Walton takes pole at Croft ciruit in his Audi TT
Simon Walton repeated his 2018 feat, by claiming pole position at Croft in the VW Racing Cup. The SlideSports driver will be bouncing back to form, after a second retirement of the year last round knocked him down in the points standings.
Ru Clark set the early pace, keen to jump back into contention. The JW Bird driver was soon lapping under the 1min 30 bracket and was proving the pedigree that had earned him the honour of vice-champion last season. Simon Walton, the 2018 Croft polesitter soon returned to familiar territory though, topping the order with a 1min 29.336 at the halfway point.
From there Simon consolidated his lead as even Josh Coggan couldn’t oust the SlideSports driver. The long straights benefitted the Audi TT’s larger engine and with minimal extra weight on board, Walton was not to be beaten, taking another 2019 pole position. Coggan and Clark lined up behind, as all three had pitted with six minutes to run, though despite changing tyres, would not beat their earlier benchmark. The trio had only completed seven laps, less than any other drivers, but it was enough to give them an edge around the 2.1 mile course.
Coggan was only 0.072 seconds behind Walton, coincidently, the same distance as Mark Wakefield was behind Clark in fourth. The HSG Sport supported driver will be looking to continue his momentum from Donington in which he won the opening race, finishing fourth in the second. He’s ahead of Owen Walton in the second Audi. Lying second in the championship, Owen has finished inside the top five for the last 5 races and was the final driver under the 90 second mark. With points leader Martin Depper not here this weekend, both need strong results to help their championship campaign.
Sixth on the grid will be Rob Allum in the Allumy Motorsports Golf. He surprised many by winning from ninth at Donington and as a result, carries maximum ballast into this round. He still qualified ahead of Tony Prendergast and Hankook Trophy leader Russell Joyce. Both Joyce and eleventh placed Evans have picked up three class wins this season, though will be under threat from Jack Depper, who lines up alongside Joyce in ninth.
Splitting them will be another Hankook competitor Mark Steel for the SlideSports team. Driving the Golf Mk7, the Leicestershire driver will be looking to break into the top ten of the standings after this round. Completing the line-up will be front-runner Clark’s father Jeff and #2 Richard Gilbert.