Sutton and McMillan Share the Wins at Oulton Park
David Sutton wrapped up a brilliant weekend’s work at Oulton Park on Monday 6th April, following up his Saturday victory in the opening round of the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup with a second-place finish and a resounding further win in the third race of the Easter weekend, the SlideSports Scirocco driver earning himself a handsome championship lead in the process. There was joy also for Joe McMillan, who held off Sutton to win round two in the Cobra Engineering Scirocco to claim his first victory at the wheel of a car.
ROUND 2 REPORT
The Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup welcomed a new race winner to the fold when Joe McMillan led from opening lap to chequered flag in his Cobra Engineering Scirocco.
McMillan, who had scored what was his best result in the championship to date when he finished fifth in Saturday’s opening round, started from the front row alongside another Joe, reigning champion Fulbrook, in the Safe and Sound Golf GTI. Fulbrook and McMillan left the grid together and raced side by side down The Avenue and through Cascades before the senior Joe yielded the lead to his younger rival.
Fulbrook lost second place before the end of the lap to Saturday’s race winner David Sutton, who was not about to let a sixth-place starting position get in the way of his bid for another victory. By lap’s end Sutton’s SlideSports Scirocco was just a quarter-second behind McMillan and settling in to attack for top spot.
But McMillan proved more than equal to the challenge. Despite never having led a VW Cup race before he defended his position brilliantly and never let Sutton get close enough to mount a serious bid. At the flag, Joe led David by seven-tenths of a second, and Sutton was fulsome in his praise for the winner: “Credit where it’s due, he’s very good at defending. I think I had more pace than him and if I could have got by I would have pulled away from him. But fair play, he deserved that one.”
Added a delighted McMillan: “I didn’t think I was going to get the win, to be fair. David was all over me the whole race and kept the pressure on, especially in the harder-braking areas where he was a lot better than me. We’ve done a lot of testing over the winter because the best I could manage last year was to race in the mid-pack, so it’s really pleasing that it has all paid off.”
Fulbrook saw off a challenge to his third place from Lucas Orrock (KPM Scirocco), the pair touching at Lodge at the end of lap three and Orrock spinning back to 10th as a result, but Joe was powerless to prevent his AWM running mate Aaron Mason from passing him at the next corner, Old Hall. Team HARD Golf man Howard Fuller followed Mason through for fourth place shortly afterwards, demoting Fulbrook to fifth.
The position-swapping wasn’t over yet: two laps from the end Fuller got the better of Mason to secure third, Aaron complaining that the weight being carried by his powerful Scirocco was proving too much for his tyres. Fuller was pleased with his second podium finish in as many races: “It was hard work, but I’m a little happier with that podium than I was with the first. I dropped right back and had to come back through, so harder work but more pleasing.”
Jack Walker-Tully (Cooke & Mason Scirocco) got past championship newcomer Lee Allen (Maximum Motorsport Scirocco) early on to secure sixth place, Jack enjoying a much better race than he did on Saturday thanks to set-up changes. Allen took seventh ahead of Phil House, who was delighted that his PH Motorsport Scirocco ran cleanly in the cooler temperatures to allow him to race competitively for the first time this year.
After his Lodge corner contact with the barriers, Orrock was able to come back from 10th to ninth by the end, ahead of Bobby Thompson. Bobby was caught out by the chilly track conditions and found the handling of his Team HARD Golf far from ideal, but was able to stay well ahead of Simon Deaton’s Maximum Scirocco to claim the final top-10 slot.
There was a great battle for 12th and the RacingLine Sportsman’s Trophy between Mark Clynes (SlideSports Scirocco) and Simon Tomlinson (AWM Golf). Clynes made a great start from 17th on the grid to gain three places on the opening lap and made his move on Tomlinson stick on the seventh lap.
Michael Epps claimed 14th spot for Team HARD ahead of Matt Wilson’s Complete Racing GTI. Laura Tillett survived a grassy moment and an electrics cut-out to finish 16th in front of Paul Dehadray, Mark Smith, Peter Davies and Karolis Staniukynas. Sixteen-year-old Damani Marcano was the final finisher for Team HARD, delayed by a spin early on and a turbo pipe problem in the latter stages. Simon Rudd spun off after contact with Mark Smith and he was joined in retirement by Cameron Thompson and Pete Littler.
ROUND 3 REPORT
Just as he demonstrated in Saturday’s first round of the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup, David Sutton and his SlideSports Scirocco were on perfect form for the start of the season and for Oulton Park. In a carbon-copy performance, the 24-year-old from Rotherham started round three from pole position, made an impeccable getaway to the race, and led all the way to the chequered flag to earn himself a handsome championship lead.
On this occasion it was Howard Fuller who kept Sutton honest. Howard’s Team HARD Golf started alongside Sutton from the front row and slotted neatly in behind at the start and kept within range throughout – at its largest the gap between them was just 1.4 seconds. Fuller held station, hoping for a mistake, but none came.
“It’s the perfect end to a nearly perfect weekend,” said victor Sutton, who struggled financially to get to the opening rounds, “and fantastic points for the championship… Hopefully it will help me to find some sponsorship so that I can come back at Rockingham and defend my lead. To be honest, unless someone comes forward to help then I won’t be there…”
Fuller, who was involved in a serious crash at Oulton Park at the start of 2014, was far from disappointed not to have been able to find a way past: “Considering that last year I left this circuit in an air ambulance, I’m well pleased with my weekend. It was great to be able to stay on terms with David and to prove that the Golf can be competitive against the Scirocco; there were one or two occasions when I could have had a go at him but I thought better of it. I am quite happy to take two thirds and a second from the first three races.”
Lucas Orrock held third throughout the race, and a lonely finish it was for the Vindis-backed Scirocco, 11 seconds behind the leaders and 5.5s in front of the pursuing Aaron Mason. Said Lucas: “You could see from the off that we didn’t have the pace to compete with the front two. We’ll have to go away and see why that is… I decided there was no sense in pushing: I had a good gap to Aaron and so it was a case of backing off 10 per cent and staying where I was.”
Mason’s AWM Scirocco, which started fifth, passed Phil House’s PH Motorsports Scirocco for fourth after three laps but was unable to make a dent in Orrock’s lead over him. House came home fifth for his best finish of the weekend, ahead of the Safe and Sound Golf of Joe Fulbrook and with championship newcomer Lee Allen seventh for the third race in succession for Maximum Motorsport.
Young guns Jack Walker-Tully and Bobby Thompson finished next up, with round two victor Joe McMillan classified 10th. Joe would have finished higher up the order but for a 10-second penalty imposed for an out-of-position start. Former single-seater racer Michael Epps claimed 11th, his best finish for Team HARD during the Oulton Park weekend.
Twelfth, and a delighted recipient of the RacingLine Sportsman’s Trophy at his home circuit, was KPM racer Philip Morris: “I’m very pleased: I got my racing licence at 50, and this is my first trophy after five years of trying. I’m pleased to have done it properly and won the trophy by finishing well ahead of all the other eligible drivers.”
Pete Littler, who failed to make the start of round two after his JWB Scirocco suffered gearbox problems, came home 15th, behind the Golfs of Laura Tillett and Simon Tomlinson, with Team HARD running mates Simon Rudd, Peter Davis and Karolis Staniukynas completing the finishing order.
It was a race of attrition for many: Mark Smith and Paul Dehadray were among the retirees after they tangled at Old Hall on lap six, and Simon Deaton removed himself from the race with an off at Shell on the eighth lap. There were further mechanical woes for the youngest competitor, Damani Marcano.
The most disappointed driver at Oulton Park was Simon Andrews, whose Golf was badly damaged in a startline shunt on Saturday. Despite the best efforts of many willing hands from the paddock, it proved impossible to restore the wheelchair-bound racer’s car to full health in time to make the grid today. Said Simon: “I’m totally gutted but I want to thank everyone from the KPM team, who gave their time and spare parts to try to get us out there. It wasn’t to be, but it reminded me of the real spirit of this championship and why I love racing in it.”
The next round of the Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup is at Rockingham on the 3rd May 2015.
Current Driver Standings