JM Racing Complete Debut 1-2 with Sensational Gilbert taking Maiden Honours
The year begun with a bang as last-minute entry Richard Gilbert took a maiden Volkswagen Racing Cup victory upon his return to the series with JM Racing. Mastering the conditions and with the protection of his teammate Josh Coggan, it was a dream start to the season for both.
A sodden track welcomed the competitors for the opening race of the year as Oulton Park saw the first round in which both TCT/TCR UK and the Volkswagen Racing Cup would share the track. Co-headlining the event, eyes were on the VW’s.
The hero of qualifying had been Bradley Kent, but he would throw it all away as the lights went out, struggling to get the power down in his Scirocco and dropping into the midfield. The result was a JM Racing 1-2 with last-minute entry Richard Gilbert leading from Josh Coggan. The multiple race winner seemed happy to act as a rear gunner to his teammate.
Coggan kept within two seconds, just proving to everyone that he had the pace when left alone, an excellent sign for his championship assault. Behind them both, Liam Griffin took a notable third upon his return to the VW Racing Cup. The European Le Mans runner-up was quickly up to speed, taking a respectable third, albeit five seconds behind the breakaway pair.
It was far tighter in the battle for fourth as Mark Wakefield made it a JM Racing 1-2-4. The 2019 championship runner-up switched cars in the build up to the weekend in order to let Richard Gilbert have his Mk7. Wakefield, like his fellow team co-owner Coggan could have been in contention for a win but was caught out by the puddles at the start, dropping down the order. Despite this Wakefield proved his skill to climb back up to fourth.
In doing so, Wakefield displaced Andy Wilmot by 0.3 seconds. Wilmot, a former-BTCC competitor, proved his talent in the Maximum Motorsport entry and will be buoyed by a front row start for the next race. With the top six reversed, it will be Jeff Alden on pole for race two. The Matrix Motorsport driver will be pleased with a solid result as he looks to improve upon 2020.
Kent though will be frustrated to have only finished seventh after his mistake at the start. He finished ahead of Team HARD scholarship winner Ollie Brown in his first VW adventure. Kieran Griffin and Tony Prendergast completed the top ten, as Paul Dehadray and William Butler rounded out the finishers.
Race Two will be streamed Live at 17:05.