Stewart Lines rounded off a superb day for the KPM squad, leading home another 1-2 finish during the 10th round of the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup at Spa-Francorchamps.
The result was the team’s second 1-2 finish in succession at the Belgian circuit, Lines avenging his earlier defeat to team-mate Martin Depper by beating the former Mini Challenge champion to the flag by a slightly more comfortable 1-1s, after Depper claimed race one of the day in a near photo-finish with his team-mate.
The pair started the race from row three on the grid after their race one 1-2, pole-sitter David Sutton leading the field away at the start of round 10 before losing the top spot as early as the exit of Eau Rouge, not aided by a turbo boost problem that began to manifest as early as the warm-up lap.
The lead was taken swiftly by championship leader Aaron Mason in the AWM/Warranty Direct Scirocco, but his lead dramatically lasted just half a lap as he lost control of his car and spun wildly down the pack to 17th place, Henry Gilbert luckiest of all those following to avoid collecting his rival.
The opening lap spills made for KPM thrills as Depper and Lines slipped through the antics and into the early lead, although a charging Gilbert – having started 11th on the grid – was now flying, and made his way up to third place and onto the back of the two leading Sciroccos to make it a three-car dice for the race lead.
Gilbert split the pair on the fourth lap as he moved briefly ahead of Lines, but the Sutton Coldfield man soon regained the place three laps later and began to close in on his team-mate once again. Lines grabbed the lead with three tours of Spa left to complete, the race going into a last lap showdown where Depper threw his car up the inside of is team-mate into the final chicane.
The last-gasp effort did not pay off however as Depper ran deep and allowed his team-mate to slip back through, Lines reaching the flag 1.1s ahead of Depper to claim his maiden VW Cup victory in the team’s second 1-2 finish of the day.
A well-deserved third place went the way of Gilbert in his Golf, the delighted HGR driver saying: “I’ve been trying for this for ages. The main thing now that I want to do is to thank my mum and dad, because we are running the Golf as a family team now and it’s all the more of an achievement because of that. I really enjoyed the race, although it was harder and a lot hotter out there.”
Having turned his engine off and on again, Sutton managed to defy his lap one car problems to claim fourth place in his Team HARD GTI, passing Josh Caygill and Peter Wyhinny by lap three where he remained fourth until the flag. Fifth went to Phil House meanwhile, the Snetterton winner finally overcoming gearbox problems that had plagued his weekend by charging through the field into the top five, sixth going to Caygill in another strong showing for the former bike racer.
Caygill stayed ahead of his AWM team-mate Mason who could only recover to seventh from his spin, while Joe Fulbrook finished eighth ahead of Kieran Griffin‘s Scirocco and Alex Dziurzynski’s Corrado.
The championship still sees Mason leading the way on 412 points, Fullbrook moving up to second ahead of the absent Ross Wylie to now lie 40 points behind his AWM/Warranty Direct team-mate.