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By VW Cup, Apr 17 2017 08:54AM

A damp and cloudy start to the inaugural Qualifying session for the 2017 Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup. Most of the drivers easing onto the track, taking to the tarmac with caution challenging the unknown conditions. Tom Witts set the pace early on closely followed by Gordon and Ivens.


Once a little tyre heat had been generated, Kieran Gordon flashed to the top of the timing sheets briefly followed by Phil House with Witts dropping to P3. Five laps completed, saw Ivens improving to P5, late signing Bobby Thompson snatching P2 and in turn demoting House. Toby Davis set a representative lap time by lap 6 placing him P4, but is quickly dropped down the order as the top three improve. The green Scricocco of Darelle Wilson shot up table to P2 on lap 8, but slowly dropped down as other drivers began building confidence. Lap 9 saw improvements from House and Witts leaving them top trumps with little time left on the board.


The Chequered dropped seeing Phil House take pole position, closely following by under a tenth from Tom Witts. Bobby Thompson will be lining up P3 with Kieran Gordon and Darelle Wilson in the grid slots behind. P6 is young gun Benjamin Wallace followed by Team Hard team mate Toby Davis who will line up P7 for the starting event. Paul Ivens being the best qualifying Sportsman Trophy enterant placing P8. Jamie Bond and Paul Dehadray complete the top ten. Make sure to catch the first race live on Frontrunner tv at 1PM



By VW Cup, Apr 14 2017 03:24PM

The Milltek Sport Volkswagen Cup is proud to announce the return of the Sportsman Trophy for competitors over the age of 40 racing in the series. 14 of the 27 entered drivers will be fighting for the honours at the inaugural round this coming Monday at Oulton Park.


The eligible driver that finishes highest in the results of each race will receive the Sportsman Trophy. To allow for more competitors to have a chance at winning the Trophy, the eligible competitors will only be able to win the award once at an event.


“I’m delighted to be bringing back the Sportsman Trophy competition to the series, its designed to encourage the gentlemen drivers that may not be pushing at the front of the grid, by giving them an opportunity to get some silverware and get onto the podium with the series front runners” commented series owner Stewart Lines.


With many capable drivers now fighting for the Sportsman Trophy, the series will be sure to see good close battles through-out the field.


By VW Cup, Apr 10 2017 03:54PM

Bobby Thompson has confirmed his return to the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup in 2017.

Bobby will be back at the wheel of a Team HARD. Racing built Golf GTI-R Cup car for this season as he embarks on a full title assault.


Bobby had several top 10 finishes, 3 podiums as well as a dominant victory at Snetterton from pole position back in 2015 ending the season with a 5th place at Donington where Team HARD. locked out the top 5 positions.


Tony said “It is great to have Bobby back with us for 2017 and this season in particular as it’s the ten-year anniversary since I won the VW Cup as a driver. So as we look to push for title honours, it’s always best to have the strongest line up possible. It’s never good to see a driver go elsewhere especially one as talented as Bobby and to have him back for a championship assault is great news. He has the ability to win races as we have seen and we are very excited to see what he can do this season. It’s a very busy time of year for the whole team but securing a deal for a top driver this close to the first race weekend gives all the guys another lift “


Bobby added “I am so pleased to be back with Tony and the guys at Team HARD and very much looking forward to the year ahead. I’ve kept a close eye on the way the team has been growing and developing over the last 12 months and think that this is the right move for me at this stage in my career. They have a complete Motorsport ladder and the opportunities within the team are endless as we look to build on the last couple of years. The aim is to compete at the front from the start and push for that championship win.”

Bobby returns with backing from Braintree Motor Works, Orlight and Solar Advanced Systems as he looks to add new and existing partners to his 2017 race programme. Look out for some very exciting corporate opportunities to come throughout the year.


By VW Cup, Apr 3 2017 09:59AM

2016 Vice Champion Tom Witts has confirmed his return to the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup in 2017. Witts will be piloting the Maximum Motorsport Scirocco, the same of which he ended his 2016 campaign in. Tom was able to claim 6 wins through-out his 2016 season with a multitude of podiums finishing the championship a mere 24 points shy of 2016 champion Phil House.


A car change towards the tail end of the season showed Witts’ ability to perform no matter what the vehicle. Tom did not drop off the podium in the remaining 6 races in the Scirocco including 3 wins. With a some winter testing already in the bag, Witts is looking forward to the coming season;


“I'm excited to be back in the VW Cup, the championship is shaping up to be as competitive as ever. The grid is packed with some very capable talent so it'll be tough, but I'm looking forward to carrying on the great close racing from last season, and seeing if we can go one better this year.” commented Witts.


“It's great to be back with Maximum after showing what a great partnership we made in our first full season together. I’ll be doing the full campaign in the trusty Scirocco, we know the pace of the car is good so hopefully we’ll be able to start where we left off.”


“It’s brilliant to have such a strong driver in Tom back with Maximum Motorsport for the coming season. We’ve seen his capability in the car and know he’s going to be at the sharp end from the off.” Commented Stewart Lines, Maximum Motorsport Team Owner.


With under two weeks to the first round at Oulton Park, the 2017 grid is really heating up. With multiple race winning drivers taking to the track, its sure to be a spectacle to behold.


By VW Cup, Mar 24 2017 08:06PM

Team HARD are happy to announce that Toby Davis returns to the VW Racing Cup for 2017.

The former karter, who finished 3rd in the Junior KTM championship before moving to F250

National’s, entered Tony Gilham’s scholarship competition in 2015.


Toby won and was awarded a fully funded driver in the VW Cup last season. He took 5th place in his

first race at Rockingham, coming from last on the grid after the car had a few technical issues. This

showed the tenacity and determination of Toby, the same traits which awarded him the drive with

Team HARD in the first instance.


He attained two pole at Donington and again showed his race craft in the final round at Brands

Hatch. He did not start Race 1 due to technical issues and had to start from the back of the grid for

the second race. He came through the field to finish 5th

and in the finale took 3rd to round off a competitive season.

In preparation for 2017, Toby had this to say:


“The pre-season for me has been a lot of hard work, building relationships with local companies and

bringing new partners on board. That said, I realised I could always be physically fitter, so I’ve joined

a local football team in Cardiff, which has helped a lot in getting me ready for the new season!”


Speaking with Toby about winning the scholarship to drive for Tony Gilham, he found it

overwhelming to describe his emotions.


“I can’t describe the feeling! Honestly, it was like winning the lottery. Throughout my career to date,

it’s been my father and I scraping together a very small budget to go kart racing and have fun

competing at a much lower level. It goes without saying that we had a great time, and I was lucky to

be racing at all. But the scholarship that Tony puts on, it offers people like myself the opportunity to

show what we can really do, and I honestly can’t explain how grateful I am for that opportunity. I

don’t take it for granted and I try to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground!”


Like any racing driver at this time of year, Toby’s thoughts switch to the 2017 season and we asked

him what his ambitions were for the forthcoming year as he builds on his first season from 2016.


“Last season was very much a learning curve for me. I had a lot of pace, we had a few mechanical

issues and I made quite a few mistakes as well. To win in my second ever car race shows what might

have been, and I had a couple of pole positions and some podiums to boot, which was great. I would

love to compete for regular race wins and if I can sort out the mistakes, I’m hopeful we can fight for

the title. Beyond the racing, the main goal is to continue to work closely with Team-HARD. to find

the budget for 2018 and beyond and stay with the team as a fully-fledged car racing driver, and to

earn my place as the Scholarship winner.”


His team boss, Tony Gilham, had this to say about Toby.

“Toby is an exceptional young talent and one that we recognised as a potential future champion

after winning our Team HARD scholarship last year. He went on to take a race win on his debut

weekend which was an amazing achievement and just highlighted the quality of the talent that came

through the scholarship programme with no less than 6 other drivers progressing to race with us in

2016.


It was very important to move into year two with Toby and continue his progression and we have

been working so hard over the winter to put together a package to get him back out. He has been

very good with our partners and shown that he has what it takes on and off track.


Now we look forward to seeing what Toby can produce with the experience of last year under his belt.”

This seemed the perfect time to sit Toby down and ask him the Quick 10 questions:


QUICK 10 WITH…..TOBY DAVIS


1. What is your favourite circuit and why?


Snetterton – in my karting days we raced on long circuits in Superkarts and my first race win came at

Snetterton. I love the flow of the new 300 layout and it’s very much about maximising the apex

speed and carrying momentum forwards in the cars, something that comes naturally to me thanks

to many years of karting.


2. Who is/was your racing idol?


That’s an easy one, and not always a popular choice – Jason Plato. Not just because he’s the most

successful touring car driver, and has to be one of the most talented touring car drivers of all time,

but also because of his ability to bring on board sponsors and partners and market himself and his

team to them.


3. Who would you regard as your toughest opponent?


Your toughest opponent is always the one that has beaten you most recently. For me that’s Phil

House. He has a lot of experience and makes very good racing decisions (knowing when to overtake,

for example), and I suspect he never had any contact in 2016! He’s also the reigning champion, and

I’ve learnt a lot from studying him both on and off track. He did a great job in 2016 – hopefully I can

do a better job in 2017!



4. Considering racers of all time, you are a team principal and money is no object. Which two

racers would you have in your team?


If I was team principal of a touring car team, it would be Jim Clark and Jason Plato. Jim Clark has to

be one of the most rounded drivers of all time, and won in pretty much anything he drove.


5. If you could invite four famous people to dinner (past and present), who would you invite?


Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Tony Gilham. Think of the marketing opportunities

that Tony and I could offer them!


6. Personal racing number? What is it and the reason behind it?


I was always number 20 growing up and in karting because of Michael Owen’s goal against Argentina

in 1998(!) Tony’s kindly loaned me #34 as a synergy with the team, which I’d love to hold onto if I

end up in BTCC – that entirely depends on whether Mr Gilham wants to have a play or not at the

same time…


7. What is the best race you have been involved in?


In terms of the racing, Silverstone 2016 in the MSA British Superkart Championship. Any one of

about 5 drivers could have won that race and I ended up 2nd. It was incredible! (It’s on You Tube)


8. Is there a race or series you have not competed in, that you would like to or had wanted to?


Easy – BTCC. That’s the goal for me, and I’m in the right place to eventually make that happen. I’m

still a massive fanboy for BTCC and I’m like a small child whenever I go to an event!


9. How did you get into motor racing? What ignited that spark?


My father always used to watch the F1 and loved his bikes. He’s entirely at fault, we’re both

petrolheads! My first memory as a young child was the 1994 Japanese Grand Prix, which was won on

aggregate by Hill from Schumacher due to the weather. That was pure, out and out, who could go

fastest in the wet, and Hill just held on. I have watched that race back many, many times and it’s still my favourite race of all time. They did 10 laps or so at the end of pure qualifying runs, right on the

limit.


10. What is the best advice in racing you have been given?


My family as a whole have always been incredibly supportive, my mother has always been at the

racing, sometimes watching between her fingers! Her advice has always been never give up on your

dream. My dream is to drive in the BTCC, and through the incredible generosity of Team-HARD, I

have been given an opportunity to get there. What was once a dream is now a tangible possibility,

and I will never give up working as hard as I can to improve all aspects of being a racing driver to

achieve that.


We would like to thank Toby for taking the time out from his busy preparations to take part in the

Quick 10. Best of luck for 2017 Toby.


Go Hard…..or…..Go Home


Toby Davis Promo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbNoHhev59Q

Toby Davis Twitter: @TobyDavis34

http://www.team-hard.com/