A mechanic who learned his trade in the Volkswagen Racing Cup before pursuing a Grand Prix career has turned his back on Formula 1 after five years to return to his roots.
And not only has Kevin Poole formed his own team – KPM – with which to contest the Hankook-backed championship, he’s also been reunited with the first car he built seven years ago, a turbodiesel Golf, and has restored it to top shape for a customer.
The KPM Golf will make its first appearance at Rockingham at the end of May, with novice racer Robin Riley at the wheel. It will be a welcome return for Poole: ‘I can honestly say that out of all the motorsport with which I have been involved, my time in the Volkswagen Racing Cup was the most fun. Formula 1 is all very glamorous at first but that wears thin quite quickly.’
Kevin was five years with the Honda F1 team as a travelling composites technician and jumped at a redundancy offer when it was made. ‘I figured there would never be a better time to go out on my own and prove what I can do,’ said Kevin, who was one of the 2002 Volkswagen Racing UK team which built the Golf TDI which scored the first-ever British race victory by a diesel car when Michael Neuhoff drove it to twin wins at Thruxton.
‘It was a record-breaking car,’ says Poole, ‘and I am delighted to have been reunited with it. It’s been through some hands in the years since and seen some action, but I’ve taken it back to the shell and rebuilt it and now it’s looking as good as new.’
Silverstone-based KPM has plans to field a second car later in the Volkswagen Racing Cup season and is looking also for new customers with cars.
Milton Keynes-based Robin Riley, 39, is looking forward to his first on-track experiences at the wheel of the KPM Golf. ‘I’ve always wanted to race and when the opportunity came up to buy the Golf I jumped at it,’ said Robin, who is backed by Pure Air Conditioning, Prestige Homes and Mitsubishi Electric.
Rockingham’s 31 May event will play host to rounds three and four of the Volkswagen Racing Cup in association with Hankook. The championship enjoys additional support from Augustus Martin, Ceva Logistics, ECM Vehicle Delivery, Milltek Sport, Mondial Assistance, KW Automotive, Superchips, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Volkswagen Financial Services UK.