Aaron Mason aims to get ahead of Steve Chaplin in 2011. Photo:Jakob Ebrey Photography

Reigning Volkswagen Racing Cup Champion Steve Chaplin and multiple 2010 race winner Aaron Mason are among the first drivers to recommit to the FUCHS Lubricants-backed series for the coming season.

Chaplin, 46 and from Gloucestershire, is to return with the Beetle RSI which carried him to the crown last year. It will be his sixth season at the wheel of his ‘Herbie’-liveried machine.

One of his big rivals for the crown will be Aaron Mason, winner of three races last season on his way to championship third. For 2011, the Doncaster driver is planning a technical tweak not attempted before on the Golf GTI – a DSG semi-automatic gearbox. “Nobody seems really to have explored the potential of the DSG in a front-running car,” said Aaron, 31, “so we thought we’d give it a try to see if it gains us some time. We have tested it once already but the system needs more work before we can be sure it is an advantage.”

Mason, who was nominated on the Motorsport News ‘Fast 50’ watchlist last month, says he was delighted by his performances: “The objective in 2010 was the podium, and our first podium was a win, which was absolutely brilliant. The plan for 2011 is to bag a few more wins and, above all, to be consistent.”

Mason will be joined in the AWM Comline squad by the drivers with whom he shared the teams championship prize last season – Tim Snaylam and Martyn Walsh. Both men will race Golfs also, with Walsh hoping to capitalize on his remarkable rookie run to 12th overall in the championship.

The Volkswagen Racing Cup with FUCHS Lubricants is set this season to build on its success with an exciting schedule of dates and a regular slot alongside the popular British GT Championship. The Volkswagen championship will support British GT at six of its UK-circuit dates in 2011, and will also return to Zandvoort in the Netherlands for an early-summer meeting.

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