FIVE ALIVE FOR THE VW TITLE AT DONINGTON
Five drivers. Two races. One title. Let battle commence! – Photo: jakobebrey.com
For the fourth year in succession the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup will come down to a grand end-of-season shoot-out at Donington Park, with five drivers – two of them former champions – vying for the championship title.
To add spice to proceedings, next Sunday’s final race of the season will be a 40-minute marathon, the longest race ever attempted in the history of the VW Cup, and twice the usual race distance.
Between them, the championship’s famous five have won eight of the 14 races held so far, and they are separated by just 38 points when dropped scores are taken into account, each driver having to shed their single worst result. There are 94 points on the table at Donington and nothing is guaranteed except high excitement…
The contenders are:
Championship leader – David Sutton, 25, from Rotherham
Eighth overall 2013, fifth overall 2014
498 points (lowest score 18): 4 wins, 1x2nd
Success ballast zero
Sutton heads the pack, as he has done all season, with (including dropped scores) a 14-point lead over his nearest rival. A mid-season weight penalty pegged him back following twin wins at Oulton Park and further victories at Rockingham and Silverstone, but he goes to Donington success ballast-free and hoping to maintain the momentum.
Said David: “I would rather the race was this weekend so I could get it over and done with… We shouldn’t be sitting here with a 14-point lead, it should be more like 40 points. But that’s how racing goes. All I can do is to do my best and hopefully we will come out on top. It will be a massive shame for everyone involved if we lose it at the last minute, but I think we’ll be fine. The longer final race shouldn’t be an issue for us; we had a problem at Snetterton with overheating – as soon as I was in a battle with someone the temperature rose and the car slipped into safety mode – but according to the team it’s solved now so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be fighting at the front at Donington.”
2nd – Aaron Mason, 35, from Doncaster
Champion 2013, third overall 2009, 2012
494 points (lowest score 28): 1 win, 2x2nd, 1x3rd
Success ballast zero
Mason clinched the title at Donington two years ago and has an enviable record at the Leicestershire circuit, with seven victories from the 10 VW Cup races held there since 2010… Aaron will also carry no ballast into qualifying and the first Donington race, but with only one win so far this season he is taking nothing for granted:
“There’s no plan… I’ve just got to hope that my car is reliable and see what unfolds. I have a good record at Donington but I’m not sure how things will play out. We have no weight on the car, which is an advantage, but the field is a bit stronger this year – lots of good drivers and good teams – and it’s a question of who can make their car work the best. I’m hoping for a wet race just to mix things up a little.”
3rd – Lucas Orrock, 24, from Sawston
Second overall 2014
476 points (lowest score 24): 1x2nd, 3x3rd
Success ballast 56kg
Orrock snatched championship second at Donington last year, his first season of car racing, and has been at or near the front of the pack throughout the season, although race victory has so far eluded him.
Lucas said: “It’s still wide open. On paper it might look as if it’s between David and Aaron but I think we have a realistic chance of winning. There’s 94 points up for grabs and the championship is still very much within our grasp. I’ll be doing everything I can to come away with the win. I’ll let David and Aaron go off and race and be there to pick up the pieces…”
4th= – Jack Walker-Tully, 22 from Tuxford
Cooke and Mason Scirocco
15th overall 2014
442 points (lowest score 0): 2 wins, 1x2nd, 1x3rd
Success ballast 40kg
Jack drives the Scirocco in which his cousin James Walker clinched championship victory at Donington in 2012, and he scored his maiden race wins in it at Rockingham in May.
Jack said: “I think the championship is just out of reach for me. The suspension problem I had at Brands Hatch was my downfall, but other than that I’ve had a brilliant season and I’m pleased still to be in the running. We’ll be pushing as hard as we can but I think David and Aaron have no ballast and I have 40kg to start with, and that will be a big factor.”
4th= – Joe Fulbrook, 44 from Berkshire
Safe and Sound Golf GTI
Champion 2008, 2009, 2014
442 points (lowest score 0): 1 win, 2x2nd
Success ballast 32kg
The reigning champion may, along with Walker-Tully, have the smallest chance mathematically, but Joe knows how easily titles can slip from a driver’s fingers – in 2007 he had only to finish in the top 15 in the final race to win the title, only for his driveshaft to snap on the startline…
Said Joe: “Winning the championship is not completely out of the question but it will be tough. There’s a 40-minute race and all five of us could struggle to finish that… I’ll be out to try to win the races at Donington, but if I can’t win the championship then hopefully Aaron can and I’ll do whatever I can to help him. It was an exciting finish at Donington last year and hopefully it will be again – anything could happen!”
A 28-car field is expected at Donington Park, with qualifying on Saturday 12 September followed by the two races on the Sunday, either side of the deciding round of the British GT Championship. Motors TV will be showing race two in its entirety the following Monday evening.