Former double APR Volkswagen Racing Cup champion Phil House returned to winning ways at Snetterton, having only led the race heading out of the very last corner following a late problem for Ross Wylie.
Wylie had started from his maiden pole position for Sunday’s first of two races at the Norfolk circuit, and lead the race from the beginning after a good start to fend off the equally quick-starting Scirocco R of House into Riches for the first time.
The Slidesports driver held his rival at bay for the entirety of the 10-lap race, House keeping the pressure firmly on by sticking under a second behind Wylie all the way to the last lap where it looked like the result was set to stay.
However there was then the latest of late drama when, as the leaders came into the final corner for the last time, Wylie’s car suddenly spluttered and slowed to a crawl heading onto the start/finish straight having run out of fuel, PH Motorsport‘s House stealing the honours for his first win of 2013.
“I was just trying to maintain the gap on the last lap, and then I came through the final corner and suddenly the car just ran out of fuel”, said Scotsman Wylie afterwards.
There was also drama before the race when Stewart Lines was absent from third on the grid despite having electing the play his Joker for this race, Jack Walker-Tully the driver who benfitted as he jumped Henry Gilbert into the first corner for third spot, although Gilbert then returned the favour by diving inside Walker-Tully at Riches on lap three.
The real star of the race became championship leader Aaron Mason, the AMW/Warranty Direct driver charging through to join House and Wylie on the podium having started a disappointing 16th on the grid following a qualifying mishap the previous day.
Both Mason and KPM‘s Martin Depper – who started alongside him on row eight – ended lap one already inside the top 10, before both disposed of Paul Wyhinny’s SEAT and Tom Barley‘s HARD Golf GTI.
Mason quickly moved through a enticing race-long fight between David Sutton, Joe Fulbrook and Josh Caygill‘s Golf GTIs, before catching and passing Walker-Tully for fourth on lap eight and then relegating Gilbert from third a lap later with a brave move around the outside heading through Riches to complete his recovery drive, making it three Scirocco drivers on the podium.
Gilbert remained fourth ahead of Walker-Tully, while Depper also made his way through the fighting pack with a final move exiting Riches on Sutton, the latter having also passed championship contender Fulbrook who took advantage of a last-lap fuel leak that slowed Caygill’s car to a crawl to finish a slightly disappointing eighth as Mason extended his championship lead.
Andy Wilmot and Team HARD team-mate Barley – minus his front bumper – rounded out the top 10 behind Fulbrook, whose AMW team-mate Caygill eventually had to settle for 11th place after his own bout of late misfortune.