Oulton Park race 1 report
The first Volkswagen Racing Cup event of the weekend saw Brett Smith continue his sensational run, winning by 7.1 seconds at Oulton Park.
Racing for Maximum Motorsport, the Scirocco driver was untouchable in qualifying and continued his dominance in the first race, pulling away from Josh Coggan over the 20 minute event.
“It’s good to be back to winning ways. It was a hard race, Josh pushed me all the way,” said Smith.
“To come to a championship in which you don’t know the car well, that bodes quite well for me. We should be able to keep pushing it forward and build a couple of tenths over the season.”
The talk of the start was Josh Coggan, leaping up into the lead off the start. Smith in turn had struggled off the line, suffering from brake fade into Old Hall, tapping Coggan from behind and damaging his front bumper, with Smith claiming it hampered him through Cascades.
Smith was not prepared to let the opportunity slip, keeping up with the DW Racing Golf, lunging into Druids. Smith had the lead, but with a damaged car, failed to pull away, with Coggan continuing to hound.
Ignoring the pressure, the ex-BTCC driver soon found his groove, pulling a six second gap by the end of the race, setting the fastest lap. A win on debut is an incredible result for the 26-year-old, who puts himself in the strongest position earn the Tom Walker Memorial Trophy this weekend; given to the driver who scores the most points throughout the two races.
Simon Walton, who had started second, initially went with the leaders, holding third throughout the race for another strong result at Oulton from the Audi TT.
Fourth would be Martin Depper after an incredible drive through the field from eighth. The Maximum Motorsports driver made up for his earlier qualifying result, overtaking Owen Walton in the closing laps after an intense battle on track.
Local driver Dan Crossley won the Hankook Trophy for drivers over 60. The Bramhall driver, who lives just 30 miles from the circuit secured sixth on the road in his first VW Cup race. The JW Bird Motorsports driver remained out of trouble and will now start from pole for the reverse grid race later today.
Unfortunately for Darelle Wilson and Jeff Alden, last lap retirements cost them both top ten finishes. Similar bad luck had affected Lewis Smith, who pulled off on the green flag lap, losing a fourth place start. They’ll have it all to do for race two.