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By robcox, Aug 7 2017 07:17PM

QUALIFYING

A dark overcast sky greeted the 22 VAG pilots as they took the track for their 15 minute dash qualifying session. The cars began gaining heat into their tyres the proceeding were brought to an early slow as the safety car was scrabbled, with the JWB scirocco of Matthew Evans stranded in the gravel on the exit of Surtees.


The safety car period ended promptly as it took to the pits releasing the cars raced around to set their first flyers of the session with the time remaining. Dole shot to the top of the screen after the first rotation of the 2.61 mile circuit, with Martyn Culley leading the proceedings in Class B. Championship protagonists Wallace and Taylor soon took to the top of the timings separated by a mere tenth with Paul slightly having the edge so far over car number 88.

But the session took another blow as the red Golf of Doran spiked into gravel at the dip of Paddock hill bend, bringing out double waved yellows to the entry of the corner. Dole improved to briefly top the session before being displaced by Wallace, breaking earlier into the earlier 1.39s. A late entry into the top trio of times went the TT of Simon Walton breaking the Team Hard lockout at the top.


With no futher place improvements in places, Wallace went on to take the pole position from teammate Dole in second and Simon Walton completing the top three. Paul Ivens and Stephen Johansen coming across from the Volkswagen Cup took the next two places on the line up.


Martyn Culley was not to be dethroned of his previous success by claiming class pole from Richard Morgan in second, and Christie Doran lining up third despite ending the session in the gravel. Post qualifying the pole car of Ben Wallace was put to the back of the grid due to technical infringement in parc ferme, promoting team mate Kenan Dole to his maiden 2017 pole position.



RACE ONE


The weather for race one threw a spin on proceedings with heavy rain minutes before the scheduled start of the race, changing the conditions from qualifying. As the drivers lined up the sun started to shine, and the lights went out on race one, seeing the field get a good start shooting into Paddock.


Pole starter Dole wide exiting Paddock jutted sideways, correcting the car sent it into a fish tail up towards druids. Entering druids backwards Dole began pointing the correct direction and began collecting the slide, collided with Simon Walton as Paul Taylor ducked up the inside to take the lead, the field bunch up behind as cars dart in all angles to avoid the slowing cars.


Both Dole and Walton exiting Druids departed the circuit to marshal posts with damage, retiring from the race. The safety car took to the track collecting the field after they raced to the boards, Maximum Motorsports’ Brayden Flecther making the most of the action ahead found himself in second place behind championship leader Paul Taylor. There also had been a change of place for the lead of class B with Richard Morgan following the field in procession leading the way in the B’s.


The safety car peeled into the pits releasing the pack as we went racing once more. Stephan Johansen placing third made the most of the restart by closing in behind Fletcher to take to the outside for druids, attempting to go the long way around to claim second place. The cars streamed behind entering Paddock again at full speed once more. Docker lost the rear end and slid quickly down Paddock before rolling backwards into the gravel and getting stranded.


Moments later the field were greeted by a second appearance of the safety car to retrieve the white scirocco of Docker. Another brief outing for the pace vehicle resumed the field racing once more. A change of third place saw Team Hard rookie Kyle Owen-Bradsaw sneak up the inside of Fletcher for the final spot on the podium before proceedings were brought to a third slow with Class B leader Richard Morgan stuck in the gravel at the infamous Paddock hill bend.


Owen Walton also took to the gravel on the outside of druids a few foot from the fence, meaning the field finished under safety car condtions, seeing Paul Taylor claim the win, Speedworks Johansen crossed the line second closely followed by Kyle Owen-Bradshaw in third. Class B honours were inherited by Martyn Culley, with Father Barrie in his new Seat Leon machinery snatching second. Christie Doran recovering from her Qualifying off completed the top three in class.



RACE TWO


The reverse grid draw drew out the grid for race two, seeing the top ten reversed placing Class B points leader Martyn Culley on pole, not wishing to start on pole, Culley took to the rear of the grid with Russell Joyce lining up on the now front row of the grid in second. Mixed conditions saw mixed tyres through-out the grid, as the field slid off the line and into turn one.


Paul Taylor getting a lightning start began charging through the field, seeing the number 1 car up to third exiting Graham hill bend pulling in close behind the Passat of Graham Ewing sitting in second. The leaders appeared back into sight off the GP loop with Joyce leading from Taylor with Ewing very close behind in third. Breaking the timing beam Taylor closed in for the lead making a lunge on the inside of paddock, Joyce taking to the outside demoted him down to third with Ewing following Taylor through the inside.


As the cars entered their third rotation Martyn Culley had already made his way into the lead of class B having started from the rear of the grid. Joyce slowed with a mechanical issues before pitting in and dropping a lap behind the lead. Kyle Owen-Bradshaw inherited third while closely being chased by teammate Callum Jenkins who was doing well sitting in fourth. A lap later Jenkins ran wide and shot across the gravel exiting Sheene Curve digging in becoming stranded.


Third place sitter Kyle Owen-Bradshaw slowed with steam pouring out the bonnet, with Ben Wallace inheriting third after an impressive charge through the field from the back of the grid benefiting from a good tyre choice on the tricky conditions. Taylor lead the field across the line once more with a large gap back to second place runner Ewing who had now received a 10 second penalty for jumping the start which will be added to the times at the chequered flag.


The chequered dropped on race two with Paul Taylor claiming his second win of the day extending his championship lead over teammate Ben Wallace who’s impressive drive earned him second place after Graham Ewing was demoted to third with his time penalty post race. Class B honours were once again seized by Martyn Culley also extending his lead in class, with Richard Morgan crossing the line in second. Third in class was Goblin Racing’s Barrie Culley who finished the podium.

By robcox, Apr 29 2017 05:33PM

Clouds filled the sky as Matthew Wilson lined up on pole position for race two with Team Hard new comer Chris Milford for company alongside. Lights out, and the grid darted into turn one, a fantastic start by Paul Taylor saw him trailing the leading car of Chris Milford into the Deene hairpin. Milford missed his braking running wide off the track almost colliding with the tyres on the outside of the corner. A fast charging Tim Docker having started the race from sixteenth had made an impressive eight places before the end of lap one.


Taylor led with Dole close behind entering the second lap, Ben Wallace was lingering not far behind in third setting the fastest opening lap. Nick Beaumont close behind Ben sitting in fourth position had series new comer Kyle Owen-Bradshaw behind who had also made a terrific start gaining three positions.


Heading onto lap four Wallace was looking fast out of the chicane, cutting to the inside along the straight car 88 was able to pull past Dole into the banked first corner snatching second place before quickly getting on terms with leader Paul Taylor. The top three bunch together, Dole not settling for third position took a wide line into Tarzan getting alongside Wallace, who in turn pressured Taylor heading to the Brooke Chicane. A small lock up from Taylor saw him dart to the grass, backing up Wallace in the process. Dole capitalising on the situation undercut them both to take the lead onto the straight, with Wallace managing to recover his second position.


The battle was far from over as a lap later saw Wallace try a move around the outside of Dole for the race lead, but not having the run to pull it off. Dole led the field onto lap 9, the top three all brawling for the podium positions. Taylor closing in saw Wallace take to the grass in a similar fashion to car 1 a few laps prior, demoting him to fourth. The time ticked down as the cars enter the final lap. Wallace began applying pressure to the back end of Beaumont, forcing Nick to defend into the Chicane.


Coming onto the straight Wallace used the momentum to pull alongside edging across the line by a nose to claim the final step on the podium. The chequered dropped with Kenan Dole taking the victory and Paul Taylor sealing the deal in second place. Martyn Culley had a faultless race bringing home his second Class win of the Day.


“Everyone was struggling for grip out there, I knew that if I let the front two fight, and didn’t use up my tyres, that later on in the race I could attack. Taylor ran wide and I was able to pounce and snatch the lead, I defended hard from Ben behind but just did enough to secure the win, I must say a huge thank you to Team Hard, the car ran faultlessly” Commented Class A race winner Kenan Dole.


“It was a relatively easy race, I got a cracking start, pulled a gap from my Dad, allowed the Class A cars go and just cruised, I didn’t need to push and just maintained the gap and brought it home. Its been a prefect weekend for us with two first and second finishes for Goblin Racing” Commented Class B winner Martyn Culley




By robcox, Apr 29 2017 03:29PM

The sun broke through the clouds to greet the drivers lining up on the grid ready for the inaugural race of the 2017 season. The lights went out and two blinding starts saw a duo of Audi TT’s lead the way heading towards the Deene hairpin. Dole manged to get up the inside of Owen Walton before jumping onto the brakes, locking up and making contact with the leading Audi of Simon Walton who in turn spun round colliding with Owen. Unfortunately, both Audi’s had substantial race ending damage, taking a slow lap back to the pits before retiring.


The dust settled and Paul Taylor emerged in the lead with new comer to the series Brayden Fletcher following in second heading into Yentwood. Cold rear tyres threw Fletcher into a spin with a recovering Dole darting to grass in avoidance. The Class B battle saw Chrisite Doran leading the way in sixth overall before being ran onto the grass and demoted into second with Martyn Culley taking the lead exiting the Deene hairpin.


The cars flashed past the lighting gantry and onto the second lap, a trio of Team Hard cars began squabbling for the final position on the podium with Ben Wallace leading the charge. Pulling away from the trio, Wallace began applying pressure on JWB’s Nick Beaumont before snatching the position on lap 4 into the brook chicane.


Taylor still out in front, managed to pull a three second gap back to Wallace who set the fastest lap of the race charge last year’s champion down. Christie Doran began closing in on Martyn Culley for Class B position further down the order. Taylor led the field onto the lap 7 with Wallace now close enough to attempt a move. Closing in, the Team Hard driver dove to the outside of Taylor at Tarzan attempting to get a run along school straight but was unsuccessful.


Doran ran wide out of turn one and collided with the wall, coming to a stop before the Deene hairpin causing a race ending red flag. Due to this the results go back one lap seeing Paul Taylor take the victory, closely followed by Volkswagen Cup racer Ben Wallace in second. Third was JWB team owner Nick Beaumont concluding the top three. Class B saw Martyn Culley take first place honours with his team mate and father Barrie Culley finishing second place, Tony taylor completes the top three line up in class

.

“I’m delighted with the win, I was able to capitalise the incident into the dean hairpin and pull a gap and kept my nose clean. I saw that Wallace was charging fast from behind, if it hadn’t of been red flagged it would have been tight at the end” commented Class A victor Paul Taylor.


“It was an absolutely chaotic start after all the incidents at the hairpin, I latched onto the back of Christie and started applying pressure. A lap later she was ran wide exiting deene and I was able to get past and pull a gap. Class A cars got in-between us but I kept an eye on her in my mirrors to take the win” commented Class B winner Martyn Culley.




By robcox, Apr 26 2017 04:14PM

Callum Jenkins steps up to the VAG Trophy this season with Team HARD. The 17 year old Scarborough racer has competed in a Citroen Saxo VTR in the Junior Saloon Car Championship for the last two seasons and now has his eyes set on a senior championship in what looks to be a very exciting move.


A committed and ambitious driver, he has focused his desire to move up through the ranks with his eyes firmly set on competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and British Touring Car Championship.


Callum has driven at Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Donington Park during his rise through the ranks and has been mentored by former BTCC driver and McLaren Chief Instructor, Danny Buxton.


Danny Buxton had this to say about Callum:


“Having worked with Callum for the last few years, I am delighted but not surprised at the level he is now operating at. It's been a fantastic few years working with him, he has so much natural talent - but I felt he just needed the right coaching approach and methods to bring the speed and performance out properly. He is a rising star of British motorsport that is for sure. Watch this space”!


Callum’s new team boss Tony Gilham also commented on his new signing:


“We originally met Callum during our scholarship programme just over a year ago now. It was very clear to us then that Callum had a massive amount of potential and made it to the later stages of the competition. He has a natural ability that has already shone through and we have had amazing feedback from Paul O'Neill from his test day’s pre-season. We are very much looking forward to working with Callum throughout 2017 and helping with his development as an all-round racing driver”.

Callum is very excited about the season ahead and with the support of the team, his family and sponsors he is hoping to gain valuable experience in the VAG Trophy to catapult him on to bigger things.


"To have the opportunity to compete in the VAG trophy with Team-HARD is a dream come true. After the last couple of years competing in the Junior Saloon Car Championship I am looking forward to putting the race craft I have learned to the test against other, more experienced racing drivers in a senior championship with a much quicker car than I have driven before. Experience notwithstanding, I intend to challenge for the championship win with a strong and highly-reputable team behind me. Beyond this year I aspire to compete in top tier motorsport and, with Team-HARD running in both BTCC and British GT Championship, I will be working to procure the partnerships necessary to progress with the team to get to that level. Back in March I had my first test session in the car at Brands Hatch - I quickly felt comfortable and it was an amazing experience to get to grips with a new handling dynamic, and the increased speed was great fun. I really can't wait for the first race of the season at Rockingham Speedway, a circuit that holds sentimental value due to being the venue I had my first race back in 2015"


We took Callum to one side and asked him a few questions:


What is your favourite circuit and why?

"Knockhill - the incline and the camber provide a challenge that many other circuits don't and the amount of speed that can be taken through the corners, even in the wet, is amazing"


Who is/was your racing idol?

"Max Verstappen - he has achieved phenomenal success in a short period of time and his committed racing style is great to watch and learn from"


Who would you regard as your toughest opponent?

"I always aim to surpass my teammates because we have the same assets so it is truly a test of ability"


What is the best race you have been involved in?

"Silverstone, October 2016, as a race had to be restarted, technical difficulties meant that I had to start from the pit lane. In a reduced race time of ten minutes I got from 22nd to 10th, although not a podium I had to really dig deep."


Is there a race or series you have not competed in, that you would like to or had wanted to?

"Having competed in the British 24hr kart race twice, I have a real passion for endurance racing. I would love to one day race in the World Endurance Championship - especially to do Le Mans"


What is the best advice in racing you have been given?

"The race isn't won in the first corner, but get it right and you can make a few places from it"



By robcox, Feb 17 2017 05:57PM

The Maximumgroup.net VAG Trophy is delighted to announce its six round calendar, supporting the infamous British GT Championship. MotorSport Vision Racing (MSVR) launched its 2017 motor racing season at Brands Hatch this week with its traditional season launch event, at the event it was confirmed by Stewart Lines, VAG series director, that the series’ races will be held on the Saturdays of the British GT weekends pairing up on the same events as its sister championship the Milltek Volkswagen Racing Cup.


This season will bring a significant raise in the profile of the championship taking it to a national Motorsport stage, pairing up along side other well respected championships and sister championship the Volkswagen Racing Cup. This alteration allows competitors to compete in both championships with ease with them being on the separate days at the same events. Class B has been revamped with 270HP allowance and treaded tyres.


The season kicks off at Rockingham, joining the British GT after their inaugural round at Oulton Park. Norfolk's Snetterton 300 is next on the calendar before the series hops over the channel to the legendary Spa Francorchamps. The Championship then returns to Kent for back to back meetings at Brands Hatch, starting on the longer and much faster GP configuration, before close racing ensues on the small indy layout as the series features in the exciting German festival. The championship separates from the British GT to conclude at Oulton Park in late October.


“We’re elated for the Maximumgroup.net VAG Trophy to move up onto this very prestigious national stage along side it’s sister championship and the British GT. Following a very successful season last year, the series will be retained under the MSVR banner for the coming championship campaign.” Commented series director Stewart Lines.


The VAG always brings a diverse field of drivers and a colourful grid of old and new VAG Machinery. This season is certain to be no different, especially with new faces entering the championship and some fantastic cars, and an array of new partners, the stage is set for a fantastic year of VAG racing.