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VOLKSWAGEN RACING CUP RACE REPORTS 04
4 APRIL 2004
CHAMPION CARVELL ON TOP AGAIN AT DONINGTON
Rob Carvell, the reigning Volkswagen Racing Cup champion, looks on course to stage a successful title defence following two convincing race wins at Donington Park.
Carvell and his new car, a Scirocco GTI built by the family team, proved the class of the field in both of the day's encounters - the second of them a wet race - and the combination now leads the championship by a healthy 16-point margin.
"It's an absolutely brilliant start," said 28-year-old Bedworth-based Rob. "I couldn't have asked for a better result."
Carvell was made to work hard for both victories, however, and his rivals will take comfort from that. In round one it was the Beetle RSi of Shaun Hollamby which pushed him hardest and in round two young Alex Dziurzynski's Mk II Golf GTI revelled in the damp conditions to keep Carvell on his toes.
Quickest in qualifying by a half-second margin, pole-sitter Rob was outgunned from the startline in race one by Hollamby. Shaun held the advantage for five laps before Carvell carved his way past at McLeans and into a lead he would never lose despite a late-race oil leak.
Hollamby had his own problems to contend with later in the race, a fuel leak which had hampered his qualifying performance recurred and he fell into the clutches of Mark Smith's Bora and Lloyd Allard's turbodiesel Golf.
Carvell crossed the line 5.4 seconds clear of Smith, with Hollamby snatching third back from Allard on the final tour. Craig Inskip's strong performance was blunted by the loss of fifth gear, but he held on in front of Dziurzynski, who was also suffering gearbox problems, for fifth.
Grant Woodhatch (Vento) took seventh ahead of championship debutants Philip House (Beetle) and Martyn Culley (Vento), with David Scott hustling the Caddy TDI to a best-ever 10th.
The championship's first-ever female competitor, 22-year-old Claire Tippet, was an excellent 14th on her debut.
The championship's new reverse-grid rule put 23-year-old Devonian Dziurzynski on the pole for round two, and he more than took advantage of it to lead the opening lap by a margin of nearly three seconds. Second-placed Carvell would have been closer but for a lurid slide through Redgate…
Rob reasserted himself on the second lap, however, and he was soon away and into a handsome lead. His winning margin this time was 9.7 seconds. Dziurzynski's second place was never threatened either, young Alex collecting his best-yet championship finish.
The battle of the race centred on third place, House emerging on top after disposing of Inskip and Woodhatch on the second lap.
Ken Lark's Corrado VR6 battled through the spray to fourth, only to lose the place in the scrutineering bay post-race. Woodhatch was thus declared fourth-place finisher, just ahead of Inskip.
His four-wheel-drive Europcar Golf R32 ideally suited to the treacherous conditions, Michael McInerney collected a superb sixth, ahead of the Vento VR6s of son-and-father Martyn and Barrie Culley, Scott's Caddy and Steve Walker's Golf.
Among the non-finishers were Tippet's Golf and the Beetle of TV presenter Jason Barlow, both of which ended their races in the gravel, and Hollamby's Beetle, which proved all but undrivable in the wet.
2 MAY 2004
RACING CUP VICTORIES FOR LARK & HOUSE
A brace of brilliantly exciting Volkswagen Racing Cup events at Croft in North Yorkshire this afternoon (Sun) provided not only thrills but also resounding victories for championship regular Ken Lark and series newcomer - and local hero - Philip House.
Hertfordshire driver Lark and his Corrado VR6 held at bay determined Beetle pilot Ray MacDowall to claim the honours in round three of the championship, while Ripley-based racer House led from start to finish of round four in his Beetle to claim a popular maiden win.
Meanwhile, although reigning champion Rob Carvell failed to add to the twin wins he scored at Donington Park last month, he did leave Croft with an extended championship lead.
The event also marked the worldwide motorsport debut of the new Golf, journalist Nick Trott scoring well in both races in the 2-litre TDI Mk V.
The first race of the day provided a superb tussle for victory throughout, Lark getting the best of it after making a blistering getaway from pole position to lead MacDowall's ECM Beetle.
Carlisle driver MacDowall's pursuit of victory was relentless, the Beetle well able to match the Corrado's pace around the circuit's twistier sections. On the straights, though, Lark had the legs of MacDowall and was able to pull out enough of a breathing space to ensure victory.
MacDowall's biggest effort came on the fifth of the 13 laps, when he outbraked Lark into the sharp right-hander, Tower Bend. But Ken fought back in front on the run down to the Jim Clark Esses and was never headed thereafter. Lark crossed the line 3.7s ahead.
"It was a great race," said Ray. "Ken drove superbly and made his Corrado very wide in places. Towards the end I started to get gear selection problems and had to settle for second." Added Lark: "Ray was behind me all the way and never let up. My car was excellent and I had a lot of guidance from Pirelli about getting the best from the tyres. I'm very pleased."
The battle for third place was no less intense, featuring the cars of Craig Inskip (Northiam), Mark Smith (Hednesford), Shaun Hollamby (Chelsfield), House and Martin Rutherford (Harrow) for much of the distance.
Inskip's Becra-backed Golf held sway until the fifth lap, when Smith's Bora edged ahead; three laps later Hollamby's Beetle found a way past Inskip also, but then Hollamby and Smith were in collision in the Complex and Inskip was able to pick his way through the incident to regain third. Smith spun back to eighth and Hollamby's race came to an end with a holed radiator.
In the later stages Inskip came under severe pressure from House, but the local hero had no answer for Inskip's pace. Craig was 0.8s ahead at the flag to record his best-ever Racing Cup finish, on a circuit he had never raced before.
Paul Dukes (Newark) crossed the line fifth in his Beetle but was later deemed underweight and was excluded. Thus Smith inherited fifth, his late-race battle with Carvell a highlight of the closing laps. Carvell's Scirocco had been forced to start from the back of the grid with a 10-second penalty after post-qualifying scrutineering revealed an infringement of the technical rules.
Undeterred, Rob blasted through to the top 12 by mid-distance and was delighted with his sixth-place finish.
Brislington's Grant Woodhatch overcame a delay in his early-race progress to claim seventh in his Vento ahead of Martyn Culley's (Basingstoke) similar car and the BP Golf diesel of Mark Thomas.
Exeter's Alex Dziurzynski placed 10th after a brush with the barriers, ahead of Lloyd Allard (Cheltenham), Barrie Culley (Thatcham), Datchet driver Michael McInerney's Europcar R32 and the Mk I Golf of Claire Tippet (Cheltenham).
Car journalist Nick Trott enjoyed a highly competitive outing in the new Golf, finishing 15th on what was not only his maiden race but also the car's world racing debut. He said: "The new Golf has such good ingredients for a racing car; I know that someone with experience could really get a great result in it."
The other motoring writer in the field, Jason Barlow, failed to make the distance after a suspected wheel bearing failure on his Europcar Beetle; Barlow had enjoyed a good battle with Trott in the middle stages.
Carvell started the second race of the day not only from pole position but also firm favourite for victory. But it was not to be, his Scirocco swamped at the start by the slick-starting cars of House, Smith and Inskip. House in particular made a blistering getaway, his Ripley Caravan Park-backed Beetle enjoying a lead of 1.8 seconds by the end of the opening lap.
Croft race school instructor Philip, 23, made great use of his circuit knowledge to widen the gap to his pursuers over the course of the next two laps. By the time Carvell had disposed of Inskip and Smith, House was 4.5 seconds up the road.
"I made a perfect start," said House, "and then pushed on using my knowledge of the track to build a gap. It was a worry when I saw Rob in my mirrors, but I concentrated on keeping it tidy and it paid off."
Carvell closed down the gap with metronomic efficiency, but by the end of the 13 laps House still had an advantage of 1.7 seconds.
Rob had other problems to worry about, chiefly MacDowall, who fought through from fifth on the grid to third, right on Carvell's tail, by the end. Lark capped his weekend with fourth ahead of Inskip, Woodhatch, Smith, Martyn Culley and Dziurzynski. McInerney proved his Donington results were no fluke with a fine 10th, just ahead of Trott's new Golf, the Vento of Barrie Culley and the redoubtable Caddy of Peter Wyhinny.
Tippet placed 14th once again and Jonny Moore was 15th in his Polo G40, one place ahead of newcomer Andrew Boakes's G40.
7 JUNE 2004
LARK DOES THE DOUBLE AT SNETTERTON
The Volkswagen Racing Cup more than lived up to its reputation for providing thrilling race action yesterday (Sun) as championship stalwart Ken Lark flew to twin wins in the Snetterton sunshine.
The Hertfordshire driver and his VR6 Corrado led the first of the day's battles all the way from the front row of the grid to the chequered flag, harried every inch of the way by championship leader Rob Carvell, and emerged on top again in race two after a stirring charge through the field. Coventry's Carvell left Norfolk with his championship lead intact but much reduced.
Snetterton also provided an exciting debut for the newest Volkswagen on the Racing Cup grid - the all-new Caddy van, which performed well in the hands of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles director Peter Wyhinny despite some teething problems.
Lark and Carvell gave notice of their intentions to dominate proceedings with an exciting qualifying battle; Rob's Crowsons-backed Scirocco claimed the pole by the slenderest of margins - 0.078s - pinching top spot on the last lap of the session.
But Ken more than made up for that disappointment at the start of the championship's fifth round, easing ahead of Carvell into Riches Corner to take a lead that, despite intense pressure, he would never lose. Carvell tried everything in his repertoire to find a way to sneak past his elder rival, but wily old Ken had an answer for his every move.
"Rob put me under a lot of pressure," said Lark, "but I decided to make him work as hard as possible if he wanted to take the win from me." Carvell's challenge faltered two laps from home when he ran briefly off the track and lost ground; Lark finished 1.8 seconds clear.
With Lark and Carvell in total command, the best any of their rivals could hope for was third. Staffordshire driver Mark Smith and Northiam's Craig Inskip duelled in the early stages until they both slithered on some dropped oil and made contact with each other; Inskip's Golf survived well enough but Smith's Bora suffered a further spin and struck the barriers, ending his strong challenge.
Inskip then had to fend off Harrow driver Martin Rutherford's Beetle, until he too fell foul of the oil and spun back, and next the charging BP Ultimate-backed turbodiesel Golf of Canadian Mark Thomas. Inskip won the tussle to claim his second podium of the season while Thomas continued on in fourth, his best-yet finish.
Croft victor Philip House took fifth in his Beetle, ahead of the recovered Rutherford, Steve Wood's rapid Vento and Alex Dziurzynski's down-on-power Golf GTI. Vento men Barrie Culley and Tony Harberman rounded out the top 10, with Dave Turner's Beetle 11th and Claire Tippet's Mk I Golf the last unlapped runner, in 12th.
Despite a pit stop to investigate an overheating problem, Peter Wyhinny made it to 17th place in the Caddy. Less fortunate was Michael McInerney in the Europcar Golf R32, who ran off the track at Riches after 10 laps, and TV motor journalist Jason Barlow, whose Beetle suffered suspension damage in a clash with another car in the Esses.
With the top six from the first race lining up in reverse order for race two, the Beetles of Rutherford and House claimed the front row, ahead of the Golfs of Thomas and Inskip.
Lark and Carvell would start from row three, and Ken was not slow in coming forward to try to regain his customary lead. He deposed Rutherford and Thomas on the second lap to claim third, then nipped past Inskip for second and was back on top by the start of the fifth lap, after depriving House.
Carvell was having a trickier time making his way to the front, slipping as low as seventh in the early stages before getting on his usual pace. He followed Lloyd Allard's Golf TDI past House for fourth on lap five, then wrested third from Inskip next time around.
Cheltenham-based Allard was enjoying a storming drive after a disappointing first race, which was blighted by an electrical problem. From 14th on the grid he was through to second by the sixth lap and was Lark's closest challenger for several laps.
Carvell had other ideas, however, and muscled past him to take second with six laps remaining. Rob set about carving into Ken's lead but there were too few laps left… "Another four or five laps and he would have got me," conceded Ken. "I count that as a pretty lucky win."
Alas all Carvell's hard work was undone long after the fall of the chequered flag. Stewards ruled that both he and Allard, who crossed the line in third spot, had passed another car while yellow warning flags were being shown; both drivers were excluded from the results.
This promoted a surprised Rutherford to second place, ahead of Smith, House, Thomas, Barrie Culley and Harberman. Inskip was a disappointed eighth after getting stuck in fourth gear for the second half of the race. Turner was ninth and 10th - her best-yet finish - was Claire Tippet. Andrew Boakes and his Polo G40 placed 11th, just ahead of Wyhinny's rapid Caddy, and Russell Bradley's Golf was 13th.
A strong charge by Grant Woodhatch, who held sixth at one point in his Vento, came to a smoky end with a rear hub seizure. Other non-finishers included former champion Michael Neuhoff, Dziurzynski and McInerney, all with engine problems.
With the championship now at its half-way stage, Carvell still holds top spot but is now only 24 points clear of House, who has yet to play his points-doubling Joker card, with Inskip third, a further 10 points adrift.
18 JULY 2004
CARVELL & HOUSE TAKE CUP WINS AT OULTON
The Volkswagen Racing Cup is shaping up for a two-way duel to the wire between reigning champion Rob Carvell and Philip House after each took a race win this weekend at Oulton Park in Cheshire.
Bedworth-based Carvell and his Scirocco romped to a two-second victory in Saturday's seventh round of the championship, while House's Beetle RSi claimed the win in today's encounter - a race brought to a bizarre early finish by a crashing helicopter.
The incident occurred on the seventh of the planned 10 laps, when a passing chopper made a heavy emergency landing at the circuit heliport. Fortunately the pilot was uninjured, but race stewards were forced to red flag the race to allow rescue vehicles to gain access to the crash scene.
After eight of the championship's 12 rounds, Carvell's title lead is now 32 points - but North Yorkshire driver House has yet to play his points-doubling Joker card and could quickly close the gap.
Carvell was untouchable on Saturday; he braved the treacherous conditions of the streaming wet qualifying session to post a lap time more than two seconds faster that that of his nearest rival, Northamptonshire's Mike Neuhoff (Corrado VR6). And in the first of the weekend's races Rob did not put a wheel wrong, increasing his lead over Neuhoff on almost every lap to head him over the line by 1.2 seconds.
Neuhoff never faltered in his pursuit, a fact Carvell recognised: "The pace was furious throughout. I managed to open out a bit of a gap but then lost it all again passing back markers, and then I had to make a big effort to make the break again." It was Carvell's third race victory of the season.
Neuhoff, the 2001 champion, was delighted to return to the podium: "The engine had been letting us down prior to this race but hopefully that is now sorted and this will be the first of many good results."
Ken Lark's Corrado VR6 took third ahead of an inspired Craig Inskip, who started from 10th on the grid in his Golf Turbo and who posted fastest lap of the race in his pursuit of fourth place.
Steve Wood looked set to take fifth on his first Golf VR6 outing but instead ended his race in the Lodge Corner gravel trap with four laps remaining so Steve Walker's Golf Turbo inherited the position, the Stockport driver revelling on his home circuit.
House, who had suffered major handling problems in qualifying, took sixth ahead of Mark Smith's Bora, the Golf VR6 of Andrew Smith and the Vento VR6s of son-and-father team Martyn and Barrie Culley. The Beetles of Dave Turner and motor journalist Jason Barlow were 11th and 12th, just ahead of Peter Wyhinny's New Caddy. Mail on Sunday writer Russell Bray piloted the New Golf TDI to 18th spot, two places behind the Polo TDI of Paul Lloyd-Roach, which was making its race debut.
Lloyd Allard was among several drivers to run into trouble. The Gloucestershire driver had qualified third in his Golf TDI but was forced out of the race on the opening lap with turbo problems. An encouraging debut drive from Bentley motorsport director Brian Gush came to a halt with a puncture a lap from home; he had been holding 12th in the Europcar Golf R32.
With Saturday's top six reversed in order for the next day, House started from the pole and immediately built up a handsome advantage over his pursuers, led by Inskip. Alas Craig's race lasted only three laps through a turbo problem, and so Carvell, who had started sixth, fought through to second and began the chase for victory.
But, try as he might, Rob could not dent the Beetle's advantage. By the race's premature end after six laps, House was 6.7 seconds to the good. "I kept plugging away at it but I couldn't close the gap," said Carvell. "Philip drove brilliantly."
"I tried to make a good start and managed to pull away," said House. "After the problems I had in qualifying my aim for race one was sixth, so that I could start the next race from pole. It all worked out brilliantly."
Neuhoff placed third ahead of Walker, who was credited with fourth despite his race ending with his Golf in flames due to a broken exhaust. Lark was fifth from Wood - who had started from the back of the grid - Mark Smith and Andrew Smith. Turner was an impressive ninth ahead of Martyn Culley, Barrie Culley, Claire Tippet's Mk I Golf, Barlow and Gush. Bray placed 20th this time, just ahead of Wyhinny's Caddy, which was suffering turbo pipe problems.
30 AUGUST 2004
WINS FOR NEUHOFF & WOOD AT THRUXTON
The 2001 Volkswagen Racing Cup Champion, Mike Neuhoff, returned to the winner's circle at Thruxton, where he claimed victory in the championship's ninth round at the wheel of his Corrado VR6.
Neuhoff and his Saxon Motorsport-prepared Corrado VR6 were on top form throughout the Bank Holiday weekend; in qualifying the 34-year-old from Helmdon, Northants, claimed pole position with a time seven-tenths quicker than that of his nearest rival, Ripley-based Beetle driver Philip House.
But it was House who made the better start to the first of the day's races, leading Neuhoff away from the line and all the way to the chicane at the first lap's end where Mike managed to regain control.
Behind them there was chaos as the Vento VR6 of Basingstoke's Martyn Culley - which had started an excellent third - was tapped into a spin at Campbell corner and suffered a heavy impact; the race had to be halted while the driver, who was shaken but otherwise unhurt, was extracted.
At the restart it was once again House who made the better getaway, and once again Neuhoff was forced to chase him all the way to the chicane before he could get in front. Thereafter the race was Neuhoff's all the way to the chequered flag, despite heavy pressure from the similar Corrado of Ken Lark (Peters Green), which deposed House from second place on the third lap.
'I really tried to catch Michael but I just couldn't manage it,' said Ken, who finished 2.3 seconds behind. Added Neuhoff: 'I was very worried when I saw Ken in my mirrors, and his car was very quick through the complex. But I seemed to have the edge on other parts of the track and my car was handling beautifully.'
House's safe third - and Philip's remaining championship hopes - evaporated four laps from the end when he was forced into the pits with a down-on-power engine; a pinched air intake hose was the culprit and he was able to continue to 23rd place.
Thus Gloucester's Steve Wood took third in his Golf VR6, his best placing of the season, ahead of Rob Carvell, who drove a blinding race from the back of the grid after his qualifying times were disallowed.
Rob had charged into the top nine by half-distance and, after a couple of laps stuck behind the Golf of Craig Inskip (Northiam), swiftly disposed of the Beetles of Jason Marino (Wokingham) and Paul Dukes (Newark) before snatching fourth from the clutches of the Mk II Golf of Exeter's Alex Dziurzynski.
Alex held on to fifth at the line, just ahead of Marino, Dukes and Inskip, with Stockport driver Steve Walker's Golf taking ninth ahead of the turbodiesel Golf of Lloyd Allard (Cheltenham), Martin Rutherford (Little Chalfont) and his Beetle and the Bora of Hednesford's Mark Smith.
Neuhoff made a much better second-race launch to establish a three-second advantage over Lark by the end of the opening lap, with Carvell right on Lark's tail in third and Marino, Inskip and Smith in line astern.
Carvell was going all-out for race victory, and he set about the task with a decisive manoeuvre at the chicane on the fifth lap to snatch second from Lark. By this stage Neuhoff was four seconds up the road, but Rob whittled away at the gap until it had all but disappeared as they entered the last lap.
Rob and Mike were side by side for most of the final tour, Carvell managing to claim the all-important inside line into the final chicane. Neuhoff had to slot in behind and then it was a drag-race to the line, Carvell an inch or two clear when it mattered. 'I really thought I had it,' said Mike. 'It was a great battle…'
A month after flag-fall, the cars of both Carvell and Neuhoff were excluded from the results following post-race scrutineering, with the race win awarded to Steve Wood, who crossed the finish line in third position, ahead of a quartet of Beetles comprising Dukes, Marino, Rutherford and House. Lark's hopes of a podium placing went west on the penultimate lap with a driveshaft problem; he limped home 13th.
Michael McInerney (Datchet) was an excellent sixth in the Europcar-backed Golf R32, ahead of Walker, the Vento of Thatcham's Barrie Culley and the remarkable Martyn Culley, who returned to the track after a hospital check following his first-race crash and who drove from the back of the grid to ninth in his hastily-repaired Vento. The Beetle of Gloucestershire's Dave Turner rounded out the top 10.
Journalists Jason Barlow and Nick Trott finished 11th and 17th respectively, Car editor Barlow at the wheel of his Europcar Beetle and Trott in the Mk V Golf TDI.
There was disappointment for several drivers, including Inskip, who limped home 16th with fuel supply problems, and Claire Tippet, whose Mk I Golf suffered gearbox problems at mid-distance.
4 OCTOBER 2004
VICTORIES FOR NEUHOFF & CARVELL AT BRANDS HATCH
Exciting race wins at Brands Hatch yesterday (Sun) for Michael Neuhoff and Rob Carvell set the seal on a tremendous season of competition in the Volkswagen Racing Cup, with Beetle racer Philip House securing championship honours.
A capacity field of 30 Volkswagens lined up at the Kent circuit for the championship's grand finale, and two incident-filled races kept the spectators well entertained.
Neuhoff drove his Saxon Motorsport-prepared Corrado VR6 to victory in the first race after overcoming pole position man Shaun Hollamby, who was giving his Golf R32 a hugely impressive debut. In race two, Carvell's Scirocco GTI blasted past both House and Hollamby to secure by seven-seconds his fourth race victory of the season.
Race one was marred by a series of incidents, several triggered by the treacherously slippery track conditions. The most serious of these befell Northiam's Craig Inskip at the start when his Golf Turbo was tagged by another car and it spun sideways into the barriers, causing heavy damage. Title challenger Inskip was unhurt in the incident.
Ahead of this drama, Chelsfield-based Hollamby had blasted off the line in his four-wheel-drive Golf to lead Neuhoff (Northampton), Yorkshireman House and Coventry's Carvell into Paddock Hill Bend. But Hollamby's hopes of making a break were thwarted by the arrival on track of the safety car, brought into play to facilitate the retrieval of Inskip's stricken car.
At the restart three laps later, Neuhoff made the move of the season. He triggered the throttle a fraction before Hollamby, gunned past on the outside into Paddock Hill Bend and held on on the limit of adhesion all the way up Hailwood Hill before nipping in front into the Druids hairpin.
'I was just a bit later on the power than Mike,' admitted Hollamby, 'but I wasn't going to give up the lead too easily. He did well to get past me.'
Hollamby had the chance to repay Neuhoff within a couple of laps when the safety car came out again while Claire Tippet's Golf GTI was removed from a gravel trap, but Neuhoff once again made the best of it at the restart to retain his lead.
And that was as far as the race progressed, because a further gravel trap incursion - this time by Paul Lloyd-Roach's Polo TDI - brought out the race-halting red flags and the results were declared at seven laps, Neuhoff the winner from Hollamby, Carvell, Mark Smith's Bora, House and Steve Wood's Golf VR6.
Ken Lark was classified seventh in his Corrado, ahead of the Beetles of Paul Dukes and Martin Rutherford and, tenth, touring car star Jason Plato at the wheel of the Caddy TDI. Mark Thomas took 11th in his Golf TDI with Dave Turner rounding out the top 12 in his Beetle.
There were plenty of alarms and excursions in race two also, but fortunately no interruptions to the progress of the race. Once again Hollamby made a blinding start - 'I just put my foot down and went off like a rocket,' said Shaun; 'it's better than a PlayStation' - from fifth on the grid to lead into the first corner. House tucked in behind for second, ahead of Smith, Carvell and Neuhoff.
Behind the leaders, a lurid 180-degree spin for Car magazine editor Jason Barlow through Paddock Hill Bend had the crowd gasping; fortunately none of his pursuers collided with the Europcar Beetle. Not much further into the opening lap Wood spun in Graham Hill Bend, triggering a series of mishaps which led to Thomas making contact with the barriers; both cars were able to continue.
It took Carvell a lap to find a way past Smith for third, and by this time Hollamby and House were nearly four seconds up the road. But Rob, knowing that he must win to stand any chance of reclaiming his championship title, set about the task of whittling it away.
By the 12th lap just half a second covered the leading trio, and then House moved over to let Carvell through. Within two laps Rob had wrested the lead from Hollamby through Paddock and was off and away to victory.
Rob crossed the line 7.2 sec in front of Hollamby, with House happy enough to settle for third and the championship title. Neuhoff took fourth ahead of Smith, Rutherford, Lark, Wood, Culley and Turner. Paul Sanderson's Mk I Golf claimed 11th, just ahead of Lloyd Allard's TDI Mk IV Golf, which had started from the back of the grid.
Former Castrol Polo Challenge rally star Sophie Robinson was an excellent 16th in the new Golf TDI on her debut as a circuit racer.
After 12 hard-fought rounds at circuits all over the UK, House's championship-winning margin was just eight points. Philip won two races to his closest challenger Carvell's four, with third place man Lark having notched up three wins.
Sam Roach, head of Volkswagen Racing UK, summed up the season: 'It's been a great year for the championship. The grids have been healthy all year - indeed we were oversubscribed at Brands Hatch - and the competition intense. Five different drivers won races at the wheel of four different models of Volkswagen, and it's that competitiveness and diversity which makes the Volkswagen Racing Cup so special. I am sure that the 2005 season will be just as strong.'