Mason Stands Strong for Victory in Rockingham Opener

Mason, Sutton and Di Resta battled for the lead late on (Credit: Nick Smith)

Aaron Mason controlled the lead battle throughout the opening race for the Milltek Sport VW Racing Cup, taking victory to add to his Oulton Park success at the season opener.

Starting from second he made the best of a slightly messy start. Both Mason and polesitter Joe Fulbrook were slow away, allowing Stefan Di Resta to move between the both of them, towards taking the lead as the field started to curve around turn one. However, through the second phase of the start Di Resta’s momentum disappeared allowed Mason to taken the lead.

Di Resta would slump to seventh by the end of the opening lap, David Sutton picking up second place having started from eighth ahead of Fulbrook and James Greenway.

Both Fulbrook and Di Resta would move back up the order, the Scot quickly climbing back to fifth ahead of Stuart Lines (who made a mistake at Kirby on lap two) and Chris Panayiotou.

Fulbrook moved back to second on lap four before starting work on his AWM Warranty Direct teammates Mason for the lead. However as Di Resta continued his move forward by taking advantage of a Greenway mistake at Deene Fulbrook’s progress was halted in bizarre fashion. Chasing Mason both Fulbrook and his target ran wide at Kirby, Fulbrook’s trajectory taking him far enough up the track that his route of return took him through another of Rockingham’s circuit configurations, delivering him back into race at Brook, after cutting out much of the infield part of the lap.

Needless to say the lap was not counted, pushing Fulbrook nearly a lap down – he would be lapped in the closing minutes of the race by the three way battle that had developed in his absence. Sutton had been handed back second position by Di Resta was the fastest man on the circuit, latching onto the rear of the Slidesports Scirocco ahead.

However close they were the three remained in lock step, unable to make a move to break the stalemate.

James Greenway finished fourth ahead of Tom Barley, who inherited fifth when Panayiotou exited the race into the Kirby gravel on lap eight.

Philip House , Lucas Orrock, Josh Caygill (from the back of the grid), David Fairbrother and a recovering Lines completed the top ten.

Having failed scrutineering after qualifying Howard Fuller’s movement from the rear of the grid was hampered by mistakes – running wide at Kirby in the early laps – and 35 seconds worth of penalties for exceeding track limits, limiting him to a 23rd place finish.