The stage is set for a thrilling finale to the Volkswagen Racing Cup following today’s exciting Silverstone rounds of the Hankook-backed championship, from which championship leader Joe Fulbrook took a race win and, more importantly, twice finished ahead of his only remaining title rival, Jamie Perry.
Berkshire-based Bora driver Fulbrook heads to October’s Donington denouement holding a 66-point advantage over Perry and his Golf GTI. There are 94 points on the table at Donington, and both men have everything to play for…
Neither Fulbrook nor Perry stood much of a chance in the first of the Silverstone races, despite Joe starting from the pole after an impressive qualifying session with his Warranty Direct-backed car. Fulbrook slipped to second on the opening lap behind the fast-starting Golf of championship returnee Steve Walker, and was then pushed back to third by the mercurial Adrian Dziurzynski and his Golf GTI.
Dziurzynski was on unstoppable form at the wheel of the oldest car on the grid, his confidence boosted by the knowledge that he was playing his points-doubling ‘Joker’ card. ‘Didge’ dodged past Walker with a clever manoeuvre at Priory on lap two and set about pulling clear of his pursuers. By the eighth of the 12 laps Dziurzynski held a 5.2s advantage…
Steve Walker’s challenge faded along with his Golf’s sticky brakes, which left the battle for second place to Fulbrook, James Walker in the TDI Golf, Perry and Steve Chaplin’s ‘Herbie’ Beetle, with James Griffiths’ Golf GTI joining the party in the closing laps.
Chaplin demoted Fulbrook from second with four laps to run, and narrowed the gap between himself and the victorious Dziurzynski to 1.4s by the end. But there was to be no denying Adrian his maiden race win after four seasons of trying. “It’s fantastic to make the top step of the podium at last after so long knocking on the door,” said the 25-year-old West End Precision team driver.
It was another youngster, 18-year-old Griffiths, who secured the final podium place, James lifting third from Fulbrook’s grasp with two laps to go. “My team, SlideSports, set the car up perfectly. All the credit goes to them,” said James, whose maiden top-three finish it was. Fulbrook was happy enough with fourth, just ahead of James Walker and two places clear of Perry.
After missing the Brands Hatch rounds, Liam Griffin returned to the fray in fighting form with his Addison Lee-backed Golf GTI to take seventh ahead of Paul Taylor’s Golf R32, which was suffering with a throttle pedal-related problem, and debutant Sam Edwards, who put in a good showing with his fresh-from-the-box Golf GTI.
There was an entertaining battle for 10th which went the way of Peter Wyhinny’s remarkable Caddy TDI despite intense pressure from the Jetta TSI Sport, which was in the hands of drivers-republic.com editorial director Chris Harris. Harris looked set to take 11th but was mugged on the line by Mike Kurton’s GTI Golf. Chris nonetheless enjoyed his outing: “It’s been great fun and I’m impressed by the Jetta, which is the first front-drive car I have raced.”
Sixth place in race one earned Perry pole position for the second Silverstone, and this gave him the confidence to play his Joker card – the last of the championship top four to do so. Jamie and the Keith Garages-backed Golf romped into an early lead, but Fulbrook had no intention of letting Perry run away with things and made his first bid for the lead at Priory on the fourth lap. He was rebuffed on that occasion but managed to make the manoeuvre stick next time around.
Fulbrook’s path to victory was far from easy, however. Chaplin nipped through to take the lead at Brooklands on lap six and held on in front for four laps until making an error which allowed Joe to regain the advantage. Chaplin then lost second to Perry with two laps to go.
After crossing the line half a second ahead, Fulbrook said: “My car was awesome in that race – better than me! Steve gave me some trouble but he made a small mistake under braking and I was able to get past.” Added Chaplin: “So close and yet so far… I thought that I had that race in the bag.”
Dziurzynski was close behind in fourth but alas fell foul of the scrutineer’s scales post-race; his Golf was found to be marginally underweight in the second race and was excluded from the results. This handed fourth to Griffiths, who went well despite the loss of fourth gear. Taylor placed fifth, his car still not on top form, ahead of James Walker, Griffin and Martyn Culley’s Vento VR6, which claimed a remarkable eighth despite starting from the back of the grid.
Kurton took ninth, finishing just ahead of Wyhinny on this occasion, with Paul Lloyd-Roach 11th. Edwards took 12th and then, yards after crossing the finish line, ended his race with a heavy impact in the barriers, coming off worst in a brush with the Golf of Michael McInerney. Harris’s Jetta looked set for another strong result but was sidelined with a suspected driveshaft failure.
The Volkswagen Racing Cup in association with Hankook is additionally supported by Augustus Martin, Castrol, Ceva Logistics, ECM Vehicle Delivery, Milltek Sport, Mondial Assistance, KW Automotive, Superchips, Turbo Dynamics, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Volkswagen Financial Services UK.