Former double APR Volkswagen Racing Cup champion Phil House will make his return to the series in 2013, and says he is not counting out the possibility of becoming the VW Cup’s first triple champion.
House previously beat the likes of BTCC racer Shaun Hollamby on his way to winning both the 2004 and 2005 titles in a Beetle RSi, before moving to the UK Renault Clio Cup championship in 2006 where he picked up two podiums on his way to finishing eighth that year.
Since 2008, House has made appearances in national Mini and Mazda championships, and worked as a successful driver coach for the likes of Ginetta Junior champions Charlie Robertson and Sarah Moore, as well as fellow double VW Cup title winner Steve Chaplin.
Now for the coming season he will return to his old playground with his PH Motorsport family team, and is relishing his return to full-time racing, telling theCheckeredFlag.co.uk: “I can’t wait to have another crack at a full season of racing, It’s been three years since I last had a full campaign. I’ve enjoyed have one-off drives in championships but nothing compares to getting your teeth into a full years racing!
“It’ll be nice to try and compare myself against the young up and coming drivers to see if I still can compete.”
Despite making several selected race appearances in national motorsport, House admits that he has not spent a large amount of time behind the wheel of a race car as a driver coach and track day lapper, saying: “It helps on some ways and not in others really, yes I get to see points on the track that have developed and have plenty of references, but it’s surprising how little actual driving I do nowadays on track, mainly from the passenger’s side! And now a lot of my work is manufacturer based work which doesn’t have too much track element.”
However, the thought of becoming the VW Cup’s first three-time champion still runs through his mind, and he hopes that a strong start to the season could pave the way towards launching a serious title attack in 2013.
“I’m not looking too far past the first round at the moment”, cautions House. “I just want to try and get some solid points at Oulton and then see where we are. I would hope I can be somewhere near come the end of the season, it would be amazing to be the first triple VW Cup Champion! Fingers crossed!”
The new season is already boasting large grids for 2013, and House and his family squad have chosen to race with the championship’s newest machinery, the Scirocco R, a car that they have begun testing with this week.
“I chose [the Scirocco] because I wanted a modern car; they have been successful in the last couple of years so I have a great starting point to work with. As I’m writing this, I’m watching my car on the rolling road at APR having its final map fitted before testing later in the week at Oulton. Hopefully I’ll do a fair bit of testing at my local track Croft…their support of me over the years has been fantastic.
“Also we are a real family team, my father helps a lot on the weekends as my pit man and also this year my cousin Rob Fern, a chassis ride and development engineer from Jaguar is helping on the suspension side of the car, so if I’m struggling I have an excuse!”
House’s quest for that coveted third championship will begin at Cheshire’s Oulton Park Circuit on April 30.