VOLKSWAGEN RACING CUP CO-HEADLINES OULTON PARK SEASON OPENER
Racing is Back! Time to dust off those cobwebs and rev up those engines as the national scene roars back into life at Oulton Park. The BRSCC headline is back and this time the Volkswagen Racing Cup will be centre stage as it joins the TCT/TCR UK grid for 2020.
The Cup will compete as a separate class with its own points and trophies, but the presence of some of the country’s fastest Touring Cars on track at the same time will bolster many of the field’s aspirations, especially as a full Touring Car Trophy test beckons for the championship winner.
Now in its 20th year of competition, the Volkswagen Racing Cup will look to kick off its new era with a bang, though it will be many of last year’s stars that will look to set the pace as the season gets underway. 2019 runner-up Mark Wakefield, will be aiming to go one better this year as he partners up with multiple-VW Cup race winner Josh Coggan to form JM Racing. Two of the series best independents, they will be a force to be overcome in 2020 as the pair aim to promote their race team. Both will be driving in bright green Golf’s, doubling up duties between team owners and racers.
Plenty of competition will be on the table for the boys though as JW Bird Motorsport once again provide the cream of the field. Tony Prendergast was one of the standout performers of 2019, finishing the year fourth in the championship and showing the importance of consistency during a campaign. The Suffolk businessman will be aiming to build upon his silverware as he leads a stacked squad. Paul Dehadray, a VW Cup regular, will be making his first appearance since 2017, while Matt Evans returns to the team that guided him to three Hankook Trophies last season.
Former BTCC and Le Mans driver Liam Griffin will join JWB alongside brother Kieran Griffin. Liam is no stranger to the British and international racing scene, with wins in British GT and European Le Mans, where he finished runner-up in 2018. He’ll be expected to be an immediate front runner at Oulton Park, though may need his brother’s help in mastering the Scirocco. Kieran, after all, is no stranger to VW Cup having last raced in 2013 and already has a win to his name.
It won’t just be old hands maxing the field though, as a few rookies make the leap over to Volkswagen’s. Mazda Super Series race winner Bradley Kent steps up with the family-run Essex and Kent Motorsport. As brother Lewis strives to win the TCT/TCR UK series, the 18-year-old will be hoping to replicate his success in white and orange Scirocco. Meanwhile, William Butler steps into Power Maxed Racing’s Polo. The Worcestershire driver had previously been rallying in Estonia, making the switch from gravel to tarmac.
Team HARD has got a new face at the wheel, with scholarship winner Oliver Brown in his debut season of racing. After one-off appearances at Track Attack, GT Cup and the Ginetta GT4 Supercup, Brown will spend the year getting to grips with one the country’s top single-make championships, an underdog not to be discounted.
Butler won’t be the only competitor in a unique vehicle as Jeff Alden drives the Golf Mk7, looking to build upon his single Hankook Trophy from 2019. Of course, Maximum Motorsport also has their own dynamic duo in the grey Scirocco as the experienced Paul Ivens makes a return, alongside Andy Wilmot.
Wilmot will be another familiar face to fans of Touring Cars, having raced in the BTCC in 2013 and ‘15. In recent years, the 39-year-old has turned his hand from GT4’s, Clio Cup and now returns to the VW Cup for the first time since 2013.
Last year’s Oulton Park season opener was held on a dramatic Easter Weekend. Who can live up to race winner and eventual champion, Owen Walton’s legacy?
The opening round will take place at Oulton Park on Saturday 18th July. Fans can follow along with Live Streaming to take place courtesy of AJK TV can be found on the championship’s website. The headline race will start at 13:50 with the second race at 17:00.