Double for Depper as Title Fight Heads to Donington
On his return to the VW Racing Cup, Martin Depper has become the first driver in 2019 to complete the double over a weekend, once again beating Ru Clark in the second Brands Hatch race. Carrying full ballast for the reverse grid feature, Depper continued to surprise setting the fastest lap and closing the gap to Walton to 20 points.
With the championship in mind, Owen Walton secured the lead before Paddock Hill bend, making sure to get a cleaner start on polesitter Simon Walton. The pair initially broke away, but by the second lap, was now facing the prospect of a charging Martin Depper. The race one winner had remained out of trouble at the start and despite carrying full ballast was the quickest driver on track.
By the fourth lap, Depper was past Simon Walton and immediately on the back of race and points leader Owen Walton. Knowing the situation, Walton turned to defending. Ru Clark, who’d finished second in race one was on a similar mission and by the fifth lap had made it a three car battle for the lead. Going onto lap 7, Depper had been edged to the outside of Paddock Hill, but held his line, eventually securing the inside line for Graham Hill Bend.
Depper and Clark continued their battle until the ninth lap, when a red flag brought an abrupt end to proceedings. On that lap Clark had made the dive into Paddock Hill, though Depper regained the norm before the hairpin.
The red flag had been cast after contact between Simon Walton and Lewis Smith left both stranded in the gravel at Sheene Curve. The race was called with Depper, Clark and Walton completing the podium.
Russell Joyce secured another fourth place, completing a personal best weekend for the Power Maxed Racing driver. The Golf Mk7 had started third, dropping back due to the ballast he was carrying, though was promoted to fourth after the red flag incident. Joyce had continued his defensive display from race one, holding off JW Bird Motorsport’s Tony Prendergast, who he’s battling for seventh in the point standings. Mark Wakefield was another driver who struggled to adapt to the extra weight as the race one podium finisher picked up sixth, ensuring he’s now fourteen points behind Walton.
Wakefield had been caught in the closing laps by Jeff Alden, crossing the line in a seasons best of seventh and in turn recording his maiden Hankook Trophy for Maximum Motorsport. His Hankook rivals Jack Depper and Richard Gilbert crossed the line behind, with the latter recovering despite dropping to the back on the opening lap.
Rounding out the top ten was Rob Allum, who had started from the pit lane, as Michael Jones and Jeff Clark completed the finishers.
Double winner, Martin Depper said;
“It’s great to get the double win. It was actually quite hard at the end, though the circuit helped as it was quite fast out the back, which meant I could carry some of that momentum. But it’s the twisty bit and slow corners that really holds you back while carrying the extra weight, so fortunately on this track, there’s only a few of those.”
Clark’s double second means he’s picked up four podiums in the last five races and has been one of the series stars of the second half. Speaking of his weekend, he said;
“It’s a bittersweet weekend with that red flag. We made the right decision with tyres as the first race podium was critical to getting the grid position. I have been struggling with the starts, it’s a bit of a curse of mine, but we definitely had more pace with the new tyres. If only for two or three more laps.”
Meanwhile championship leader Walton said;
“I managed to get the grip down [at the start], so I edged it away, but sadly we didn’t have the grip to fight with these guys. Fair play to them, I’m happy with a good haul of points, which extends it slightly before the final round.”
In championship points; Owen Walton leads the standings on 438pts (412pts dropped), with Wakefield still second on 398pts, as Martin Depper sits third on 392pts.