Having claimed two titles in his illustrious Volkswagen Racing Cup career behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Bora, Joe Fulbrook continued his success in the series’ second round at Rockingham in a new Golf GTI, leaving with the championship lead after sharing the wins with Aaron Mason.
The two AWM/Warranty Direct drivers started their weekend battling for pole position on the Sunday at Rockingham, Scirocco driver Mason coming out on top before taking a lights-to-flag victory in the first of the two races held at the Motor Speedway.
A great start for Mason kept him at the front, while former double series champion Phil House made a superb getaway to leap up from fifth on the grid to second place, Fulbrook slipping to fourth place. “I got a great start,” said House. “I wanted to make sure that I split up Mason and Fulbrook so they couldn’t tow each other around.”
House was never quite close enough to make a move on Mason at the front, but made a welcome return to the VW Cup podium in second place, Mason taking his second win of the season to back up his Oulton Park triumph.
Winner Mason admitted the race was not perfect, but he came out of it with the perfect result nonetheless, saying: “It was a good race, but the car felt slow to me; there didn’t seem to be much grip out there. The guys behind me were pushing hard and banging in some quick laps. It was a good clean race and I played my Joker card, so it’s all good.”
Third-placed man Martin Depper made it a tightly-bunched Scirocco 1-2-3 in race one, the former Mini champion putting his podium visit down to a strong first lap. “I made a decent start and was following Joe,” said Depper. “Then I think he missed a gear and I was able to slot in underneath. Then I looked across and saw Philip coming past me – he had a cracking start. It was an awesome first lap.”
Fulbrook recovered from an excursion that dropped him to 16th by grimly charging his way through the field to an eventual fifth place, meaning he started race two later that Monday on the front-row, making a good start to maintain second place behind pole-sitter Henry Gilbert.
Maidenhead driver Fulbrook was soon at the front with a quick lunge into Tarzan hairpin, and it was there that he stayed until the flag for his first win of the season, his first in his new Golf.
“I had but of an issue to contend with towards the end,” said Fulbrook, “and lost all the time I had gained. But I knew that if I could just keep it flat out around the banking then I should be all right.
“The new Golf has been great right out of the box – I don’t think I’ll be going back to the Bora”, said the former champion on his switch to the new machine.
Fulbrook nursed his car to the flag ahead of Stewart Lines, the KPM driver first surviving a tangle with his own team-mate Depper at Deene hairpin for the first time around that sent Depper to the pits with bodywork damage, before later taking advantage of a feisty scrap in front of him between Didge Dziurzynski and race one winner Mason, one which saw contact at the final chicane eliminate the former from the equation was he was tapped into a spin by Mason’s Scirocco.
Lines grabbed second from the pair in their skirmish, and was delighted with a personal best second place, saying: “We [Lines and Depper] came together in the first bend, it was unfortunate but I think he’ll be OK about it once he calms down. I had to work hard for that result: I was watching Aaron and Didge scrapping and I knew they were going to come together. When they did I took my chance.”
Fulbrook’s success leaves him leading Mason by 18 points heading to Silverstone in two weekend’s time, the pair a long way clear of their main rivals already, lead by Ross Wylie.