Bobby Thompson took victory in the first VW Racing Cup race of the day at Donington Park as long time leader Howard Fuller made a massive mistake on the last corner to lose victory.
There was action as soon as the flag dropped as Aaron Mason and Robert Barrable, who started on the front row, went at it hammer and tongs going down the Craner Curves and into the Old Hairpin. Unfortunately for both of them, Barrable tried to be clever and lunged down the inside, it majorly failed and saw them collide sending both of them into the gravel. They both got back onto the track but Barrable immediately pulled the car into the paddock and Mason pulled a great drive to recover to 10th.
Mason was one title contender seeing his race majorly hampered, but he didn’t have to despair too much as fellow title rival David Sutton was tapped into a spin on the start/finish straight at the end of the first lap and made quite heavy contact with the wall. He did another lap but had to retire the car thanks to a lot of left side damage on the car.
As if the first lap wasn’t exciting enough, Simon Tomlinson in the AWM Motorsport Golf beached himself in the gravel at Coppice and the safety car was called for.
In all that melee Howard Fuller in the Team HARD Racing Golf found himself in the lead with Phil House and Michael Epps following close behind. So many were overtaking under yellows though, that a raft of penalties could well be handed out.
With only half of the 20 minute race left to run, the safety car came back in and immediately the top five, which included Fuller, House and Epps, as well as Bobby Thompson and Jack Walker-Tully, went mad and battled as though their lives depended on it.
That meant that positions were changing faster than you could spot them with Walker-Tully working his way up to third on one lap and then dropping down to fifth on the next.
The biggest beneficiary of all the movement, which saw Epps drop from second to third, was Thompson who saw himself being pulled – almost magnetically – onto the bumper of Howard Fuller who was putting on a defensive masterclass to keep his lead.
Lap after lap they were running nose to tail and every so often Thompson would claim brief lead coming out of Coppice, only to see Fuller sneak back through at the Esses.
It appeared that Fuller would hold on from his Team HARD team mate, but on the very last corner of the race Fuller braked too hard and saw himself running way, way wide and handed the victory to Thompson on a plate. To rub salt in the wound Fuller wouldn’t even finish on the podium as both Epps and House went past to claim second and third with the erstwhile leader finishing fourth.
Also having a nightmare on the last lap was Jack Walker-Tully, running in fourth place he befell difficulties on the last lap of the race and saw himself drop to eighth with Lucas Orrock, Joe Fulbrook and Simon Rudd claiming fifth, sixth and seventh.