Team Milltek In a Class Of Its Own at Mugello 12 Hour Race
The Golf TDI of Milltek Sport powered to an impressive class win over the weekend, dominating its class from the lights going out all the way to the chequered flag, winning at the inaugural Dunlop 12H Mugello race in Italy. Finishing an impressive 12 laps ahead of its rivals, the exhaust manufacturer’s team, running with KPM Racing, collected its second successive piece of D1 class silverware in only its second outing into the international 2014 ’24H Series’.
For the second round of the championship at Mugello, Milltek Sport once again called upon drivers Tom Onslow-Cole, Paul White and Javier Morcillo, plus the firm’s recent ‘Win a Drive’ competition winner, James Walker, to drive its purpose-built Volkswagen Golf Mk 6 TDI in the D1 (diesel touring cars up to 2000cc) class.
The ‘24H Dubai’ class runners-up made an impressive start to the Italian event during Friday’s free practice. Tom Onslow-Cole set the fastest class lap, 0.5 second ahead of the #52 BMW and went on to set a formidable class pole time in qualifying, a 2’09.520, putting the rookie enduro squad in prime position for the start of the two-part race.
Tom started the race at 14:00 on Friday with Javier taking over to run in P2 until the chequered flag at 17:00. Parc Fermé rules were then in force and the cars left in formation and under covers on the track over night.
‘Step two’ of the race began at 08:15 on Saturday with James Walker behind the wheel of the #8 challenger. He immediately settled in to his first endurance challenge and was soon pulling away from the team’s trailing rivals. Paul, and then Tom, maintained the team’s commanding class lead and pulled away even further by an incredible 10 laps margin at the halfway stage. James got back in to the Milltek Sport backed Golf for his second stint on the 15-turn, 5.245 km (3.259 mi) circuit and jumped out at the 10 hours mark to allow Paul to bring #8 to the chequered flag and secure the winning D1 class trophy and P12 overall at the end of the 12 hours race.
Steve Pound, managing director, Milltek Sport “Naturally I’m delighted to have achieved this on only our second outing this year. The team at KPM have done a superb job preparing and running the car and the drivers have driven faultlessly all weekend. It was also great to see our VW Racing Cup winner James doing so well in the race, and setting such a strong pace. It can only bode well for the rest of the year!”
Kevin Poole, team owner, KPM Racing: “This is a mega achievement. It was a true team effort, like any endurance event, but this one ran like clockwork. The car needed nothing but tyres and fuel, and the team deserves all the credit for that. We had pace when we needed it and maintained it when our rivals couldn’t. And the drivers did exactly what they were here to do; it was a text book day.”
Tom Onslow-Cole: “It was an extremely well co-ordinated weekend; the team were amazing. You come to these events with a master plan, and other than for a few tweaks all went to plan for us. I am obviously delighted that we got the class win, but I think what’s even more impressive is that we came 12th overall in only our second endurance event. It has certainly confirmed the sportscar bug for me too!”
Paul White: “Absolutely text book. There were no mistakes by the drivers, no damage to the car, and absolutely nothing to report! Fair play to Kevin for such a well prepared car which was calmly serviced and calmly driven.”
Javier Morcillo: “This was a perfect weekend. Congratulations to Steve, Kevin and the team. It is a pleasure to drive with Paul and such a great group of people, and I think that this is the start of a great endurance career for KPM Racing.”
James Walker: “I am feeling great, but tired! I had so many nerves going in to it, but as soon as I knew that there was an incident on the formation lap this morning I knew that the others would have trouble warming up the tyres and I am extremely comfortable on cold rubber being a sprint racer. I managed to take about eight people on the first lap and got a great lead. To then go on to win the class is amazing. The car didn’t miss a beat for 12 hours, so all praise to KPM for an unbelievable car.”