2015 SEASON REVIEW: MILLTEK SPORT VW CUP
Aaron Mason doubled up on his tally of titles in the 2015 season – Photo: Jakob Ebrey
The 2015 instalment of the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup proved to be yet another vintage season for the series. Packed grids boasted a tantalising mix of talent and experience, scintillating wheel to wheel action, numerous race winners and a title fight that went down to the wire.
The longstanding championship leader, Slidesports’ David Sutton, arguably had the finest season of his career to date. However, his dominance in the first part of the year was not enough to see him claim top honours.
Four wins, three poles, one fastest lap and numerous swashbuckling drives meant that the Rotherham racer was able to walk away from 2015 with his head held high. A performance that was all the more impressive given his constant plight to acquire sufficient funding. Undoubtedly, Sutton’s lengthy time at the top of the standings belied the travails of his season.
Instead, the championship went the way of 2013 champ Aaron Mason. Whilst his 2015 may not have been spectacular – his only race victory coming in round eleven at Brands Hatch – it was undeniably consistent.
With the exception of a dismal weekend at Spa, he exhibited the metronomic consistency that is a trait of all true champions. This, coupled with his dogged determination to bring his wounded AWM Scirocco home in decent points scoring positions at the Donington Park season finale, is what saw him prise the title from Sutton’s grasp.
Sutton’s season came undone at Donington, so much so that Milltek Sport’s Lucas Orrock snatched second place in the standings and came within touching distance of the title. His calm and considered approach behind the wheel paying dividends; leaving him just four points adrift of Mason.
Mason’s teammate and reigning champion, Joe Fulbrook failed to reach the same heights as 2014, but shone at a slippery Silverstone to take his first wet victory since 2009.
Jack Walker-Tully grabbed the headlines at Rockingham, mastering treacherous conditions to take his maiden win and then proved it was no fluke with a flawless drive to win again the dry.
Of the many drivers to reach the top step of the podium for the first time in the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup in 2015, Joe McMillan was the only man to land a blow on Sutton during the season opening triple header at Oulton Park. An imperious display of inch perfect defensive driving saw him take a magnificent win. The victory set the scene for a competitive year for the Cobra Engineering racer, which included a fantastic drive at Snetterton where he chased home the winner.
That winner was a certain double Volkswagen Racing Cup champion Phil House. Two years of upheaval and adversity were banished away as the PH Motorsport driver was finally crowned victorious once more.
Another maiden win came at the Snetterton race weekend with Team HARD’s Bobby Thompson taking the spoils in emphatic fashion, breaking the lap record on consecutive occasions.
Thompson’s triumph was not to be the only highlight of Team HARD’s season. Howard Fuller took the chequered flag at Spa Francorchamps and Michael Epps staked his claim as a force to be reckoned with in the coming years. He stormed to victory on four separate occasions (once at Spa and Brands Hatch, and twice at Donington), equalling Sutton’s impressive win tally for the year.
The Spa weekend was also a sign of things to come for another of Team HARD’s stars. Sixteen year old Damani Marcano achieved his first top ten finish. A special moment in a year which saw him become the youngest driver to complete a full season in the history of the championship.
Touring car star Tom Onslow-Cole joined the fray at Brands Hatch. He wasted no time in getting to grips with his KPM prepared Milltek Sport Scirocco; taking pole position, as well as a brace of podiums.
2015 defied belief in so many ways: The man seemingly destined for the title, losing out in heart breaking fashion at the final round. The series’ winningest driver struggling to add to his victory tally, yet managing to clinch a second championship. The belated return to form of a series stalwart. No less than nine different race winners and the longest race in the championship’s sixteen year history.
After such an enthralling year, one is left wondering what excitement the 2016 Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup has in store…