WALKER EXPECTING A HARD FIGHT TO REGAIN VW TITLE


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James Walker and his 2014 title-bid machine, the Milltek Sport Golf Mk VI. Photo: www.jakobebrey.com

Former champion James Walker, who returns to the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup this season after a year’s break, believes he will have a tough job ahead of him to get back on to the top step of the podium.

Nottinghamshire-based Walker, 27, says the size of the VW Cup grid in 2014, and also the quality of the front-running cars and drivers, will make it very difficult to win: “I’ve not raced for a year, and in that year the championship has definitely stepped up a notch or two and become even more competitive. It’s going to be interesting, seeing how fast everyone is… it certainly looks like it is going to be very close.”

James will race a KPM-prepared Mk VI Golf backed by Milltek Sport. He campaigned a Scirocco successfully in 2012, winning two races and finished second six times to secure the championship crown. “The Golf is pretty similar to my old Scirocco in feel, and I’m with a good team, so hopefully I can take up where I left of. Qualifying is going to be crucial: with 30-plus cars in action, getting in a quick, clean lap will be vital, and a big challenge.”

Walker will be dusting off the racing rust this coming weekend (14/15 March) at Mugello, Italy, where he will be one of four drivers tackling a 12-hour race at the wheel of KPM’s turbodiesel Mk VI Golf. Last time out, in Dubai, KPM scored a second-in-class finish with the Milltek-backed TDI.

This year’s Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup will be a real Walker family affair. Joining James on the grid for his first full season of racing will be his 21-year-old cousin, Jack Walker-Tulley, who will take over at the wheel of the 2012 title-winning Cooke and Mason Scirocco.

“Jack will be one to watch,” added James. “The Scirocco is having a new engine and a lot of work done to it – it should be competitive.” James’s truck-racing champion dad Richard is expected to appear also this season in selected rounds in the family Golf GTI, and elder brother Daniel may have a crack also.

James Walker is one of four former champions expected on the grid at Oulton Park on Easter Monday (21 April) for the opening rounds of the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup – the first of 14 British GT Championship-supporting races on the schedule for 2014. Highlight of the year will be twin races at the Belgian Grand Prix circuit of Spa-Francorchamps in July.