Joe Fulbrook and James Walker were the class of the field in the first two rounds of the 2011 Volkswagen Racing Cup with FUCHS Lubricants at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend, taking a win and a second place apiece.
Maidenhead-based Fulbrook dominated qualifying to take pole position by almost half a second for the opening race, with Walker alongside him in his Golf Mk V GTI. A good start for Fulbrook saw him lead into the first corner, from Walker, Peter Felix, reigning champion Steve Chaplin, Steve Wood and Kieran Griffin.
An early battle emerged between Felix and Wood, with the latter getting past at the hairpin on the opening lap, before Golf driver Felix hit back at Old Hall on the next lap, before defending hard into Cascades to maintain the position.
Capitalising from this was Griffin, brother of BTCC racer Liam, with a good run to Island Bend seeing him gain two places for fifth, with Wood dropping back to seventh behind Richard Walker, who had worked his way up from thirteenth on the grid. Griffin quickly lost one of those places again on lap three though, with Walker finding his way by at Old Hall on lap three.
As the action cooled, it was left to 2008 and 2009 champion Fullbrook to cruise home for victory in his Bora, with James Walker and Chaplin completing the podium. Fourth place went down to the wire, with Felix just holding off Richard Walker, ahead of Griffin and Wood. Mike Kurton finished eighth in his Scirocco, with SEAT Cupra R driver Jamie Corstophine and Tim Snaylam completing the top ten. Aaron Mason, who was expected to challenge at the front, finished thirteenth after brake problems forced him to start from the pitlane.
Race two was set to see Griffin line up on pole, but a loss of drive forced him into retirement at the end of the green flag lap. This allowed fellow front row start Richard Walker to lead into Old Hall, ahead of Felix, Chaplin and Fulbrook.
Losing out early on was Chaplin in his 'Herbie' Beetle RSI, getting passed by Fullbrook and then to James Walker. At the front, Felix grabbed the lead from Richard Walker at Lodge on the opening lap, before the places switched back at Old Hall at the beginning of lap two.
The front four began to bunch up, with Fullbrook pressuring Felix for second, but unable to find a way past. He was quickly focusing on defending rather than attacking though, with James Walker pressuring him hard, eventually finding his way past on lap five, before gaining another place when Felix was forced to pit from second on lap nine with a damaged wheel and suspension.
This allowed James Walker to chase down his father Richard in the lead, with the latter offering no opportunities for him to get through until the final lap, when he went wide on the grass, which allowed Walker Jnr through the take the win, with Fullbrook and Chaplin also getting through to complete the podium. Walker Snr recovered for fourth, with Wood fifth and Mason working his way to sixth from thirteenth on the grid. Kurton took seventh, with Zoe Wenham, the series youngest competitor, taking a superb eighth, ahead of Snaylam and Martyn Walsh.
Provisional championship standings
1= Fulbrook 86pts
1=James Walker 86
3 Chaplin 76
4 Richard Walker 72
5 Wood 64
6 Kurton 58
9 Walsh 48
10 Wenham 46 etc