HOUSE HITS HOME AFTER LANDING VW CUP CROWN
A decisive victory in the final race of the season helped Philip House to claim the Volkswagen Racing Cup title after a tense tripleheader that featured four drivers with a chance of taking the title.
Two were effectively ruled out in race one. Trouble started when poleman Jamie Bond was nudged sideways at Paddock Hill. Three cars then got together at the foot of the bend and guest driver Shaun Hollamby was pitched into a roll. Potential champion Bobby Thompson was also involved, and fellow contender Kenan Dole’s car was pushed off the reformed grid with a fuel pump problem.
Bond won the rerun with House a secure second, two places ahead of surviving title rival Tom Witts.
The top five were reversed on the race two grid, and Witts took full advantage, beating Darelle Wilson to the flag with House sixth.
The decider went comfortably to House after Bond retired with a sudden loss of power. This was despite a broken clutch, which limited the new champion to fourth gear from lap two. Witts spent too long behind Simon Rudd and couldn’t catch House once he reached second.
The ninth Vee Festival featured three races but had an entry well short of a full grid. Despite this there was some excellent on-track action. John Hughes missed qualifying but dashed from last to fourth in his Scarab before a stoppage when podium contenders Ian Jordan and Ian Buxton were involved in a Paddock Hill incident. Hughes headed Craig Pollard before the rerun was flagged off with just two laps completed after a car beached at Clark Curve.
Martin Farmer won race two on the road but was demoted to fourth by a track limits penalty. This promoted Peter Belsey to first, with Pollard and Hughes (up from 10th on a reversed grid) next.
Pollard led the first lap of the finale and closed up in traffic, but Hughes ended his limited 2016 season with a narrow victory. Belsey was a distant third with Ben Miloudi and Farmer next. Stephen Morrin completed the top six and earned an award as the leading Irish finisher.
Chris Enderby’s Radical dominated Saturday’s Allcomers races. Peter White’s SR3 was a double second even though he lost more than half a minute on one lap in race two when all his gears went temporarily missing. Caterhams occupied most of the other leading places.
Kevin Otway wasted his qualifying advantage with a lap one spin in the first Open Mono race. A caution period helped him close up again to finish fourth, while Chris Kite’s Dallara swooped past Mark Reade (Leastone) for the win. Kite’s terrible start in race two dropped him to seventh, but he picked off those ahead for a second success.
Race victories in the ever-popular Victor Meldrew Trophy were earned by Karl Graves (BMW 120d) and Lewis Turner (Citroen Saxo), but the profound mysteries of the Meldrew handicapping process meant the coveted trophy returned to the hands of 2014 winner Jody Halse. His BMW was classified fourth and seventh in the two races.
Sunday’s Allcomers wins were shared by Nick Starkey and Anthony Bennett (Caterhams). Starkey came under pressure from Ian Mcdonald’s Radical SR1 with Bennett third after cooking his tyres.
Bennett made a better job of it in race two, winning by a whisker over Mcdonald with Starkey third.
House took VW title with win in decider
Hughes charged to Vee Fest double
Graves won first Meldrew Trophy encounter on road