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1 APRIL 2013


The track temperatures may have been Arctic but the racing was red hot at Oulton Park as the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup lifted off for a fresh season of entertaining action with a field of 27 cars and some exciting new driving talent. The two Oulton races were both crackers, with a three-way battle for victory in the first of them settled only at the final corner in favour of Aaron Mason and his new Warranty Direct/AWM Scirocco, and an impressive display in the second sprint from the SlideSports Scirocco of championship newcomer Ross Wylie, whose prodigious talent more than compensated for his relative lack of experience. Wylie and Martin Depper, a podium finisher, jointly hold the championship lead after the day’s action.

Mason’s path to victory never looked easy. The Doncaster driver was pressured all the way to the chequered flag, first by Golf GTI man Jim Cartwright (Matlock) and then by Birmingham-based Depper in his KPM-run Scirocco.

Mason seized the lead at the outset of the 11-lap race, overhauling pole man James Walker’s Golf on the run down to Old Hall. By lap’s end Aaron’s advantage was 1.1s over Depper, with Peter Wyhinny’s SEAT Leon third and Cartwright fourth.

Two places gained on lap two saw Cartwright charge through to second, and within a further lap the 25-year-old had set two consecutive fastest laps to close right on to Mason’s tail. “My car for the first five laps was just awesome, absolutely mega,” said Jim.

Mason, Cartwright and Depper flew in tight formation until the end of the sixth lap, when Jim made a slightly better exit out of Lodge to nose ahead of Aaron across the start/finish line. He stayed a fraction ahead until Cascades, where light contact between them saw Cartwright slide wide and briefly off the track, slipping to third in the process.

“I managed to get past Aaron but then I locked my brakes and unfortunately gave him a bit of a bang,” said Cartwright, who prepared his Coverworld-backed Golf at the track virtually single-handed. “Then, running up to Knickerbook, I gave him room but he pushed me on to grass. It was fair enough, and I’m delighted with third, it’s a great boost.”

Mason’s worries were far from over, however. Depper broke the lap record in pursuit of the leader over the closing four laps and tried every wily manoeuvre in the book to try to find a way past. But Aaron had an answer to every move of Martin’s and crossed the line a quarter-second ahead. Cartwright was five seconds behind them.

“Given that I’ve had only around six hours in the new car, I’m very pleased,” said Mason, who also won the final two rounds of 2012. He’s the first hat-trick winner since 2007. “Martin did a great job, to be fair – he kept it clean. Jim raced well also; I think both of them had faster cars than mine towards the end of the race, but mine was a bit wider.”

Added Depper: “I tried just about everything, but I couldn’t get past. It was a great battle out there, a great race and really enjoyable.”

An impressive fourth on his debut in the VW Cup and in his first race on slick tyres was Dumfries driver Wylie. Ross, who will also contest the European Scirocco R-Cup this season, lifted fourth from the clutches of SEAT Leon driver Peter Wyhinny five laps from the end.

The 2008 and ’09 champion, Joe Fulbrook, took fifth on what he hopes will be his final appearance in his venerable Bora – plans to debut a new Golf GTI at Oulton Park were thwarted by a testing crash. Fulbrook took the spot from Wyhinny on lap nine; Peter was nonetheless delighted with his strong qualifying pace and race sixth.

Phil House, the returning champion from 2004 and ’05, was pleased by the pace of his PH Motorsport Scirocco following a troubled qualifying; he placed seventh, ahead of the oldest car on the grid, Alex Dziurynski’s de-mothballed Corrado. Team HARD Scholarship winner David Sutton was a notable ninth on his debut in the championship, with Superbike-racing star Josh Caygill 10th in his first-ever car race at the wheel of his AWM/Warranty Direct Golf GTI.

Local hero Phil Morris survived a half-spin at Island Bend to take 11th, well clear of KPM’s Stewart Lines, who stalled on the line and did well to make the top 12 by the end, especially given a last-lap loss of power from his Scirocco. Andy Wilmot led home his Team HARD comrade and series debutant Tom Barley for 13th, with David Fairbrother taking 15th in his new car, the Pall-Ex-liveried SlideSports Scirocco.

Of the remaining championship debutants, Emma Selway placed 16th, Jorge Calado 23rd after a pit visit to cure an electrical gremlin and David Garnsworthy 24th in his Vanworx Caddy. James Walker had to settle for 19th after power delivery problems sapped his pace; he had held sixth early on. Chris Levett retired his JWB Motorsport Scirocco with fuel pressure problems, while Cameron Thompson and Paul Dehadray retired after coming together in the closing laps, the crash blamed on a disintegrating wheel on Dehadray’s Golf, which led to a spin.

There were only six racing laps in round two, but Wylie made superb use of them and his SlideSports Scirocco to score an impressive victory on his debut weekend in the championship. Ross snatched the lead on the opening lap after starting third thanks to the reverse-grid draw, behind Wyhinny and Fulbrook. Fulbrook made the better getaway of the three to lead initially, but by lap’s end Wylie was in charge and leading his pursuers by a second.

Bottled up behind Wyhinny were Mason and Cartwright, and the three-way battle for third shaped the course of the race when, on lap three, Mason and Cartwright made contact at Island Bend and Cartwright’s car came to rest in a dangerous position, necessitating a safety car period while it was retrieved. The results of the race will remain provisional until stewards have viewed video footage of the crash.

Wylie kept his head for the three controlled laps and nailed the restart to pull even further clear of Fulbrook in the final three-lap dash for the chequered flag. Ross was 1.8s ahead of the Bora man at the line, with Wyhinny third – his first podium finish since 2008 – a whisker ahead of Depper.

“It’s the perfect way to start the new season,” said Wylie, who is tied on points for the championship lead with Depper. “This was my first weekend on proper racing slicks, so it was a whole new ball game for me. I got my head down and worked hard at it – it was a difficult race because of the safety car but I just had to keep my cool.”

SlideSports boss Mark Jenkins was impressed by his new charge: “Ross is an asset to the team and has done a great job today. He has natural talent, is very capable and very intelligent and he will be even better when he has learned about working with the slick tyres.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed both races today,” added Wyhinny, “especially this last one. I had to be quite defensive over the last couple of laps – sorry guys if I got in the way. I hope this isn’t just a one-off and that I can make the podium regularly this season.”

There were battles and excitement all the way down the finishing order. Team HARD’s David Sutton capped his earlier performance with a fine fifth ahead of Alex Dziurzynski, while Walker made up for his first-race disappointment – and an early-race clash with the Scirocco of Stewart Lines – to take seventh.

After his collision with Cartwright, Mason lost some ground and dropped further back still with a lurid slide across the grass at Old Hall after the restart. He recovered to eighth by the end, ahead of Wilmot and Morris. Mason was later excluded from the results following an investigation of his accident with Cartwright.

Caygill placed 10th, ahead of Fairbrother, Barley and Selway, with Dehadray putting his earlier problem behind him to take 14th. House joined Cartwright and Lines in retirement through accident damage – Phil went off on the final lap while trying to join the Wyhinny/Depper fight for third. “I smelt the chance of a podium finish and then locked up the rears and went off,” he said.


6 MAY 2013


The AWM Motorsport/Warranty Direct team enjoyed a brilliant day in the sunshine at Rockingham, Aaron Mason and his Scirocco winning the first of the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup events and his team-mate Joe Fulbrook taking the honours in the second at the wheel of his newly built Golf GTI. It was a milestone day for Fulbrook in more ways than one: it was the first time the former champion had raced anything other than the Bora in which he debuted in the championship in 2005, his win was a record-equalling career 14th, was his first at Rockingham, and it also puts him into a slender overall championship lead.

The second victory of the season for Mason and his new-for-2013 Scirocco came from pole position, the Doncaster driver making an impeccable getaway to lead into Turn 1 and make clear his intentions. Aaron’s plan had been to blast away and establish an early, unapproachable lead; it didn’t work out quite that way, however, and he had to battle every inch of the race’s 26 miles to ensure that he reached the chequered flag ahead.

Once the dust of the opening lap had settled, Mason’s biggest concern was the Scirocco of former double champion Philip House, up to second from fifth on the grid. “I got a great start,” said Yorkshireman Phil. “I wanted to make sure that I split up Mason and Fulbrook so they couldn’t tow each other around.”

House and Martin Depper (KPM Scirocco) passed Fulbrook more or less simultaneously through Yentwood/Chapman Curve. “I made a decent start and was following Joe,” said Depper, “and then I think he missed a gear and I was able to slot in underneath. Then I looked across and saw Philip coming past me – he had a cracking start. It was an awesome first lap.”

Worse was to come for Fulbrook at the next turn, Pif-Paf, where his Golf GTI found itself bumped down several places further after a hit from reigning champion James Walker’s Golf. “I got sent a long way off track,” said Joe, whose demotion to 16th set the scene for a dramatic fight back.

The Scirocco trio of Mason, House and Depper were locked in combat to the flag but were too evenly matched to battle closely, finishing in that order separated by 3.5s. “It was a good race,” said victor Mason, “but the car felt slow to me; there didn’t seem to be much grip out there. The guys behind me were pushing hard and banging in some quick laps. It was a good clean race and I played my Joker card, so it’s all good.”

Didge Dziurzynski was another fast-starter, the Manchester-based Golf Mk IV racer slotting into fifth on the opening lap, from 12th on the grid. He improved to fourth with a pass on David Sutton’s Golf on lap three but lacked the legs to take the battle to the leading trio and was fourth at the line.

Fulbrook’s early dramas certainly fired him up; within two laps his new Golf, which was making its race debut, had claimed back six places to 10th, and by lap six Joe was up to seventh and right on the tail of the Golf of 17-year-old Henry Gilbert. A superb battle ensued between them, and the Scirocco of fifth-placed Stewart Lines. Fulbrook lifted sixth from Gilbert at Kirby on lap seven only to be repassed, but he managed to make a move stick into Deene the next time around.

An ambitious lunge around the outside of Lines into Deene on lap nine did not pay off for Fulbrook but he secured fifth place with a dive down Lines’s inside at Tarzan on the next lap. Joe set a new lap record during his charge through the field.

Lines lost sixth to Gilbert on the penultimate lap. “I had a great battle with Joe and Henry,” said Stewart, “and I really enjoyed it, even if they did beat me…” It was Henry’s best-yet finish in the Volkswagen Racing Cup.

Tom Barley scored his best result of the season with eighth in his Team HARD Golf, three seconds clear of his team-mate Andy Wilmot. Oulton podium man Jim Cartwright was 10th in the Coverworld Golf, up from 16th on the grid after suffering handling issues in qualifying.

Ross Wylie, who arrived at Rockingham fresh from an impressive 10th-place finish on Saturday at Hockenheim on his debut in Germany’s Scirocco R-Cup, took 11th in his SlideSports Scirocco, complaining of balance issues and the success balance entailed by his victory at Oulton Park last month.

David Sutton battled a mysterious loss of power to bring his Team HARD Golf home 12th ahead of Kieran Griffin’s JWB Scirocco, Simon Tomlinson’s Golf and the Golf GTI of racing debutant Graham Perkins. Philip Morris’s KPM Golf was 16th, just ahead of another newly-built car, the Scirocco of Robin Riley.

There were several retirements in the 27-car field, including the Golfs of James Walker (brakes) and Paul Wyhinny (turbo). Chris Levett’s run of bad luck continued with his JWB Scirocco suffering gearbox issues.

His sixth place in race one meant Henry Gilbert started a VW Cup race from pole position for the first time, and the Leicestershire lad converted his advantage into an early lead thanks to a very good start. He ran wide into the Tarzan hairpin, however, and was pushed back to third by Fulbrook – who had started alongside – and Mason, up from sixth on the grid.

Among those Mason had passed on his way up to second was Didge Dziurzynski, and it spurred him and his Mk IV Golf into action; Didge set fastest lap of the race in his pursuit and then passed Mason on the inside of the Deene hairpin on lap three. Aaron got him back but, next time around, Dziurzynski repeated his earlier Deene manoeuvre and managed to make it stick this time.

Didge kept a watching brief on Fulbrook but was unable to attack for the lead. Instead he found himself under renewed pressure from Mason, who battled past up Dziurzynski’s inside into Tarzan on lap seven. All this squabbling allowed Fulbrook to extend his lead to nearly two seconds, which was just as well as a gearbox glitch was beginning to hamper his performance.

On lap eight, Dziurzynski managed to repass Mason but Aaron’s bid to respond ended in contact at Brook, with Didge nerfed off the track and on to the grass. By the time he regained the tarmac, Dziurzynski was down in 11th. The incident cost Mason time also; he slipped to third as Lines and his KPM Scirocco took advantage of the fracas to nip through.

Lines defended his second place from Mason with vigour to the end of the race, and had a sniff of victory as Fulbrook started to struggle even more with his gearbox. At the line, Joe was less than a second ahead and was very relieved: “I had but of an issue to contend with towards the end,” said Fulbrook, “and lost all the time I had gained. But I knew that if I could just keep it flat out around the banking then I should be all right. The new Golf has been great right out of the box – I don’t think I’ll be going back to the Bora…”

Lines was delighted with second (a personal best) and also contrite after a first-corner misunderstanding with his team-mate Depper which sent Martin to the pits for bodywork attention and a lonely 23rd-place finish three laps in arrears. “We came together in the first bend,” said Stewart. “It was unfortunate but I think he’ll be OK about it once he calms down. I had to work hard for that result: I was watching Aaron and Didge scrapping and I knew they were going to come together. When they did I took my chance.”

Wilmot drove a good race, making up several spots on the opening lap and then passing Gilbert for fifth on lap two. That became a personal-best fourth for Andy when Dziurzynski left the track.

House took fifth and Gilbert was once again sixth, getting the better of a battle with Wylie. Chris Levett at last broke his duck for the season with a great charge through from the back of the grid to eighth in the JWB Scirocco, with Walker performing similar feats to secure ninth.

Tom Barley was 10th on the road but later excluded from the results after his Golf was found underweight. That promoted Dziurzynski to 10th ahead of father-and-son racers Paul and Peter Wyhinny, both of whom were going much better following mechanical dramas in race one.

Simon Tomlinson claimed his best of the season so far with 13th and novice Perkins went one better with 14th, just ahead of David Fairbrother’s Pall-Ex Scirocco, another of the recovering first-race casualties.


26 MAY 2013


Aaron Mason raced into the record books and the lead of the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup, winning both rounds of the championship on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. The Doncaster driver claimed a narrow victory over Phil House in race one and in the second encounter, screened live on Motors TV, led home KPM Scirocco men Stewart Lines and Martin Depper. Mason’s victory haul for the AWM/Warranty Direct team brings his tally of wins in the six-race-old season to four, and his career total to 15, making him now the most successful Volkswagen Racing Cup competitor in the championship’s 14-season history. His points advantage over erstwhile series leader Joe Fulbrook is however a slender two points, with Ross Wylie maintaining a solid third overall.

Pole position proved something of a double-edged sword for Philip House, whose Ripley Caravan Park-backed PH Motorsport Scirocco had set a blistering qualifying pace to claim grid top spot by very nearly a quarter-second margin. What Philip hadn’t bargained for was that his windscreen visor would obstruct his view of the start lights gantry. “My visor strip was just too low, and I was crouching down to try to get a view,” said Phil. “Then, when the lights went out I pulled a load of wheelspin and that was my chance gone.”

Mason took full advantage from second on the grid to outdrag House into Copse Corner. “There was no point in trying to hold on to lead into first corner because I would just have gone on to the ‘marbles’,” added House, “so I decided to slot into second and see what happened.”

Wylie’s SlideSports car and Depper’s KPM machine followed Mason and House to make it a Scirocco 1-2-3-4, and the first half of the race provided a great tactical battle between them, Mason continuing to lead the train but unable to shake his pursuers. Wylie got the better of a challenge from Depper at the end of the second lap, Martin leading for the length of the pits straight before his Scottish rival reasserted himself.

Depper then ran wide at Luffield and lost ground to the leading trio and fell within range of his team-mate Stewart Lines and the Golfs of 17-year-old Henry Gilbert and Fulbrook.

Up front, Mason had pulled a narrow lead over House. Phil made a do-or-die effort on the seventh lap to narrow the gap further, smashing the circuit lap record in the process, but Aaaron replied with two super-quick laps himself to maintain the gap at the finish line by a second.

“To be fair, Phil was quicker than me on certain sections of the track,” said Mason, “and he came close at the end but I was able to build the gap again. My new Scirocco is good and getting better but we still haven’t made the most if it. There’s more to come…”

Mason had been reported to have exceeded the limits of the track during the race but stewards studied his on-board video evidence and ruled him innocent of the charge.

“I’m quite disappointed with second,” said House after collecting his second podium of the season, “because I had great race pace. I was catching Aaron and tried to take him by surprise a couple of times, but it didn’t come off.”

Wylie was pleased with third, having faded with mechanical problems towards the end. “I’m quite happy with that,” said Ross. “I was struggling a little bit half way through the race – I think it was a fuel pump issue or something – but SlideSports did a great job to get me on to the podium.”

The battle for fourth place turned out to be the highlight of the race between Depper, Lines, Gilbert and Fulbrook – at one stage they were three abreast. “Three into one doesn’t go,” said Martin, “and I was in the middle, so I backed out of that argument…”

Gilbert’s Mk VI Golf held fourth into the penultimate lap but Fulbrook got the drop on his less experienced rival to snatch the position. “I saw an opportunity and made the move,” said Joe, “even though I was struggling for pace a bit. It was a great battle.” Depper demoted Gilbert to sixth on the final lap, Martin struggling with a tyre pressure imbalance which was costing him cornering speed. Lines collected a five-second penalty for a track limits transgression and was classified seventh.

Chris Levett equalled his Rockingham result with eighth place in the JWB Motorsport Scirocco, despite a loose steering wheel and dashboard, leading home Josh Caygill’s AWM Golf and Peter Wyhinny’s SEAT in 10th.

Andy Wilmot was the leading Team HARD Golf driver in 11th, two places ahead of his team-mate Tom Barley, with Jack Walker-Tulley a creditable 12th in his first race of the year, having taken over the Golf raced thus far this season by the reigning champion, his cousin James Walker.

Didge Dziurzynski was a disappointed 14th, his Mk IV Golf seeming to have lost most of its Rockingham pace, and David Fairbrother completed the top 15 in his Pall-Ex Scirocco; Fairbrother started ninth and held a top-eight position early on before spinning. Low fuel cost Robin Riley a couple of positions on the final lap, the Scirocco man coming home 19th behind the cars of Alex Dziurzynski, Kieran Griffin and Simon Tomlinson. The top 20 was completed by KPM’s Philip Morris.

Tony Gilham’s Team HARD men Dominic Pettit and David Sutton suffered mechanical problems – Pettit driving the car that Gilham had been due to race. They were joined in retirement by Tony Harberman, who beached his Beetle in a gravel trap on lap seven. Ash Shuttlewood made a successful championship debut in his Team HARD Golf, completing the finishing order in 25th.

Henry Gilbert started race two from the pole by dint of his sixth-place finish in race one, and there were no mistakes off the line from the Leicestershire lad, Henry beating off a determined challenge from Depper to wrest the lead into Copse. But Gilbert found his Golf’s handling nowhere near as good as it had been in race one, and when Depper dived for the inside line into Stowe, he had to give best to the Scirocco man.

There was plenty of opening lap drama behind as Mason started his charge from sixth on the grid. Aaron’s Scirocco made contact with House’s car, sending Phil well off track in the process, and Wylie, after a strong start, started to drop back with a mystery loss of bottom-end power.

Depper crossed the line after one lap of frantic action with a second in hand over Lines, who had pushed Gilbert back to third, with Mason fourth ahead of Wylie and a remarkably fast-starting Walker-Tulley, with Levett next up from a struggling-for-power Fulbrook.

Lap three was the clincher for Mason: having passed Gilbert for third through the complex he drove around the outside of Lines at Stowe and then ran side by side with Depper from Abbey through to Village Corner before Martin was forced to concede the lead to him. Lines took advantage also, passing his team-mate for second before the lap’s end.

Lines, enjoying his best-ever run in the championship, pushed Mason hard all the way to the chequered flag but was unable to get close enough to attempt a pass; they were separated by a bare second at the end. “It hasn’t been the best weekend for me up to now, so second is a great result,” said Stewart. “I should have won, really, because I had the legs on Aaron but he just outmanoeuvred me and I didn’t have enough to finish him off.”

Said Mason: “The boys did another great job for me; once again the Scirocco has got faster as the weekend has gone on. I was a bit worried about half-way through that race – it cut out a couple of times, not sure if it was because of a dodgy throttle pedal or fuel surge, but I was just grateful to be able to hang on to the end.”

Depper had to content himself with third place, six-tenths adrift of his team-mate. “The guys just got the better of me there… I was in the lead and thought I could hold them but they had some great pace.”

House tried to come back at Mason on the second lap after their earlier brush and bumped the rear of Aaron’s car; Phil’s Scirocco did not handle as well thereafter and fourth place was the best he could manage. Fulbrook came back from his dire opening lap to pass Walker-Tulley, Levett and Gilbert to salvage fifth.

Sixth place was Levett’s best result of the season, with Gilbert a disappointed seventh and Walker-Tulley a delighted eighth; “I was really hooked up in that race, and I’m really pleased,” said the Nottinghamshire youngster.

Wylie’s power problems saw him slip to ninth by the end, with Wilmot securing 10th to bolster his championship top-seven placing. Sutton and Pettit started from the back of the grid after their first-race retirements and did well to make it into the top 12. “My car was great for two laps,” said Sutton, “but then I lost most of the power and couldn’t make up much more ground.”

Caygill, Wyhinny and Griffin completed the top 15, ahead of the Dziurzynski brothers Didge and Alex, Fairbrother, Riley and Thompson. Power steering failure put paid to Harberman’s race while Barley was forced to pull off after suffering tyre damage in an opening lap fracas.


16 JUNE 2013


Ross Wylie more than regained his form in the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup at Snetterton, claiming a win and a second place at the wheel of his SlideSports Scirocco. In fact, the Scotsman was unlucky not to have taken two victories – a last-corner fuel crisis was the only thing stopping him. Former double champion Phil House was the other Snetterton victor, taking his first win of the season in his PH Motorsport Scirocco. Championship leader Aaron Mason bounced back from a qualifying crash to net a brace of podium results and maintain his points advantage, with David Sutton the day’s other podium finisher.

After a dominant performance in qualifying, in which Wylie secured pole position by a half-second margin, the 21-year-old Dumfries driver, who was playing his points-doubling Joker card, proceeded to show a clean pair of wheels in the first Snetterton race. By the end of the opening lap the SlideSports Scirocco was half a second clear of his only real challenger, House in the PH Motorsport Scirocco.

The front-row pair had made a pre-race pact to work together to build an early lead and then dispute the victory between themselves in the closing stages, and in the final three laps the gloves came off as House tried his utmost to close on to Wylie’s tail. “We discussed things beforehand and agreed to try to get a nice gap and then play later on,” said Philip. “I was waiting until the end because I could see where he was stronger than me, mostly on the straights, whereas I seemed to have the legs on him on the infield. I was pushing hard where I could.”

Cruelly for Ross, his bid to secure a second win of the season came unstuck within sight of the chequered flag. As he turned into the Murrays chicane his Scirocco spluttered and coughed as his fuel ran low… It was enough of an opening for House to nip through on his inside to claim his first win since his last championship-winning season in 2005.

A deflated Wylie said from the second step of the podium: “I don’t really know what the problem was. It was the same as at Silverstone, a sudden loss of power at the last corner…” Added House: “I feel so sorry for Ross. I have been in that situation before myself and there’s nothing worse.”

Behind the leaders the battle for third was being fought just as keenly between Golf-driving youngsters Jack Walker-Tulley and Henry Gilbert. Jack started fifth, a place behind Henry, after his best-yet qualifying performance and stole the advantage on the opening lap. Gilbert regained third position two laps later and they duelled for a further five laps before Aaron Mason joined the party in his Scirocco.

Mason had started 16th after a high-speed shunt in qualifying, his AWM Motorsport/Warranty Direct team working long into the night to repair the frontal damage to his Scirocco. Despite understeer, Mason gained seven places on the opening lap and was up to fifth by lap three. He latched on to Walker-Tulley’s tail on lap seven and secured fourth from him next time around.

A better exit from Murrays on lap eight gave Mason a slingshot down the Senna straight and the opportunity to drive around the outside of Gilbert at Riches to nab third from the 17-year-old. “My qualifying accident was a big impact,” said Aaron, “so I was lucky to be on the grid at all, and all credit to the team for the hard work they put in to get me there. The car felt good apart from a bit of understeer, and I had to drive around that a bit.”

Although he missed out on his first VW Cup podium, Gilbert took a personal best with fourth and 20-year-old Walker-Tulley a deserved best-yet finish in fifth.

Martin Depper was another to fall foul of a slippery track in qualifying and went off at Riches, like Mason, albeit with less damage to his KPM Scirocco. Martin started 15th and did well to battle through to sixth by the chequered flag to secure pole position for race two.

David Sutton got the better of a battle for seventh with Joe Fulbrook’s Warranty Direct Golf, Fulbrook surviving a hefty impact from Sutton’s Team HARD Golf when the latter locked up and slid into him, with Team HARD men Andy Wilmot and Tom Barley competing the top 10, the latter happy just to finish after an early brush with another car which ripped the front bumper from his Golf.

Paul Wyhinny deputised successfully for the father, Peter, in the SEAT Leon to take 11th, just ahead of Josh Caygill, who lost four places as he limped around the last lap-and-a-half with a severe fuel leak. Craig Milner, Graham Perkins and Kieran Griffin completed the top 15.

There were dramas for several, including David Fairbrother in the Pall-Ex Scirocco, who after a great start spun at the Montreal hairpin on the first lap before battling back to 18th; Paul Dehadray, whose progress to 22nd was delayed by a pit visit after a puncture; and for championship debutant Sam Morgan, just 16, who was also forced into the pits when his Team HARD Golf suffered an electronics glitch. Sam was last man home in 23rd. Poor Stewart Lines couldn’t start his KPM Scirocco pre-race and joined in half a lap late; 21st was a poor reward after a strong qualifying performance netted him what should have been third on the grid.

If luck was unkind to Wylie in race one, balance was restored in the second Snetterton race, which Ross won by the narrowest of margins from Mason thanks to Aaron striking trouble at the very same corner that had troubled Wylie earlier.

It was Depper who led initially from the pole, with Wylie making a rocketship start from fifth on the grid to slot into second ahead of Mason and Sutton, another fast starter from P7. Ross found his way into the lead past Depper into Riches at the start of lap three, and unfortunately Martin’s race did not last much longer – in his pursuit of the new leader Depper clipped a marker post which holed his radiator and leaked water on to his tyres, causing a spin at Oggies.

Depper’s demise promoted Mason to second and, on new tyres and with his Scirocco’s handling much improved, Aaron set about the leader. He passed Wylie through Coram on lap four and for two laps looked set fair for his fifth race victory of the season.

But just as Wylie had struck trouble at Murrays in race one, so did Mason: on the sixth lap he lost control in the tight left-hander, spun 180 degrees and allowed Wylie back into the lead. Worse was to follow: as he regained the circuit, Mason came back on track in front of an unsighted Henry Gilbert, who ploughed into the back of the Scirocco, badly damaging his Golf.

Mason continued more or less unhindered, managing to regain second along the Senna straight from Sutton on lap eight. Aaron closed on to Wylie’s tail at the end but Ross was able to cling on in front to win by just 0.7s.

“That makes up for this morning,” said Wylie. “I’m absolutely delighted with that; I got a good start, which was important, and made it through to second and built on that. It was a bit unfortunate for Aaron, because I don’t think I had the pace to live with him otherwise.”

“I just lost it in the corner,” said Mason of his spin. “We changed the car from the first race and I had a lot more grip; as the tyre pressures came up during the race it perhaps caught me out a bit. I flat-spotted my tyres in the spin, so I’m pleased just to have finished really.”

David Sutton was over the moon with third, his maiden podium and the first this season for Team HARD. “After the season I’ve had so far, this is a brilliant result,” said the Rotherham racer, who after his excellent start had found a way past Gilbert on the fourth lap. David also had to stave off a charging Stewart Lines, whose progress from the back of the grid was mercurial: he was 11th by the end of the first lap, seventh by lap three and fourth behind Sutton with four laps to go. It wasn’t quite enough: “One more lap and I would have had him,” said Stewart.

Phil House was more than content with a fifth-place finish to accompany his earlier victory, with Fulbrook battling gear selection issues to secure sixth. Caygill scored his best result of the season so far with seventh, ahead of two more drivers scoring personal bests, Griffin and Wyhinny.

Barley placed 10th once again, with Robin Riley another to score his best result of 2013 with 11th ahead of Milner, Perkins and Simon Tomlinson. Young Sam Morgan suffered no car problems in this race and was rewarded with a solid 15th place. There was heartbreak for Wilmot, who looked set to follow his team-mate Sutton on to the podium but whose fourth place evaporated with four laps to run with a gear selection issue. He was joined in retirement after just a lap by front-row starter Walker-Tulley.

With eight rounds run and six remaining, the championship is finely poised with just 22 points separating the top three, Mason, Wylie and Fulbrook, and with House, who has yet to play his joker, close behind in fourth.


13 JULY 2013


KPM team-mates Martin Depper and Stewart Lines took a stranglehold on the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup at Spa-Francorchamps , the Scirocco racers finishing 1-2 in both Belgian races. Depper won the first by a whisker – his first victory of the season – and Lines triumphed in the second to score his maiden win in the series. Championship leader Aaron Mason led the opener but had to settle for third at the flag, while in race two, 17-year-old Henry Gilbert mixed it with the KPM boys to secure his first VW Cup podium finish. Mason took full advantage of Snetterton winner Ross Wylie’s absence – he was racing in Germany in the Scirocco R Cup – to increase his championship lead to 40 points with four races remaining.

A nail-biting battle for victory between the Sciroccos of Stewart Lines, Martin Depper and Aaron Mason had the Spa crowds on tenterhooks right to the fall of the chequered flag. Each took a turn in the lead – Lines heading the trio for the majority of the tussle – but it was Depper who took the flag by a whisker to record his and the KPM team’s first victory of the season.

Pole man Lines was beaten way from the grid and into the La Source hairpin by the fast-starting Team HARD Golf of Joker player Tom Barley, but Lines slipstreamed him through Eau Rouge to secure the lead up the Kemmel straight. Barley made hay while he could, holding on to second despite strong pressure from Depper and Mason – up from sixth on the grid – until lap two, when the faster Sciroccos swept past.

Lines was by now 2.2s ahead of his pursuers, but that gap was dramatically narrowed as Depper and Mason swapped places and used each other’s slipstreams to reel the leader in. They caught him on the seventh of the nine laps, Lines and Depper crossing the start/finish line as one and with Mason hot on their heels.

The race fell into Mason’s lap – and out of it again – on the penultimate lap. At the Double Gauche, Depper’s front end made slight contact with Lines’s rear and both the KPM men ran wide, allowing Mason to sneak through and into the lead. Then, at the Bus Stop chicane, Aaron missed his braking point and locked up, gifting top spot to Lines once again.

“I led for a long time,” said Lines, “but then perhaps I got complacent. Martin and Aaron towed each other up to me and then we started battling; then Martin hit me and we both went off the track. Aaron came through but then made a mistake, so I’m back in the lead going into the final lap. But then Martin got me up the hill after Eau Rouge.”

Lines staged a last-gasp effort at the final corner to draw alongside his team-mate but was beaten to the line by a tenth of a second.

Said Depper: “My first win of the year has been a bit of a long time coming. It was a great race with Stewart and Aaron: we were nose to tail and racing fairly all the way through; it was fantastic.” Of his penultimate-lap incident with Lines, he added: “I went through the double left-hander with Stewart right in front of me; I lifted there in practice and spun, so I thought this time I wouldn’t lift – but Stewart did lift, and I gave him a friendly tap up the rear.”

Mason reckoned that a win would have eluded him even had he not erred at the chicane: “I just missed my braking point and locked up, so Martin and Stewart got by. But to be fair, I think they would have caught me anyway because they were so much faster down the straights. I’m just glad to have finished the race and third is a bonus.”

Barley was delighted with fourth, his best result of the season: “I was just so pleased to lead the race, even if only briefly,” he said. His Team HARD team-mate David Sutton battled a broken clutch for the duration of the race, and held fifth all the way through until a few feet from the line, where he was pipped by the JWB Scirocco of Nick Beaumont. “I decided that sixth place – and pole position for the next race – was better than finishing fifth, so I slowed down a bit,” said David.

Beaumont’s charge from 18th on the grid to fifth – despite a time-consuming spin – was a highlight of the race. Peter Wyhinny had looked set for sixth place and the reverse-grid race two pole until the final lap, when he was caught and passed by Beaumont.

Didge Dziurzynski revelled in his first outing at Spa, hauling his venerable Mk II Golf up from 22nd on the grid to eighth at the flag, just behind Wyhinny. Josh Caygill led home his AWM/Warranty Direct team-mate Joe Fulbrook for ninth, the latter’s Golf suffering gearbox and clutch issues.

A opening-lap spin at the top of Eau Rouge dropped Henry Gilbert to 20th place, and he drove brilliantly to claw his way back to eighth for the penultimate lap; alas a deflating rear tyre cost him three places by the time he reached the line. Kieran Griffin completed the top 12 for JWB Motorsport.

Alex Dziurzynski’s Corrado came home 13th, ahead of Philip Morris and his KPM Golf, with Simon Andrews collecting 15th place on his return to racing in the AWM/Warranty Direct Golf, just ahead of championship newcomer Kieran Gallagher’s Team HARD Golf. Philip House had to settle for 17th after losing time in the pits following a recurrence of his qualifying gear linkage issues. Simon Tomlinson, Robin Riley and Paul Dehadray completed the top 20.

David Sutton made a good start from the pole but, with turbo boost problems having manifested themselves as early as the warm-up lap, he did well to cling on in front of a charging Mason as far as the top of Eau Rouge. Mason carried the baton for only half a lap, however, due to a lurid spin: “There was no grip and I just lost the back end,” said Aaron. “I went right around twice, fortunately without hitting anything. Henry Gilbert did well to avoid hitting me; I was very lucky.” Mason completed the opening lap 17th.

This drama opened the way for Lines and Depper to take command, but the team-mates did not have everything their own way as Gilbert soon joined the battle and forced his way between them on the fourth lap. This allowed Depper to make a small break but, when Lines regained second from Gilbert three laps later, Martin’s advantage was quickly whittled away once more.

Stewart went ahead three laps from the end but Martin clung to his tail, launching a do-or-die effort into the Bus Stop chicane on the final lap. “I was ahead of Martin coming into the final bend,” said Lines, “and he was right up my exhaust pipe. I moved over in case he wasn’t going to be able to stop in time, he pulled alongside and then outbraked himself.” Lines reached the flag 1.1s ahead of Depper to claim his maiden APR Volkswagen Racing Cup victory. “We had a great race and Henry drove really well – he really put us under pressure,” added Lines.

Gilbert was delighted with his storming run from 11th on the grid to third place and his maiden podium: “I’ve been trying for this for ages. The main thing now that I want to do is to thank my mum and dad, because we are running the Golf as a family team now and it’s all the more of an achievement because of that. I really enjoyed the race, although it was harder and a lot hotter out there.”

Sutton cured his turbo issue by switching his engine off and then on again, and did well to battle against a subsequent intermittent misfire to battle back from sixth to fourth, passing both Caygill and Wyhinny by lap three. Sutton was followed home by House, whose Scirocco was transformed after his gear selection problems were cured. Phil made up nine places on the opening lap: “It always seems easier coming from the back!” he said.

Caygill stayed ahead of his recovering team-mate Mason to secure sixth – his best finish to date – with Fulbrook powering to eighth ahead of Griffin and Alex Dziurzynski’s Corrado. Gallagher capped an impressive debut with 11th and Wyhinny limped in 12th after a last-lap misunderstanding with the slowing Golf of Didge Dziurzynski.

Simon Tomlinson took 13th in his Golf, ahead of Robin Riley’s Scirocco, Simon Andrews, the Beetle of Tony Harberman and Paul Dehadray’s Golf. Philip Morris and Sam Morgan came together on the opening lap, Morgan halted by the contact while Morris continued to 18th. Mark Clynes completed the finishers in 19th.


11 AUGUST 2013


Nick Beaumont converted his pole position to a race victory in the first of the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup events on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit after a titanic battle with championship leader Aaron Mason. The path to delivering the JWB Motorsport team’s maiden win was made all the trickier by a poor start from Beaumont; Phil House set the pace early on, pursued by Ross Wylie and Mason.

David Sutton made the best getaway, the Team HARD Golf GTI driver leading into Paddock Hill Bend and as far as Sheene Corner, where he spun into the barriers. “The car dropped into ‘limp mode’ and spat me off the track,” said a disappointed Sutton, who was playing his points-doubling Joker card after securing second on the grid. The first lap was completed with House heading the order from Wylie, Mason and Beaumont, with Henry Gilbert holding off Joe Fulbrook for fifth.

Wylie made a bid for the lead through Paddock Hill Bend at the start of the third lap but was repulsed by House and delayed sufficiently for Mason to pounce on him into the Druids hairpin, pushing the Scot back to third. Worse lay in wait for the SlideSports Scirocco driver at the ultra-fast Hawthorns right-hander, where Ross lost his brakes. “The pedal went straight to the floor and didn’t come back,” said Wylie, who went off and into the barriers, fortunately without causing serious damage.

Mason seized his chance for glory through Clearways and Clark Curve at the end of the third lap, squeezing down the inside of House’s PH Motorsport Scirocco with a brave and successful manoeuvre. Beaumont pushed House back to third next time around through Surtees, and thereafter Phil fell back with overheating problems causing a loss of power.

With Mason carrying 72kg of success ballast and Beaumont only 8kg, the new leader’s hopes of maintaining his advantage were always slim. Nick quickly closed the gap and, on the seventh lap, dived through on the inside into Surtees. Side-by-side Beaumont and Mason ran for half a lap, until Aaron managed to nose back in front at Hawthorns. This battling allowed the third and fourth-placed cars of Stewart Lines and championship newcomer Chris Panayiotou to join the bunfight.

Surtees corner on the 10th lap settled the matter in Beaumont’s favour, the JWB man taking the lead in decisive fashion and romping away as Mason was left to defend second from the others. At the line Nick was 1.2 clear of Aaron.

“I screwed up the start,” said Beaumont on the podium. “Too many revs, the clutch got hot and I lost a lot of places. Then I got back to second and had a great fight with Aaron – we were side-by-side for about three-quarters of a lap, and I knew because it was Aaron that he wasn’t going to take me off. I’m really pleased for the team and delighted to prove what a good car the JWB Scirocco is.”

Added Mason: “I hadn’t planned to go for it in this race but after the first three corners I found myself in a decent position, so I thought ‘why not?’ The car was good for the first three or four laps and then the extra weight killed it, with my tyres going off a lot quicker than anyone else’s. Nick and I were getting backed up into the pack behind so I let him go through.”

KPM team-mates Lines and Panayiotou battled to the line, swapping places and paintwork on each of the final four laps. Stewart and his Sirocco were holding the parcel when the music stopped, Lines collecting his fifth podium of the season. Ex-Clio and Mini racer Panayiotou was delighted with his maiden VW Cup race performance in the KPM Mk VI Golf GTI: “Given that I had very little experience of the car – I just jumped in it and raced, really – I’m very pleased. Stewart is a great guy to race against and we had a good battle.”

Gilbert and Martin Depper duelled over fifth for many laps, the 17-year-old Golf driver surviving a last lap brush with Depper’s Scirocco which detached the latter’s rear bumper. They finished fifth and sixth, with House a disappointed and down-on-power seventh.

Josh Caygill overcame his AWM/Warranty Direct running mate Joe Fulbrook for eighth on the drama-filled last lap, with prospective BTCC racer Kieran Gallagher 10th and the leading Team HARD finisher after Tom Barley was docked five seconds for exceeding the track limits at Paddock Hill Bend. Kieran Gallagher capped a good day for JWB with 11th.

Barley’s penalty dropped him to 13th, just behind Peter Wyhinny’s SEAT, with whom ironically Tom had come together at Druids earlier in the race. Jack Walker-Tulley and championship returnee Richard Morgan completed the top 15, ahead of Philip Morris, David Fairbrother, Sam Morgan, Simon Andrews and Simon Tomlinson. Rookie racer Richard Levett, brother of championship regular Chris, claimed a creditable 23rd in his JWB Golf, behind Mark Clynes and Paul Dehadray and just ahead of the final finisher, the down-on-power Caddy van of David Garnsworthy. Graham Perkins joined Sutton and Wylie in retirement, spinning his Golf into the Paddock Hill Bend gravel on lap two.

A breathtaking photo-finish second race at Brands Hatch brought a deserved victory for KPM's Martin Depper, with Aaron Mason bagging another second-place finish to all but seal his bid for the championship title. Mason now enjoys a 64-point lead over his closest rival and to guarantee the crown he needs only a top-seven finish in one of the two Donington Park races.

Sixth place in race one handed Depper pole position on the semi-reversed grid for race two, and the Birmingham driver did not waste the opportunity, haring into the lead at Paddock Hill Bend ahead of Henry Gilbert, with whom he shared the front row, Chris Panayiotou and Aaron Mason, who made a swift getaway from P5.

Just as determined as he had been in race one, Mason was soon on the move, diving inside Panayiotou at Surtees for third. His hopes of progressing further took a knock into Paddock next time around however; he ran wide and put two wheels off the track and Panayiotou was able to repass.

Up front, Depper was meanwhile pulling a gap on Gilbert which, at its sixth-lap zenith, amounted to 1.6 seconds. Alas for Henry, his already unbalanced Golf then dropped a wheel in the dirt at Dingle Dell and he ran well off track, rejoining fifth with a broken differential.

Gilbert’s drama was not good news for the leader, either, for it promoted Mason (who had regained third from Panayiotou on lap three) to second and the AWM man was intent on narrowing Depper’s advantage. Towing Stewart Lines and Panayiotou in his wake, Mason entered the final lap right on the KPM driver’s tail. An error in the last couple of corners could have handed victory to any of his pursuers, but none came and Martin’s Scirocco crossed the line a nose ahead of Mason, with Lines third ahead of Panayiotou. Less than a second covered all four.

Said Depper: “The boys pushed me really hard at the end there. I made a break early on but they managed to catch me up and by that time my rear left tyre had gone off a bit, so I was relieved to see the chequered flag.”

“I thought I might just be able to pip Martin at the end there but it wasn’t to be,” said Mason. “This weekend has taken a lot of pressure off me for the championship, so I’m really pleased with my results and looking forward to going on to Donington Park and hopefully wrapping things up there.”

Gilbert did well to bring his hobbled Golf home fifth, well clear of race one victor Nick Beaumont, whose efforts were hampered by a wild second-lap excursion through the Paddock Hill bend gravel trap which cost him five places. Joe Fulbrook and Phil House enjoyed a great scrap for seventh, settled in Joe’s favour only after they ran side by side for three-quarters of the ninth lap.

Ross Wylie, brakes restored, raced from the back of the grid to ninth, with Tom Barley Team HARD’s top man, in 10th, after Sutton’s bad luck again got the better of things and he pulled off two laps from home.

Joker player Kieran Griffin came home 11th with 16-year-old Sam Morgan scoring his best finish so far in 12th, ahead of David Fairbrother, Graham Perkins and Mark Clynes. Simon Andrews was penalised five seconds for exceeding track limits and ended up 16th, just ahead of Philip Morris, whose Golf was tagged from behind into a spin at the first corner; he did well to exit the gravel trap and regain the track, and to haul his way back from dead last to 17th. Paul Dehadray, Simon Tomlinson and Richard Levett completed the running order.

Joining Sutton in retirement with mechanical problems were Richard Morgan, Peter Wyhinny and Kieran Gallagher, with Jack Walker-Tulley sustaining rear suspension damage after a clash of wheels early on. Josh Caygill posted his first retirement of the season when the bonnet of his Golf broke a retaining clip and flew open, smashing his windscreen.



6 OCTOBER 2013


Aaron Mason achieved what he has built towards during five seasons of competition – outright victory in the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup. The 34-year-old Doncaster driver claimed the championship title at Donington Park in the finest possible style, with a second-place finish in the first of the day’s races and an emphatic win, his fifth of the season at the wheel of his AWM/Warranty Direct Racing Scirocco R, in the finale.

Mason’s prize is a racer’s dream – a fully funded outing in the final round of the fabulous Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup at Hockenheim in Germany on 19 October. And Aaron, who began his racing career in the VW Cup in 2009, and who has become the most successful driver in the history of the series with 16 race victories, issued a warning to his rivals: “I’ll be back next year to defend my title.”

He ended his season with 76 more points than his closest rival – team-mate Joe Fulbrook – and with the remarkable record of having only twice failed to make the podium in 14 outings.

“Looking back over my five seasons in the championship, the whole thing has moved on and become a lot more competitive,” said Aaron. “Every year we are all trying twice as hard and bringing developments to the cars: being in the top six is hard and it gets harder every year.

“I think this season has been the hardest of all, but the whole team has done a solid job with the cars – in particular Gary Evans, who is full-time on maintaining them – and we have had our fair share of luck when things have gone a bit bad, like my qualifying accident at Snetterton, which could have written off the weekend for me, but I managed to come back and bag two podiums. We’ve had our fair share of dramas but luckily it hasn’t cost us too much.

“We are going to do another year. This is a great place to race: a well-run championship, and well policed, and the competition is getting better and better so we are able to get some good racing out there. We are still learning with the Scirocco and I’m sure we will move forward. We have a new car underway, and will start again with it and see if we can improve.”

Mason secured the title in Round 13 with second place. He was beaten to the chequered flag by just eight-tenths of a second by Ross Wylie in an accident-strewn event. Mason’s team-mate, former champion Joe Fulbrook, returned to form to claim third place.

Though SlideSports Scirocco driver Wylie was pleased to have won the race and Mason delighted to have clinched the title, the race was a disappointment in terms of spectacle. With a record 31-car field taking part, incidents were always going to be a danger and so it proved, with several cars tangling at the first corner.

Three Golfs ended their races with damage from the incident: those of Jack Walker-Tulley, Craig Milner and car-racing debutant Tommy Hill, the former British Superbike champion. Further around the opening lap, Josh Caygill spun and struck the tyre wall at the Old Hairpin.

Wylie had made a perfect start from the pole to establish command of the race, ahead of Fulbrook, Mason and KPM man Martin Depper, with Mason slipping through past Fulbrook at the Melbourne hairpin for second place before the first lap’s end. Alas the race had then to be neutralised for four laps while stricken cars were removed to safety.

The restarted race was also all too brief: shortly after the green flags were waved, a collision between David Fairbrother’s Scirocco and the Golf of Philip Morris brought out the red flags. “I think Phil had gone off and was rejoining the circuit,” said David, “and I had nowhere to go and hit him square on.” Morris was taken to hospital for checks but allowed to return to the track with three cracked ribs. Said Phil: “The car in front of me lost it into the Old Hairpin and I lost the back of my car as well and did a copycat spin; I came to a halt sideways on, floored it and unfortunately I was straight in David’s flightpath… Luckily my car is left-hand-drive and the impact was on the right side.”

The prematurely halted race was thus declared to have finished after just six laps, with Wylie out in front from Mason and Fulbrook. “I’m happy with that,” said Ross. “It wasn’t the greatest of races for the spectators but I made a good start and was well ahead of the problems. A win is a win and I’ll take it…. We’re finally getting some momentum going after a bit of a bad spell mid-season. But this is a learning year for me, and that sort of thing is part of the apprenticeship.”

Added Aaron: “I didn’t get a bad start but I found that on the warm-up lap the rear tyres were taking their time to get up to temperature so I was a bit cautious to begin with until they came up to strength. The car was well balanced, it was just a shame that the safety car came out when it did.”

Chris Levett scored his best finish of the season with fourth in the JWB Scirocco, ahead of Depper and his team-mate Stewart Lines. Phil House made good opening-lap progress to climb from 10th on the grid to seventh, ahead of the Golfs of David Sutton and Tom Barley, the latter having started 16th in his Team HARD GTI.

Kieran Griffin placed 10th for JWB, with Team HARD season debutants Tony Gilham and Darelle Wilson right behind. The top 15 was completed by Richard Morgan, Kieran Gallagher and a down-on-power Henry Gilbert. In his first-ever race, Matthew Wilson stayed out of trouble to finish 24th in the Complete Racing Golf.

Thankfully the season-closing 14th round, which was screened live across Europe on Motors TV, provided a stunning five-car battle for the lead and action up and down the field to make amends for earlier disappointments.

Mason staged an opening lap reminiscent of Ayrton Senna’s 1993 European Grand Prix feat at Donington, battling through from fifth on the grid to third place by the time the pack had reached the Craner Curves, then lifting second from Fulbrook through Schwantz Curve and the lead from Depper on the inside through Coppice. Laden with the maximum success ballast, Mason’s Scirocco did not however have the pace to open a gap.

That was good news for Depper who, after seeing off a challenge from Fulbrook, outbraked Mason into the Melbourne hairpin to retake the lead on the fourth lap. Mason was unable respond immediately because he was too busy fending off Fulbrook, but that pressure eased next time around when Joe ran wide at the Fogarty Esses and slipped back to fifth, behind Depper, Mason, Wylie and Lines.

Mason found a way back into the lead on lap six at McLeans, only to come under attack from Depper once again at the hairpin. Aaron beat off that assault and, though they ran side by side for much of the remaining six laps, managed to stay ahead of the KPM man to win by less than two-tenths. “Martin and I had a great fight,” said Aaron. “When you have respect for each other you are able to race hard and give each other enough room. It was a brilliant race.”

Agreed Depper: “It was a fantastic pleasure to race Aaron and an honour to be beaten by the 2013 champion.”

Lines stayed ahead of Fulbrook for the duration, and managed to pick off Wylie, who by now was suffering gearbox dramas, to claim third place in the race – his seventh podium of the year – and with it championship third. Fulbrook was fourth at the flag to seal the championship runner-up spot. “I am a bit disappointed because we had the pace to win that race,” said Joe, “but third and fourth is a good end to what hasn’t been a great year for us.” Fulbrook was the only driver to score in every race this season.

After eighth place with his new team AWM/Warranty Direct in race one, David Sutton followed up with a fine fifth, just ahead of the youngest driver in the field, 16-year-old Sam Morgan who, after engine problems denied him a clean race-one run, charged through from 27th on the grid to make the top six for the KPM team.

Wylie limped home, stuck in second gear, in seventh place ahead of Barley and another of the back-of-grid starters, Josh Caygill. House completed the top 10, just ahead of Henry Gilbert’s down-on-power Golf and Griffin’s JWB Scirocco.

After his disappointing early exit from race one, Tommy Hill was delighted with 13th at the flag, from 29th on the grid. “I made it to the end, thankfully,” said the bike ace. “The first race was very frustrating because I wanted to get laps under my belt in it so that I could gain the experience to go for it in race two. In the second race I came through quite well, picked off a few people and really enjoyed it. Big thanks to the JWB team – they have been a great bunch to work with.”

Jack Walker-Tulley took 14th place, ahead of Richard Morgan and Simon Andrews, with the top 20 completed by Craig Milner, Robin Riley, Paul Dehadray and Mark Clynes. Matthew Wilson went one better in his second race, securing 23rd.

Unluckiest driver in the field was Simon Tomlinson, who was on course to maintain his 100 per cent scoring record before crashing on the second lap at the Fogarty Esses. Simon’s AWM Golf skidded on debris strewn over the track by an earlier visitor to the gravel trap.




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