VW CUP BATTLERS SET FOR BRANDS HATCH SHOWDOWN
Spa victor Stefan Di Resta will be hoping for more success at Brands Hatch. Photo: www.jakobebrey.com
Next weekend’s (30/31 Aug) Brands Hatch rounds of the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup look likely to prove crucial to those drivers with title aspirations, not least the leading trio Stefan Di Resta, Joe Fulbrook and Lucas Orrock, who are separated by 12 points with just four races to go to decide the outcome of the championship.
Di Resta, younger brother of DTM star Paul, took over at the top of the points table at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium last month when he scored his second race victory of an impressive rookie season with the JWB Motorsport team. Twenty-four-year-old Di Resta may lack racing experience of the fearsomely fast 2.4-mile Brands Grand Prix circuit, but his Scirocco R is a proven winner there – JWB team boss Nick Beaumont piloted it to victory at Brands in 2013.
Veteran Fulbrook, the 2008 and ’09 champion, has rediscovered the art of winning races this season and seems to have shed the reliability problems which afflicted his Warranty Direct Racing Golf so badly last year – wins at Silverstone and Snetterton, and a second-place finish behind Di Resta at Spa, puts the 43-year-old in real contention for a crack at a third VW Cup title.
Joe is, however, tipping reigning champion Aaron Mason for top honours at Brands Hatch: “Both Stefan and I will be running a lot of success ballast; Aaron is the one to watch because he will have so little weight on board – he has nothing to lose and I’ll not be surprised if he wins both races.” Mason is, despite wins at Oulton, Rockingham and Silverstone, having a troubled season in the AWM Motorsport Scirocco – at Spa his absence from the podium was his first failure since 2012 to make the top three in at least one of the races at a Volkswagen Racing Cup event. Nonetheless Aaron is only 28 points behind Di Resta and is still in the title hunt.
“I’m not really thinking about the championship,” adds Fulbrook, who has a two-point deficit to Di Resta. “Buy yes, the aim for Brands is to finish ahead of Stefan and to keep my nose clean, to score as many points as possible and to take the show down to the final rounds at Donington. It’s going to be exciting with four people going for it but I am not building up my hopes – I’ve been there before and it can all go wrong at the last minute.”
Orrock, 23, is another talented rookie fresh from karting; he’s been impressively quick from the outset in his KPM Scirocco, made the podium for the first time at Silverstone and claimed his maiden win in the first of the Spa races, promoting him to championship third and handing him a realistic title chance.
There are plenty of other potential winners lining up for Brands, including Rockingham victor James Greenway and his AWM team-mate Josh Caygill, 2012 champion James Walker in the Milltek Sport Golf, Stewart Lines and his Maximum Motorsport Scirocco, and championship fourth-place man David Sutton, who was rapid at Brands last year and who regained his form at Spa to bring his SlideSports Scirocco home in second place behind Orrock.
Seventeen-year-old Sam Morgan (KPM Golf) is looking for a return to the podium while David Fairbrother (SlideSports Scirocco) bids for his first. Tony Gilham’s Kent-based Team HARD squad and drivers Tom Barley (Crayford) and Simon Rudd (Rochester) will meanwhile be out to net some home-circuit glory.
After missing the Spa rounds, the very rapid Philip House (PH Motorsport Scirocco), Joe McMillan (Cobra Engineering Scirocco) and Matt Hamilton (THM Racing Golf) are set to return as part of the impressive 30-car entry.
For more information about the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup visit www.vw-cup.co.uk