Aaron Mason and Ross Wylie were the men who collected the opening spoils of the 2013 APR Volkswagen Racing Cup at Oulton Park, the latter leading the championship after succeeding on his maiden outing in the championship.
The weekend’s pair of exciting races on Monday (April 1) at the Cheshire circuit saw Doncaster’s Mason pick up from where he left off in 2012 by winning the opening round after a hard-fought battle with Martin Depper and Jim Cartwright, the latter briefly taking the lead at Old Hall before light contact between him and Mason later in the lap saw Cartwright slide wide and down to third.
Warranty Direct/AWM‘s Mason from then on managed to hold off former BTCC driver Depper to win on his debut in a new Scirocco machine, and afterwards said: “Given that I’ve had only around six hours in the new car, I’m very pleased. Martin (Depper) did a great job, to be fair – he kept it clean. Jim raced well also; I think both of them had faster cars than mine towards the end of the race, but mine was a bit wider.”
On his battle for the lead, Cartwright – virtually running his Coverworld-backed Golf GTI single-handed – added: “I managed to get past Aaron but then I locked my brakes and unfortunately gave him a bit of a bang. Then, running up to Knickerbook, I gave him room but he pushed me on to grass. It was fair enough, and I’m delighted with third, it’s a great boost.”
Wylie meanwhile finished an impressive fourth on his debut Volkswagen Racing Cup race, and the Slidesports driver then went three steps better after dispatching the Bora two-time champion Joe Fulbrook for the lead on the first lap of race two, the Dumfries driver surviving a safety car period to cruise home to victory by 1.8s.
Cheered on by his team as he collected his silverware, Wylie – who will also contest the European Scirocco R-Cup this season – achieved his first major success as early as the second race of the second, and thanked his Slidesports squad after the podium celebrations: “It’s the perfect way to start the new season. This was my first weekend on proper racing slicks, so it was a whole new ball game for me.
“I got my head down and worked hard at it – it was a difficult race because of the safety car but I just had to keep my cool”, added Wylie, who is tied on points for the championship lead with KPM‘s Depper. “I’d just like to thank everybody for this opportunity; my mum and dad, and of course Slidesports. It’s been a great weekend.”
SlideSports boss Mark Jenkins was full of praise for his new driver’s performance at Oulton Park, commenting: “Ross is an asset to the team and has done a great job today. He has natural talent, is very capable and very intelligent and he will be even better when he has learned about working with the slick tyres.”