A week ahead of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship heading to Snetterton there were two BTCC stars in action as they took to the track for the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup.
Tom Onslow-Cole in a Volkswagen Scirocco and Rob Austin in a VW Golf run by BTCC regular Tony Gilham who had technical problems as Tom Onslow-Cole claimed a front-row slot in the qualifying session that had been rescheduled from Saturday due to a deluge of rain.
Race one saw Onlsow-Cole leap away from the start brilliantly before the race was red-flagged with the field not even making it to the first corner as a startline accident saw broken barriers and cars strewn across the race track. On the restart pole-sitter Joe Fulbrook got the leap on Onslow-Cole but it didn't take long for him to forge in to the lead and take a win on his debut.
Asked if he thought he was going to win going in to the race Onslow-Cole told theCheckeredFlag.co.uk : “I guess you never know with these things, probably a lot of the people around me expected it and hoped as well but it's a front-wheel-drive touring car, something I'm fairly familiar with, so I was confident as long as the car was good, that I'd be able to do a good job, but I didn't expect to be able to come in and win straight away.”
The second race saw the top six positions reversed and Onslow-Cole and despite an early show of pace dropped back as his wet tyres lost grip on a drying track. A late push and minus a rear-bumper Onslow-Cole would take fifth place.
“I was really impressed – not just by the car but by the whole set up” said Onslow-Cole. “The team I drove for, KPM, had done a fantastic job, mine was turned out perfectly and ran pretty much faultlessly all weekend, it was an impressive sight to see.”
Although the race was a one-off, Onslow-Cole revealed that he wouldn't mind the chance to race again the APR VW Racing Cup if given the chance.
“My deal was done through Miltek Sport a championship sponsor and a personal sponsor, I had a great experience and I'd love to come back and do some more if the opportunity is right” he said.
Despite the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rolling in to Snetterton this weekend Onslow-Cole doesn't feel that he gained an immediate advantage for the weekend ahead:
“The weekend is a little look at the circuit, but I turned up for qualifying, I did four flying laps in qualifying, five in race one because it was cut short and eight or nine laps in race two. It's not like I pounded round it for three days, I've probably done fifteen or 20 laps if I'm lucky!
“And most of those I was concentrating on learning the car, the championship and what I needed to do for the weekend. But I've seen the layout, it's fresh in my mind and I'm sure it'll help somewhere along the lines. “