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VW Cup Season Finale for Rudd

So the last round of the VW Cup had arrived. We headed up to Donington Park, near Derby, to use the full GP track. It was the first time that I have been to Donington and I was really looking forward to getting into the RCIB Insurance Racing Car.

Our practice session was scheduled for 5:30pm on the Thursday which meant that I had a day off on Friday to prepare for the weekend.

Testing went well and I felt happy with the car and track however we had an issue with the car that affected the rest of the session. Hopefully we would get that fixed on the Friday.

I didn’t do alot on the Friday other than stay around the awning with the lads, although I did help take one of the cars down for a power test which was about a 6 hour round trip! When we got back we had a good old fish and chips and it was back to the hotel to get ready for qualifying on Saturday.

I got to the track around 11am on the Saturday ready to sign on and have driver briefing. I hadn’t driven the car since Thursday so I was hoping that everything would be fine. After a lap or so in qualifying the issue that I had on Thursday seemed to still be there, which meant that I had to come into the pits and miss the rest of the session. The second race in a row that I have not been able to qualify properly and I was starting at the back of the grid.

Fortunately there were no races on the Saturday so I went back to the hotel, got washed and changed and headed out for something to eat with the family.

It was an early start on Sunday with race 1 being at 10am, so I got to the track around 8am. The boys had been working on the car and believed that the issue was fixed, so I headed out to the grid confident that we would have a strong race. As the first few laps were completed, I felt that the car was really lacking power and could smell fuel. This meant that I had to pit and retire from the race, my first DNF of the year. 

Race 2 was not until 4:30pm so there was a lot to mull over. I just wanted to the car to work and have a good race in the final round. After some more diagnostics and some Caribbean lunch (I had the chicken) it was time for the final race of the season. Not knowing whether the car would work or not, I was quite relaxed and wanted to try and enjoy it.

As the race got underway, the car felt much better and made up a few places on the first lap, however as I came round the last corner, there were cars all over the place (one on its roof!) which meant that the race was stopped and a full restart was called. It was a shame but I took the challenge to make those places up again.

The second race was much cleaner and after an eventful 20minutes I had made up 10 places to finish 19th. Not ideal but at least I finished!

So after 13 rounds, the season had come to an end. Going from the tight twisty Outlon Park, down to Spa in Belgium and finishing at Donington Park it had been a really enjoyable season.

This is my final opportunity to say thanks to all my friends, family, team and sponsors for making this season possible. It was great to see so much support for me in my first full season of car racing and something that I will never forget.

I am already looking forward to next year to build on the foundations of this year and really push forward.

Simon Rudd

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