2012 champion James Walker is taking a year out. Photo: Image Vaults

The reigning APR Volkswagen Racing Cup Champion, James Walker, has announced that he will not be returning to defend his crown. However, his old team, KPM, is to field a multi-car squad and has every hope of scoring another championship victory.

Walker, 26, is to take a year out of racing to concentrate on the family haulage business and to get married. He hopes, however, to fit in a race or two in the family Golf GTI, in which his father, Richard, and other relatives are planning to compete. “I’ll be sorry not to be out there for a full season,” said James, “but I fully intend to return to the track with a proper campaign in 2014.”

Walker won two races and scored a further nine podium finishes in his KPM Scirocco on the way to the 2012 championship title.

Despite Walker’s exit, KPM team boss Kevin Poole says he has several potential race winners on his squad, which will feature former Mini Champion Martin Depper and Stewart Lines in matching Sciroccos and ex-Ferrari sports car racer Jim Cartwright in a Golf GTI.

Disabled driver Phil Morris returns to the team with his DSG semi-auto gearbox Golf GTI, bidding to improve on his 13th place overall in the championship and to become a top 10 regular. KPM will also run a Golf for race-by-race rentals.

“Martin won twice at Silverstone on his debut last year in the VW Cup, Jim won at Brands Hatch on his first outing, and after a season spent improving his pace every time out, Stewart is on the verge of his maiden win,” said Poole. “KPM cars won seven of the 14 rounds last year and my aim is to at least match that.”

The 14-round APR Volkswagen Racing Cup starts its season on Easter Monday, 1 April, at the Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire.

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