Former truck racing champion Richard Walker will be at the helm of a full-family return to the Volkswagen Racing Cup in association with Hankook next weekend (30/31 May) at Rockingham.
For joining Richard on the grid will be not only his younger son, championship regular James, but also James’s elder sibling, Daniel, who will be making his saloon racing debut. All three will drive Golf GTIs.
‘I fancied having a go at a few races and this opportunity came up,’ said Walker Senior, who won a round of the championship at Rockingham in 2007. ‘James is doing the full season and Daniel wanted to give it a try, too. It’s going to be an expensive weekend but I am looking forward to it, and to racing against both my sons for the first time on a proper track. I used to beat them in karting when I was a bit slimmer but I’m not sure I’ll be able to now.’
Richard will drive the Force 10 Motorsport Golf previously raced by Jamie Perry, while ex-Formula Ford racer Daniel will join James in the SlideSports team.
James is looking to get his season back on track after mechanical problems robbed him of a finish in both of the Oulton Park season-opening rounds. ‘I was second quickest in qualifying and it was gutting not to finish either race,’ said James. ‘But on the positive side it means that I am not carrying any success ballast at Rockingham, and that will be useful. The top three is the aim.’ James followed in his father’s wheeltracks to be a race winner at Rockingham in 2008.
Reigning champion Joe Fulbrook heads a 25-car field to Rockingham holding a very useful 38-point lead thanks to some strong results in the opening rounds, but his rivals are lining up to narrow his advantage.
Smokin’ Joe and his Warranty Direct Bora Turbo didn’t manage a win at Oulton but came away with two second-place finishes; deft use of his points-doubling Joker Card is what has put him on top of the pile.
The race-winners at Oulton were 2006 champion Paul Taylor in his four-wheel-drive Golf R32 and Didge Dziurzynski, at the wheel of the oldest car on the grid, a MK II Golf GTI. Didge had been due to race a newer Golf, but teething problems forced him to press ‘old faithful’ back into action. Taylor and Dziurzynski are holding second and third in the championship.
Two new Scirocco coupes have added a stylish dash to the Racing Cup grid this season. Mike Kurton claimed a podium finish with his on its debut, but alas for Liam Griffin his was in the wars at Oulton, rolling after contact with another car.
Peter Wyhinny and the amazing Caddy made it into second place at Rockingham – and very nearly won – in damp conditions in 2008. Rockingham is a track which suits the turbodiesel van perfectly, so there will be maximum effort from Wyhinny as he bids to claim the Caddy’s maiden victory. Adding to the family theme, Peter’s son, Paul Wyhinny, will be on track also, driving a RacingLine-prepared V6 Golf.
Championship newcomers Tim Snaylam, Anna Walewska and Aaron Mason all enjoyed excellent debuts at Oulton with their Golfs to move into the championship top 10, just behind old hands Andrew Smith and Darren Blumson with their Beetles.
Another newcomer scheduled to appear this weekend is race novice Robin Riley, who will be at the wheel of the history-making Golf TDI which was the first-ever diesel race-winner in the UK, back in 2002. A local name to watch out for is Northampton’s Doug Ross, a Rockingham instructor, who will be out in his Polo.
The Volkswagen Racing Cup in association with Hankook 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.