Strandberg Starts Season with Dominant Display


Credit: VW Racing Cup

The VW Racing Cup was back in full force at Silverstone this weekend, with Dennis Strandberg coming away as the dominant championship contender. The Swede took pole and both race wins as a dramatic second event saw only half of the 20 car grid finish the race.

Coming into the weekend Strandberg was one of the early favourites, but his display around the national circuit will leave many to wonder if he can even be challenged. Simon Walton was the only other driver to collect two top five finishes with Jamie Bond and Toby Davis taking podiums in the opening race. Martin Depper would also put in a strong performance but a disqualification in the last race leaves him with work to do.

Elsewhere, Simon Tomlinson in his VW Golf also took a clean sweep in a dilapidated VAG Class field, with Ruaridh Clark winning the Hankook Trophy.

Qualifying

Pole: #4 Dennis Strandberg – Maximum Motorsport

A damp Saturday greeted the drivers for a new season with the drivers daring to push the limits of the car around the Silverstone National circuit. Simon Walton and Toby Davis were the first to take charge at the top, though it would be an early end for the Slidespeed team car who beached it in the gravel, while top of the pile.

Martin Depper and Jamie Bond were the first to beat his time, but it was Dennis Strandberg who put in a late flyer to go fastest. Bond was second, with Depper and Walton on the second row ahead of Ruaridh Clark.

Like many of the front-runners, Tom Walker had a strong opening race only to retire in race two, where he’d started on pole. (Credit: VW Racing Cup)

Race 1

Winner: #4 Dennis Strandberg – Maximum Motorsport

Starting on pole Dennis Strandberg knew he had every advantage to kick off his year on the front foot. A clean start to the race ensured positions from qualifying didn’t change much, with Strandberg and Jamie Bond leading the way in the first half.

Behind them, Martin Depper, Owen Walton and Toby Davis found themselves in a battle for the final podium place, while contact further back scuppered Ruaridh Clark’s chances at a strong debut.

Strandberg was on for an easy win, but in the closing laps suffered a clutch issue, allowing Bond to overtake. The Swede fought back though, taking back the lead before Bond was handed a five second penalty for track limit violations. This didn’t affect his position though, with Davis coming home in third.

Unfortunately for Depper, his step down into VW’s hadn’t been an trouble-free as he expected, settling for fourth with Walton remaining fifth after his late race battle with Tom Walker.

Race 2

Winner: #4 Dennis Strandberg – Maximum Motorsport

The reverse grid event saw Tom Walker on pole with Owen Walton lining up alongside him. As for the other Walton, Simon ended his race on the first lap, along with Hammerton and Tim Docker. As for the front row drivers, they found themselves swallowed as Martin Depper and Dennis Strandberg made their way up the order.

Jamie Bond led from Depper and Strandberg after 5 laps, but battles between the two former BTCC drivers allowed the Team HARD. car to break away slightly. With Strandberg soon getting past Depper the pair closed in to make it a three-way fight for the lead.

Two laps to go and Strandberg finally made the overtake work, taking the lead from Bond, who dropped behind Depper and Walker into fourth, only to then pull into the pits. It turned out to be a day in which no-one wanted the podium as Walker’s car failed him into Maggots, leaving Strandberg to take the win.

Strandberg’s win would be further exaggerated with Depper later disqualified from second promoting O. Walton and Chris Panayiotou to the podium. The top six was rounded out by Ruaridh Clark, Matthew Wilson and Josh Coggan.