Clark Stars in Spa-Francorchamps as VW Front-Runners Falter


Credit: VW Racing Cup

It was a breakthrough weekend for Ruaridh Clark in the VW Racing Cup. The young driver won both races at Spa-Francorchamps with the JWB Motorsport run Scirocco, the first of his career.

Clark had lost pole position to Josh Coggan, but the Golf driver still picked up a podium during a weekend in which the championship protagonists struggled. Chris Panayiotou squandered a perfect opportunity to extend his gap over the absent Dennis Strandberg as he failed to pick up a top ten, while both Toby Davis and Jamie Bond could only manage a podium each.

As a result, Paul Taylor finally broke his podium duct with a third in the final event as Callum Jenkins also picked up a personal best on his return. Elsewhere, Tom Witts proved to be one of the quickest drivers, but misfortune during the race saw him fail to pick up the points he deserved.

Qualifying

Pole: Josh Coggan – DW Racing – VW Golf

It would be Ruaridh Clark who surprised a number of drivers with his pace throughout the session. He looked on course for pole until a final lap for Josh Coggan demoted the teenager to only a second place start, with both out-qualifying Tom Witts in third.

It proved to be torrid session for championship leader Chris Panayiotou who could only manage seventh. Title rivals Matthew Wilson and Jamie Bond would finish ahead in fifth and sixth respectively, while Tom Walker impressed with a fourth place.

Josh Coggan snatched pole and remained quick throughout Friday. (Credit: VW Racing Cup)

RACE 1

Winner: Ruairdh Clark – JWB Motorsport – VW Scirocco

Early drama in the opening race saw championship leader Chris Panayiotou retire in the opening lap. The Maximum Motorsport competitor knew Spa was a golden chance to extend his lead over Dennis Strandberg, who is not present this weekend. Matthew Wilson was also forced to the pits as polesitter Ruairdh Clark extended his gap up front.

Clark would be chased by Josh Coggan, but maintained a comfortable gap over the Allumy Motorsport driver. All eyes were soon on Jamie Bond though, scything through the field and quickly into third. From here his progress slowed, with Toby Davis soon following him past the same opposition.

As the flag dropped it would be a comfortable win for the breakaway Clark with Coggan on his tail in the closing lap. Bond would cross the line a lonely third as Davis defended his fourth place from Tom Witts, who had been third in the early stages. The top six would eventually be rounded out by Simon Walton as only ten of the seventeen cars made the finish.

RACE 2

Winner: Ruaridh Clark – JWB Motorsport – VW Scirocco

The reverse grid race gave an opportunity for Toby Davis and Jamie Bond to hit back from more favourable positions, with both occupying the second row. Davis looked to be taking the initiative, as he quickly moved into second behind Tom Witts, though both were powerless to stop the advancing Ruaridh Clark.

The JWB driver proved he had raw pace and not just the ability to pull away at the front. Having taken the lead in the opening laps he did not give it up, with Davis the only driver to push him, eventually finishing over three seconds behind.

With Witts, Josh Coggan and Chris Panayiotou retiring, Paul Taylor rounded out the podium. The Power Maxed Racing driver spent last part of the race scything his way through the order after a battle with Jamie Bond and Tom Walker. The losing pair would fall to sixth and seventh respectively by the flag.

As a result Callum Jenkins took his best result of the year in fourth ahead of Matthew Wilson. Rounding out the top eight would be Matthew Evans.