A race winner from seasons past is to return to the Volkswagen Racing Cup next weekend (16/17 August) when the Hankook-backed championship swings into Silverstone for the penultimate meeting of the season.
The returnee is Steve Walker, who was an outright race winner in 2002 in a Golf VR6 and claimed second in the overall championship. He last competed in the Volkswagen Racing Cup in ’04 but believes the time is right for a return: “I’ve done a lot of club events in recent years and decided it was time to try the Volkswagen Racing Cup again. The championship looks good, is professional and my Golf is going well thanks to a recent engine overhaul. We thought we’d give it a try and if everything goes well I’ll be back for a full-season attack next year, possibly with my son-in-law, Daniel Crossley, in a second car.”
Walker, 56 and from Bramhall, Cheshire, will race the Mk IV Golf 1.8 Turbo which he built in 2004 and which he and Crossley have since shared.
Joe Fulbrook has the chance next weekend to be crowned champion of the Volkswagen Racing Cup in association with Hankook. The Berkshire-based Bora driver arrives at Silverstone with a handy 82-point championship lead thanks to two race wins and a further five podium finishes.
The championship top three – Fulbrook, Steve Chaplin and Paul Taylor – have each played their points-doubling Joker Cards already. Of the front-runners only fourth-placed Jamie Perry has yet to gamble.
Warranty Direct-backed Fulbrook needs therefore to keep his nose clean, pray for mechanical reliability and to try to build his points lead to 95 by the end of the weekend. If he fails he has another chance to wrap it up at the Donington Park finale in October, but he will recall only too vividly the mechanical dramas which dashed his title hopes at the final meeting in 2007.
Perry and Taylor are probably the favourites to win a race at Silverstone, the former because he and his Keith Garages-backed Golf have taken wins already, at Rockingham, Thruxton and Brands Hatch, and the latter because of his Golf R32 victories this year at Oulton Park, Thruxton and Brands, and also the twin wins he took at Silverstone in 2006 on his way to the championship.
The only other race winners this year are Steve Wood, whose Golf GTI has been out of action for several rounds with engine problems, and James Walker, son of truck racer Richard, whose Golf is the leading turbodiesel contender. ‘Herbie’, the Beetle RSI handled by Steve Chaplin, has been close to top spot on four occasions already and is overdue its maiden race win.
As ever, an eclectic mix of man and machine can be expected on the grid for the Volkswagen races, with everything from Caddy vans, courtesy Peter Wyhinny’s and Giles Lock’s machines, to the new and exciting turbo- and supercharged Jetta TSI Sport, which will be driven by experienced long-distance Porsche racer and drivers-republic.com journalist Chris Harris.
There will be a host of new Golf GTIs for such as Mike Kurton, Liam and Kieran Griffin, Michael McInerney, James Griffiths and John Quartermaine, Beetle RSIs for the consistent Nick Dunn, Paul Lloyd-Roach, Peter Lettinga and Steve Dorrell, four-wheel-drive Golfs for Chris Adams and Richard Kingsnorth, a venerable Mk II Golf for Adrian Dziurzynski, and even a deceptively quick Polo, in the hands of Silverstone instructor Doug Ross.
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.