Category: VAG

Taylor Extends 2017 VAG Trophy Points Lead at Brands Hatch Indy

2017 VAG Trophy

19th of August saw 17 2017 VAG Trophy contenders returned to Brands Hatch for the second time in a row to complete rounds 7 & 8 of the championship. The VW cars lined up on the grid for the first round of the day ready to be challenged by predicted bad weather conditions, however, as the red lights went off, no rain was to be seen and dry tarmac allowed all the drivers to receive a good start to the race. RCIB Insurance Racing logo bearing Paul Taylor, who took the pole position grid slot showed us some impressive driving and even after great efforts by fellow Team HARD drivers Kennan Dole and Ben Wallace to displace the points leader, Taylor managed to end the first race in first, claiming his fourth win of the season. Dole and Wallace took second and third place respectively, with Simon Walton passing the chequered flag right behind Wallace in fourth.

Brands Hatch Indy race 1 podium winners
Race 1 podium winners. Taylor in centre, Wallace right and Dole left (Photo by MaximumGroup.net)

Second race grid line up looked quite a bit different to that of the first race. Paul Dehadray who came 6th in the previous round, lined up on a pole position, with Brayden Fletcher also sat on the front row of the grid and Simon Walton parking his Audi TT close behind prepared for the reverse grid race.

However, true champions once again showed that grid line up couldn’t hold them back, Taylor and Dole took no time to catch up with Walton after he made a strong start. The three drivers were in an almost zero gap positioning exiting druids. With Walton clearly leading the way, Dole and Taylor were only left to fight for the second place. Ben Wallace started to pose threat for the top 3 coming up to third lap, after taking to the inside down the start finish and pushing Dole to defend into Paddock, Wallace displaced his teammate and racing on completed the lap setting a new fastest rotation of the indy circuit so far this race.

Cars line up on the grid for Race 2 at Brands Hatch
Cars line up on the grid for Race 2 (Photo by MaximumGroup.net)

Wallace’s advantage was short lived, soon after taking 3rd position, Team HARD’s young driver began slowing down and dropping positions, which made him return to the pits with mechanical issues, seeing Dole being promoted back to third.

The chequered flag was dropped on Simon Walton speeding across the finish line with impressive 3 second margin back to second place taker Paul Taylor, who had collected a hefty amount of points, allowing him to keep his first place 2017 VAG Trophy championship points lead. Kenan Dole took his second Class A podium finish in third, leaving Dehadray and Brayden in fourth and fifth.

 

2017 VW Cup Rounds 7 & 8 at Brand Hatch

2017 VW Cup

Favourably bright and sunny Brands Hatch circuit welcomed a swarm of enthusiastic 2017 VW Cup drivers on the 6th of August, who were ready to tackle the Kent based track. As the green lights went, so did the drivers, rushing to reach the chequered flag at the end of the 2.61 mile long Brands GP loop. Team HARD’s, RCIB Insurance Racing sponsored Jamie Bond showed some great steering and successfully qualified in P1. JWB Motorsport’s drivers Phil House and Kieran Gordon both finished in P2 and P3 respectively.

Race 1 came to the start with a Team HARD front row lock out. Shortly into the race a harsh contact between Phil House and Tim Docker led to a hard hit to the side, leading to a slide down Paddock Hill for Scirocco. This was then followed by a multiple car slow down while passing the scene, however Paul Ivens couldn’t avoid the spinning Scirocco which spiked him into the air before wildly rolling multiple times and finally coming to a rest on his roof. Stephen Johansen’s Polo was next to get caught up in the accident, ending up in the tyre wall after a strong impact.

The heavy multi-impact caused the race to come to a halt. With a red flag waved the medical teams rushed to the drivers. The worst off Paul Ivens had to be removed from the car and stretched off, before eventually being taken to the hospital for further checks. After the marshals and medical teams cleared the incident, drivers were allowed back onto the track, however with the race being shortened to ten minutes there was no time to waste. Jamie Bond held on to his advantage and finished the race first with Bobby Thompson in second and Simon Walton in third.

The second race meant that three drivers were now unable to appear on the grid following the earlier incident. Two more drivers, Russell Joyce and an RCIB Insurance sponsored driver Toby Davis had to also leave the track. Davis’ driver side door flew open coming up to the last leg of the race due to previous contact forcing him to pit and eventually retire whilst sitting third on track. however this didn’t mean that there would be any less thrilling scenes for the spectators to see.

Passing the waving chequered flag was the current points leader Tom Witts who took the pole, with Kieran Gordon taking second and Jamie Bond in third place – the top three separated by less than a second bunched together. Matthew Evans collected the Sportman Trophy honours after finishing the race in eleventh place.

 

 

 

 

 

2017 VAG Trophy Rounds 2 & 3 at Snetterton

2017 VAG Trophy Rounds 2 & 3

On the 27th of May, Snetterton circuit didn’t only see the sun burning its tarmac, drivers were burning their tyres on the track from the early qualifying race at 9am to the second and last race at 5:30pm. Exciting and fuel packed 2017 VAG Trophy rounds 2 & 3 saw some drivers climbing up the points ladder, while others ending up with unfortunate car mishaps that led them to fall behind on the leaders board. Team HARD’s, RCIB Racing sponsored Callum Jenkins had a roller coaster of a race, however managed to come on top and managed to finish 5th in the over all championship standings board.

“I had a reasonable qualifying finishing in 9th place, however underestimating the time left in the session I pitted prematurely, a mistake that I feel cost me a higher grid position and although happy coming 9th, I feel it’s not reflective of the HARD work the team put in. Race 1, again didn’t have a great start, which saw me lose a few places off the start line, I managed to pick my way through the pack to 3rd – tough defending and the heat meant I couldn’t keep it there as I tried to manage my tyres, defended as best I could and crossed the line in 6th. Race 2 was quite eventful – the reverse grid put me in 2nd position on the grid but I was hit from behind going into turn 1 which sent me off track rejoining at the back. I fought hard to work my way through up to 7th place and got my target 2:08 lap in the end!”

Snetterton wasn’t as lucky for others, another Team HARD’s, RCIB Racing sponsored driver, Chris Milford ended up with zero points during both races:

” Race 1, I was up to second by lap 2, but contact with Paul Ivens on lap 3 at “Nelson”corner forced me to retire the car.”

“I started the 2nd race from 17th position, made a great start and made it up to 5th by the start of lap 5, but the next time by my gearbox failed. so I had to retire, leaving me with 0 points.”

Paul Taylor and Ben Wallace continued from where they left off last time with another great performance and came first and second respectively, with Kenan Dole in 3rd. Matthew Wilson and Simon Tomlinson, as well as previously mentioned Chris Milford, unfortunately all had to retire from both races due to technical difficulties.

VAG Trophy drivers will be back on track on the 5th of August at Brands Hatch.

 

 

 

 

 

Team HARD’s Callum Jenkins Discusses VAG Trophy and Round 2 at Snetterton

Callum Jenkins

RCIB Racing sponsored, TEAM Hard’s 17 year old driver Callum Jenkins will be participating in the second round of the VAG Trophy Championship in less than a week. He will be one of the younger drivers competing at the race. Among some of the circuits that Callum has driven at, is Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Donington Park. He’s also no newbie when it comes to Snetterton, last year he had his best results here and is expecting to receive nothing below those, this time.

 

You are a very young driver, how do you think this works to your advantage and disadvantage?

It definitely works both ways. The disadvantage is a lack of racing experience in comparison to other drivers in the VAG trophy. However, I have had two years racing in a junior championship prior to graduating into seniors, which means that I have been able to develop a good understanding of most of the circuits I will be racing at this year. Pre-season testing has given me the opportunity to focus on getting used to the differences in handling and speed of my car and some people saying being young is an advantage due to being in the prime of your learning, I feel there’s truth in that as the feedback from the instructors I’ve worked with is that I’m always quick to learn and put skills into practise

 

What impression did you have of the first round at Rockingham? Were you happy with your results?

Callum Jenkin’s VW at 1st Round in Rockingham

Rockingham holds sentimental value to me being the first circuit I ever raced a car at back in 2015, however for my style of driving it isn’t my favourite track.  A mistake in qualifying on my flying lap meant my position didn’t reflect the pace I had shown which was disappointing but I knew I could make it through the pack in the races. One of a racers worst fears is to stall on the start line and I couldn’t believe it after spending last year working on my race starts, there I was stuck on the start line with the rest of the pack flying past me, I got my head down though and fought through the pack to finish 8th, which I was really pleased with.  A first corner incident in race 2 coupled with worn tyres meant I came over the line in 12th and although these results weren’t what we were hoping for, it was a fantastic first weekend with team-HARD and I had some amazing racing.

 

How have you been preparing for Snetterton? How have the testing days went?

Having had my best results last year at Snetterton, I am looking forward to getting back there to see what I can do with a different car and a completely different field of drivers. Hopefully everything will go well next week at pre-race testing and my focus is to not let myself put extra pressure on myself trying to compete with last year’s results.

 

Above Jenkin’s ‘Hot Lap’ video from his last year’s round at Snetterton

 

What are your expectations for the second round?

The main thing I want is to take away better results than Rockingham, I need to focus on a good points haul to push me up in the driver standings, but also I hope to have lots of clean, fun racing in the process and to continue learning!

 

Catch Callum Jenkins at round 2 of VAG Trophy on the 27th of May.

Coming Up To VW Cup Round 3 at Snetterton

Dust from the second VW Cup round at Rockingham has set and round 3 at Snetterton is less than two weeks away. Drivers have been preparing for the race by organising as many test days as possible. Two of the RCIB Racing sponsored TEAM Hard drivers, Jamie Bond and Toby Davis have both completed their first test days on 11th of May and are growing in confidence for round 3. Jamie Bond had quite a tough second round, but managed to end it on the podium stand, with an overall points standing after Oulton and Rockingham, in third position, behind Phil House in second and Tom Witts in first.

Rockingham proved to be rather dynamic for Bond, he qualified in moderate 9th place, but eventually climbed his way through to 4th and had a great battle for the podium, only 100th of a second between his rival and him, he ended up 4th. However with the 3rd place finisher being excluded, he was automatically promoted up to 3rd. Race 2 was probably as much of a roller coaster as race 1 for Jamie. He started 4th and had a great run up until he went to get second gear and missed it, which dropped him down to 9th place. With his tyres going off more and more each lap, it was a real struggle to keep the car on the tarmac. However, he managed to fight his way back to 6th place, which again is still a great result and more importantly scored him very decent points. Jamie is pleased with his progress:

“I am happy with the results from Oulton Park and Rockingham. We are still learning every time we get in the car and I know that there is a lot more to come.

The preparation for Snetterton has been going well, it will be the first time that I will have raced at Snetterton. Regardless, our first test on the 11th of May went great – really enjoyed the track, it suits my driving style wonderfully. Gym work has also been going very well – making sure I’m fully prepared for the race ahead.

I do have very high hopes for the third round at Snetterton, after my test there I truly believe we can go for the win!”

Davis had struggled over the winter to put a package together for this season, hence was quite late confirming his place in the team:

“We didn’t get the testing that we were hoping for! That said, we came out of Oulton with a great 2nd race, where I finished 7th having started in 20th position, and the pace was really good. Of course, at Rockingham we took a podium in race 1 and came from the back of the grid in race 2 to finish 5th, with a fastest lap also. The car was new for Rockingham and felt really awesome! I have driven a lot of Golfs over the last couple of years and this one is by far the best that I have driven.”

In preparation Toby likes to watch his on boards from the previous season and doing a few laps on the simulator. To increase support and continuation of funding he had also been promoting his latest vlog. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes and it really isn’t as simple as arriving at the track and driving. Currently standing with 70 points, in 12th position, he expects to only go higher up the board in the next round:

“I have to say that Snetterton is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar, so I’m hoping for good things. The flow of the circuit really suits my driving style and I have had a lot of success there in the past in Superkarts. Hopefully I can be at the front of the field, showing the RCIB logo off to the fans and the cameras!”

Don’t miss round 3 on the 28th of May.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 VAG Trophy Round 1 at Rockingham

2017 VAG Trophy Round 1

29th of April saw the 2017 VAG Trophy round 1 take place at Rockingham. The round was made up of two races, both proving to be tremendously intense. Race one’s Class A saw Paul Taylor take the victory, he was closely followed by Volkswagen Cup racer Ben Wallace in second and JWB team owner Nick Beaumont in third.
Taylor’s, an experienced Volkswagen Cup racer’s victory, did not come as a surprise, he held his position in the lead without too much struggle. However, a 17 year old racer, Wallace, who recently came back to represent RCIB’s sponsored TEAM Hard in VAG Trophy, surprised everyone by showing the spectators an impressive performance. He clearly did struggle a little during mid-race, when he managed to lose his position to Beaumont. However, it didn’t take long for Wallace to catch up and begin applying pressure on the rival, before snatching the position on lap 4 into the brook chicane.
Class B drivers saw the first race as exciting, all the drivers saw a chaotic start at the Deene hairpin. A duo of Audi TT’s lead the way heading towards the hairpin, who both soon managed to face collisions, which lead them both to unfortunate race ending, due to damage. Martyn Culley took the 1st place stand on the podium, followed by his team mate and father Barrie Culley in second and Tony Taylor, who is the father of Class A winner Paul Taylor, in third.
Race 2 saw the first race winners, prove themselves again, with only Nick Beaumont not gaining a podium stand this time. Kenan Dole successfully finished first, with Paul Taylor coming in second and Ben Wallace, after a close shave with Beaumont, coming in third place. The three drivers, kept their positions almost throughout the race, with only Ben Wallace managing to fall to fourth in lap 9, yet successfully regaining his position in the last lap. Class B first race winner, Martyn Culley, once again showed off his best moves and without too much trouble or any collisions took first place yet again – bringing home overall round 1 victory for his class. His father Barrie Culley once again coming in second place, with Tony Taylor following in third.

 

 

Round 2, which will be taking place in Snetterton on the 27th of May is set to be another exhilarating one. With drivers already back on race tracks preparing and mending their cars – who can we expect to come on top this time?!