Ross Wylie won a punch and counter-punch battle with Phil House in a drying qualifying session for the fourth round of the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup at Snetterton, while championship leader Aaron Mason hit trouble.
Mason briefly went to pole in the early stages of qualifying ahead of Andy Wilmot, but soon it became a battle between House and Wylie for honours as the final 10 minutes of the session approached.
House disposed of Mason’s early effort on his third lap, the lap times languishing in the 2m22s barrier initially before plummeting in the drying conditions, Stewart Lines coming closest to the time by a mere 0.058s back only for House to go almost two seconds quicker on his next effort.
Slidesports driver Wylie however eventually brought himself into the mix with his two fellow Scirocco R rivals, leaping up to third place before taking the fight to House by going up to pole position after a super lap on his sixth tour of the Snetterton 300 circuit.
House was not done yet however as he once again raised the bar to dip under the 2m20s barrier, only for his Scirocco rival Wylie to then smash the pole time of former double series champion House by moving back to pole position, then improving to a 1.7s lead cushion.
Behind them, a super effort from the Golf GTI of Josh Caygill jumped him up into third place behind the duelling pair, both of which took their fight down to the last minute of the session.
House gave it one final push to snatch back pole position as the chequered flag flew in front of his windscreen, going half a second faster than Wylie before the Slidesports man returned the favour by improving by another half a second, Wylie snatching pole position despite House’s last effort being again just enough for pole, only for the Oulton Park race winner to take his first VW Cup pole with a 2m15.913s lap that sealed the deal.
House had to settle for a front row spot alongside him after missing out by 0.520s, Lines lying a distant third ahead of Henry Gilbert and Jack Walker-Tully rounding out the top five, while a strong showing from former bike racer Caygill saw him qualify sixth ahead of David Sutton‘s Team HARD Golf GTI.
Joe Fulbrook surprisingly languished outside the top 10 for much of the session, but recovered from a once lonely 19th place up to eighth on the grid by the flag, Tom Barley finishing ninth ahead of Graham Perkins in their HARD GTIs, although the latter suffered a first lap to forget when his bonnet opened exiting the pits, only for the boot lid of his Golf to then raise moments later.
Elsewhere, championship leader Mason had a session to forget as he parked his AMW/Warranty Direct car in the barriers after an off at Riches, while fellow title contender Martin Depper also fell foul at the same bend. The pair will therefore start further down the grid than they would have liked, Mason starting 16th behind Depper in an equally lowly 15th.