Croft circuit in North Yorkshire is the venue next Sunday (2 May) for the next thrilling instalments in the Volkswagen Racing Cup – and all the signs are that a pair of cracking races are in store.
Reigning champion Rob Carvell (Coventry) leads the title fight after his twin wins at Donington in early April, but there is a queue of drivers forming up behind him to deny him further victories.
Among them is Ripley’s Philip House, who is hoping that his massive experience of his home circuit will pay dividends. “I have been an instructor at Croft for four or five years,” said Beetle RSi driver Philip, 23, “and I’ve done a fair few miles around the track”
House, a former champion in single-seaters, enjoyed a superb Volkswagen Racing Cup debut at Donington with eighth and third in respective races, this despite a minimum of testing. “I was ecstatic with the way things went; to take a podium placing on my first outing was tremendous. I just hope I can follow that up on my home circuit.”
But both House and Carvell are facing some serious opposition, and the quality field is to be enhanced by the arrival on the grid of the all-new Golf TDI racer, which is to be given its world motorsport debut by Car journalist Nick Trott.
Croft will see all five evolutions of Golf competing together for the first time. The championship’s first female racer, 22-year-old Claire Tippet (Cheltenham), and Sidcup’s Paul Sanderson will be handling Mk I GTIs; Exeter-based 23-year-old Alex Dziurzynski – currently second in the championship – will be out in his Mk II Golf; and John Quartermaine(Farnham Royal) will be at the wheel of his Mk III.
A host of Mk IV Golfs will be in action, including that of championship third-place man Craig Inskip (Northiam), the turbodiesels of Lloyd Allard (Cheltenham) and BP-backed driver Mark Thomas (Weybridge), and the four-wheel-drive Europcar R32 of Michael McInerney (Datchet).
Adding to the grid variety is the Bora turbo of Hednesford’s Mark Smith and a host of Vento VR6s, Polos and Beetles for rapid men such as Shaun Hollamby (Chelsfield), Ray MacDowall (Carlisle), TV motor pundit Jason Barlow, Dave Turner (Stonehouse), Paul Dukes (Newark), Martin Rutherford (Harrow) and Steve Dorrell (Speen). The famous Caddy TDI will be handled once again by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles director Peter Wyhinny.
Another problem faced by Rob Carvell is his Scirocco’s rapidly increasing weight. Every race winner in the Volkswagen Racing Cup gets to carry 20kg of success ballast, and Carvell is now half-way towards the 80kg maximum penalty.
Croft, near Darlington, is England’s most northerly circuit. Its 2.1-mile layout and mix of long straights and tight corners invariably provides thrilling race action. Rounds three and four of the Volkswagen Racing Cup will take place on the Sunday, following Saturday’s qualifying session.
The Volkswagen Racing Cup enjoys the support of Augustus Martin, Castrol, ECM Vehicle Delivery, Europcar, Experian, gedas UK, Inchcape Automotive, ISG Occupancy, K&N Filters, Sabelt, Mondial Assistance, Pirelli, Proximity London, KW Automotive, Sony UK, Superchips, TMD Friction, TNT Logistics and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
PROVISIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PLACINGS
after two rounds (of 12)
1 Rob Carvell (Scirocco/Coventry), 48 points
2 Alex Dziurzynski (Golf/Exeter), 32
3 Craig Inskip (Golf/Northiam), 28
=4 Grant Woodhatch (Vento/Brislington), 26
=4 Philip House (Beetle/Ripley), 26
6 Mark Smith (Bora/Hednesford), 22
=7 Shaun Hollamby (Beetle/Chelsfield), 18
=7 Lloyd Allard (Golf/Cheltenham), 18
9 Martyn Culley (Vento/Basingstoke), 16
10 Michael McInerney (Golf/Datchet), 14, etc.