Witts Extends Championship Lead during Rockingham Rumble


A double podium from Witts saw him extend the championship lead (Credit: JEP)

A win apiece from Bobby Thompson and Tom Witts sees the championship battle move in the Maximum Motorsport direction. A second and first from Witts ensures he extends the points lead and gives him a comfortable advantage going into Snetterton after another enthralling Rockingham event.

Qualifying

Pole: Bobby Thompson – Team HARD

After a round in which he settled into the Team HARD line-up, Bobby Thompson was quick to show he was a genuine championship contender. He set the pace early on, temporarily holding a full second gap to his rivals, finishing 0.611 seconds clear.

It was the championship regulars just behind though, with Tom Witts and defending champion Phil House who diced over second place. Both Witts and Thompson pulled in before the conclusion as the drivers struggled to improve.

Thompson would claim pole with a 1min 28.639 from Witts, House and Kieran Gordon. While last-minute signing Jack Walker-Tully and Simon Walton of the Over-40 class rounded out the top six.

Race 1

Winner: Bobby Thompson – Team HARD

As the lights went out, it was a fantastic start for Tom Witts, quickly taking the lead into the hairpin. Pole man Bobby Thompson was not about to take the result laying down though, diving back up the inside into Tarzan.

Behind them, a fierce battle saw Phil House initially jump into third before being swamped by Jamie Bond and Toby Davis. Their battle was cut short though as Benjamin Wallace beached his VW Golf bringing out the safety car.

Thompson led the field away on the restart as Davis secured third ensuring Bond was forced to hold off House and a queue of six others for fourth. The battle for the points lasted the whole race as Witts attempted to maximise a poor result for his major rival.

In the end, it was a calm and collected win for Thompson who dropped Witts at the mid-way point, winning by 5.8 seconds and setting a lap record for the VW Cup. By the end Witts was closer to third place Davis than he was to the leader.

Bond’s lunge meant that he was almost side by side across the line, but settled for fourth with House narrowly behind. Kieran Gordon and Jack Walker-Tully had joined the pack in the battle for the podium and finished sixth and seventh respectively as Kenan Dole rounded out the top eight.

A pole and race win saw Thompson claw back some points before being punted out of contention in race two. (Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

Race 2

Winner: Tom Witts – Maximum Motorsport

It had been Jack Walker-Tully on pole, but a poor start from both front row drivers allowed Tom Witts to have a strong run into the first hairpin taking the lead as key rival Phil House muscled into second.

Carnage behind resulted in Russell Joyce spinning onto the grass and bringing out the safety car shortly afterwards. Kieran Gordon had retaken second before the race was neutralised.

Gordon was out to prove that his pace was genuine as he hounded race leader Witts. This simply left him under threat from House though, with the fast restarting Bobby Thompson almost making it through as well.

Sadly for Thompson his run was ended prematurely. Kenan Dole was going for the move on Jamie Bond, touching and sliding into the door of Thompson into Tarzan. Dole retired immediately as Thompson was forced to limp round to nineteenth.

All of this allowed Toby Davis to jump up to fifth as the top five bunched up at the front. Witts’ tyres looked to have finally given up as he struggled to hold off House and company.

Despite his issues, Witts would hold on for his second victory of the year, once again from Phil House. Gordon would claim the final podium place as Walker-Tully and Davis chased him down. Rounding out the top eight was Bond, Simon Walton and Darrelle Wilson.