taylor, Hammerton, Panyitou and Davis lining up behind him on the starting grid.

As the lights went out for the final time of the weekend it was Tom Witts who was finding his feet in the Power Maxed Racing Volkswagen Polo over the weekend. With the whole grid making it safely around the opening corners it was Joyce who loses the back end of his Volkswagen Golf sending him spinning whilst Taylor ran wide at Tarzan clipping the gravel.

Bond had made some impressive progress over the opening lap and as they crossed the line for the 1st time it was Bond who leads from Davis and Panayioto. Wakefield was impressing during the opening laps of the race diving up the inside at turn 2 to take 2 positions, promoting himself to 4th on the leader board.

With Bond now ahead by just over 2 seconds it looked like he was just getting comfortable, however, Simon Walton ran wide on to the kerb sending his Audi TT whipping across the track making heavy contact with the Armco. The TT came to a stop on the grass as there was oil sprayed all over the track during the impact. With the track now branded an ice rink, Simon Tomlinson firstly lost control, then Joyce but they managed to hold and rejoin the track before 5 cars succumbed to the oily track conditions ended up in the gravel. With the Red Flag immediately being deployed for the 2nd time during the weekend, Bond, Owen Walton, Callum Jenkins, Tony Prendergast and Hammerton were all left stranded and unable to move under their own steam when the red flag was deployed.

With a large track cleanup now in operation the decision was made for a 9-minute restart once the barrier repairs had been completed.

16-drivers took to the restart and with the lights went out for the final time of the weekend the pack emerged for the first time around turn 1 where there was contact between Strandberg and Davis resulting in Davis spinning, dropping down the leader board to the back of the pack.

With Davis now being a man on a mission attempting to keep a cool head it was Depper who managed to squeeze his way in to the lead and with the clear track in front kept his head down creating some air between himself and Strandberg.

Wakefield was pushing harder but in the dying stages of the race ran wide allowing Panayitou and Strandberg through before he sent himself spinning ending his race.

With the chequered flag being deployed for the final time it was Depper who dominated the race taking his first win of the season with Panyitou and Strandberg following over 4s behind.

Tim Docker secured his best finish of the 2018 campaign and took the Hankook trophy in doing so whilst Simon Tomlinson secured the VAG win for the 2nd time over the weekend.

The drama however did not end there. Strandberg was excluded from race for the contact with Davis on lap 1 meaning Davis was promoted to the podium taking 3rd position.

The Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup returns for rounds 5 & 6 at Snetterton in just under 4 weeks time over the weekend of May 26th – 27th.

By karlbowdrey, Apr 26 2018 09:01PM

Paul Taylor, four-times VAG Trophy Champion and Milltek Volkswagen Racing Cup Champion, is to make his 2018 season debut with Power Maxed Racing this weekend at Rockingham Speedway.

Power Maxed Racing have confirmed that Taylor will be working with the team for the remainder of the season, campaigning his existing VW Golf Mk5 GTI, and look forward to getting off on the right foot this coming weekend.

Speaking on his decision to join PMR, Taylor said “We made a commercial decision to change teams this year after not receiving what we were expecting from last year’s team – this cost us the 1st two rounds at Silverstone with a car not ready to race. We took this time to pick who we believe to be the best team within the paddock to enable us to continue our winning ways – PMR. Bring on Rockingham.”

Martin Broadhurst, Power Maxed Racing said “I was quite excited at the prospect of having Paul join us for the remainder of the season. We have been looking to bolster our attack on the Volkswagen Racing Cup and this is certainly a step in the right direction. Having a driver with as much experience and knowledge as Paul join us is a massive boost to us as a team, and we can’t wait to get going at Rockingham as we look to be challenging at the front of the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup grid this season.”

Stewart Lines said “Paul Taylor is a mainstay of the Volkswagen Racing Cup. His new involvement with Power Maxed Racing, a top BTCC team is great for everybody involved and we look forward to seeing him back on track this weekend”

By karlbowdrey, Apr 25 2018 05:31PM

Tom Witts, the Volkswagen Cup Vice champion in 2016 and 2017, is to make his 2018 season debut in the Power Maxed Racing VW Polo this weekend at Rockingham Speedway.

Power Maxed Racing have confirmed that Witts will be working with the team for the remainder of the season on the development of the Volkswagen Polo, which was previously piloted by Russell Joyce, who moves cars this coming weekend at Rockingham to a Volkswagen Golf MK7.

Tom Witts said “I’m excited to be back and looking forward to working with Power Maxed Racing, It’s a totally different car so it’s going to be a challenge but I’m relishing the opportunity. A big thank you to Maximum Motorsport who have supported me for the last two seasons and continue to support me with this new project along with my new partners Joyce Design , PMR and Reflex Auto Design and Maximum Group.Net.”

Martin Broadhurst - Power Maxed Racing Team Manager said “Having Tom as part of our VW Cup campaign is really exciting for us, and with our latest win in the BTCC, we’re confident that he will be at the sharp end from the get go. We’re excited to hear Tom’s feedback and developing the PMR built Polo further with him, we will be targeting some podiums and wins throughout the season.”

Stewart Lines added: “It's great to see a driver of Tom’s ability progress and we hope to see him put the PMR VW Polo at the sharp end”

By karlbowdrey, Apr 1 2018 11:17PM

The opening round of the 2018 Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup got underway at a very wet and overcast Silverstone, where a 20-car grid took to the field for the first time.

Qualifying was early and faced difficuilt track conditions. With lots of standing water to deal with the first few laps were handled with caution before the competiton started to emerge.

After the 3rd lap it was Simon Walton who was holding the top spot before losing control and hitting the tyre wall causing some front end damage ending to his qualifying session. Walton went on to retain the top spot for several laps despite not being on track before the times began to fall. Jamie Bond, who was sitting in 2nd for the entire session was pushing harder and harder to steal the lead from Walton but ended up sending himself spinning before rejoining the track in the harsh conditions.

Bond was being constantly challenged from ex-BTCC competitor, Martin Depper, who was currently sitting in 3rd before he put in a perfect lap to jump to the top of the standings. However, Depper’s time at the top was short lived as Dennis Strandberg had other idea’s. Strandberg soon found himself setting the pace at the top with a 1:07:871 before Bond squeezed past Depper to secure a starting 2nd place forcing Depper to start the opening round of the season in 3rd whilst Walton secured 4th.

As the grid for the opening race of 2018 formed the weather was temporarily holding off but had left a very wet track in the wake.

As the lights went out for the first time it was Strandberg who lead into turn 1 and as the pack emered towards the end of the opening lap the starting order remained unchanged.

A 4-way fight was starting to form on lap 5 with Depper, Davis, Walton and Clark all fighting for 3rd place but this allowed Strandberg and Bond to create some space. With Strandberg now leading by over 5 seconds it was all eyes further down the grid to Chris Panayiotou, who had been disqualified from qualifying and started from the back of the grid. Panayiotou who was returning to motorsport for the 1st time in 18months and was climing up the timing screens and took the fastest lap of the race.

An issue for Clark dropped him down the leaderboard allowing Walton and Walker to make the pass but it was drama on the last lap for Bond, who was currently only 0.3s behind Strandberg as he was issued a 5s penalty for exceeding track limits - handing the opening race win of 2018 to Maximum Motorsport’s Strandberg.

Team Hard’s Bond crossed the line in 2nd, 4.6s ahead of Davis in 3rd place. The top 10 was rounded out with Depper in 4th, Walton, Walker amd Wilson in 5th, 6th and 7th whilst Panayiotou, Wakefield and Prendergast finished in 8th, 9th and 10th respectively.

The VAG Trophy which joins the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup for the first time in 2018.

Simon Tomlinson, Paul Kenwright and James Goodall all exchanged the lead over the course of the race but ultimately it was Tomlinson, who also took fastest lap, who secured the winning finish with Goodall in 2nd and a DNF for Kenwright.

Dennis Strandberg said: “That was good! I had a great start but towards the end I lost a little bit of time as the clutch stopped working! So I had to do the last couple of laps in 4th but it turned out alright.”

Jamie Bond said: “Tough. Not enough pace but im happy with the podium, we started in 2nd and I finshed in 2nd. All in all its been a good day and it’s a good hall of points!”

Toby Davis said: “We played with the tyre pressures to get a good start but it cost me later in the race. I got my tyres up to temperature quicker than everyone else but It cost me later in the race. I had a really good start but I was hoping it would rain but it didn’t and I feel backwards in to Depper who challenged me lap after lap for about 5 laps but it was a wicked race and one of my best. Im over the mood to be here, to habe Clean CCS on board, leisure time and Rack and Roll garage and of course the team, Team Hard”

The Hankook Trophy is awarded to any driver who has never featured on the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup Podium before; Winner of the Hankook Trophy, JWB Motorsport’s, Matt Wilson said “I’m over the moon! I was really struggling towards to the end as my tyre had completely gone but im over the moon to be on the podium”

Round 2 of the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup was held under cloudy skies and with slick tyres on the 2.0L Volkswagen machinery with Tom Walker starting on pole following a top 6 reverse grid draw.

As the lights went out for the 2nd time it was Walker who lead the pack through Copse but it wasn’t long Before Bond, Depper and Strandberg were putting pressure on the rear of Walker.

With Bond now leading the way and with yellow flags deployed at Aintree for Ethan Hammerton who had come to a stop, Depper had managed to come alongside Walker and just nudged his nose past the Allumy Motorsport driver who had been fighting to hold the ex BTCC driver at bay.

Strandberg had made the move on Depper and was closing in on Bond at the front.

Panayiotou was making yet further progress and was up to 6th whilst Mark Wakefield got up the inside of Clark to take 7th.

With track limit flags being deployed it had created a 3-way battle for the lead with only 0.7s seperating the trio, but it was Strandberg who managed to nudge past Bond to take the race lead. Bond later suffered a puncture and had no option but to retire to the pit lane, ending a great fighting start to his 2018 campaign.

The chequered flag was deployed and it was ultimately Strandberg who took the honours from Depper and Walton and also set the fastest lap of the race. Panayiotou had continued to keep pushing and managed to secure 4th place as the flag fell. Clark secured 5th whilst Coggan, Evans and Prendergast secured 6th, 7th and 8th. The top 9 was rounded out by Power Maxed’s Russell Joyce in 9th.

Simon Tomlison came in 1st of the VAG Championship, took the fastest lap and the only VAG driver to complete the race.

The action however did not end once the chequered flag had fallen. Martin Depper had been deemed to have made an illegal overtake under yellow flags and was excluded from the race changing the final podium by promoting Slidesport’s Owen Walton to 2nd postion and Chris Panayiotou to 3rd place.

Dennis Strandberg said: “The team have done an amazing job this weekend, the car wasn’t even running on Friday so its been a unbelievable achievement.”

Owen Walton said: “That start was hard work! I went out on comeplty fresh slicks and knew i'd have to take it easy to start with but I just played the long game and let the tyres come in. I just wanted to get some good points early on in the year so im pleased.”

Chris Panayiotou said: “We came this weekend anticipating a few podiums but after my mistake during qualifying it all looked very unlikely! The car balance felt great but I think being out the seat for 2 years didn't help so didn't quite have the pace of the front 2. A few situations played into my hands leaving me with a P3 and some decent championship points. Massive respect to team Maximum, great cars and great engineers.

VAG Trophy winner Simon Tomlinson said: “Really happy. A bit easier today in the dry. The setup was perfect on the car. I was 2nd for a couple of laps but then I managed to get some heat in to the tyres and then just cruised round towards to the end but its been a great weekend!”

Winner of the Hankook Trophy Ruaridh Clark said “A really good start, the Audi TT spun at the start which allowed me to pass quiet a lot of people and it was just about climbing up from there really. There was lots of time I managed to outbrake people in to turn 1 but I had a good battle with Wakefield from which I had to learn how to defend fast and it was just about the driving from there!”

The Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup returns for rounds 3 & 4 at Rockingham on the weekend of 28/29th April.

By karlbowdrey, Mar 31 2018 05:39PM

Dennis Strandberg has taken the opening race win at Silverstone (31st March 2018) who is backed and supported by Diamondbrite, the vehicle cleaning specialists.

Strandberg qualified on pole during an early qualifying session and after an array of drivers exchanged the top spot it was Strandberg who ultimately came out on top.

Race 1 was held under the dark Northamptonshire skies but this didn’t deter the Super Swede. Strandberg had a near perfect race but it was Team Hard’s Jamie Bond who upset the running order and took his position at the front for a few laps before Strandberg regained the lead and then secured maximum points towards the 2018 title assault.

Diamondbrite are a championship sponsor for 2018 but are also personally sponsoring Dennis Strandberg. Strandberg is carrying a 2018 Diamondbrite sparkling livery within the championship as he pursues the 2018 championship title.