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02
Sep

VW Racing Cup round 6

Onto round 6 of the VW cup and it happens to be at my home track, Brands Hatch. Based in Kent, Brands Hatch has a couple of different circuit configurations and we would be using the full GP track.

Last time I was here was in Formula Ford in 2013 and I managed a pole and podium so I headed into the weekend hoping for some good results.

Being 20 minutes down the road meant that I was able to wake up in my own bed each morning, rather than the usual random hotel. Friday practice was on the Brands Indy circuit (for some reason!) so I only had the opportunity to learn half of the track in the RCIB Racing VW Cup Car.

We were due to have 4 x 30 minute sessions, however due to weather and car problems I only managed a couple of these. Unfortunately we had a clutch issue which meant that the team were at the track fixing it 
until 10pm when we finally decided to call it a day.

Saturday arrived and after signing on, briefing and a few meetings qualifying was upon us. Unfortunately the clutch issue was still apparent and meant that I could not complete any qualifying laps – so this meant that I would be starting my home race from P31. Not ideal but the boys managed to get the issue sorted for race 1 at 18:30.

New tyres on and into the holding area in preparation for race 1. As I lined up on the grid after the formation lap I noticed that I was on a hill so had to somehow keep on the brake, throttle and clutch all at the same time. As the lights went out, there was a little jolt and the car cut out. Not a great way to start the race but after a push start from the marshals I managed to get up and running, albeit 30 seconds down. Luck must have been on my side as the safety car was out after lap 1 which gave me an opportunity to catch the back of the pack. As the time ticked down I started picking cars off 1 by 1 and by the end of the race I had made it up 7 places to P24.

Saturday night saw me run through some data with the team and tuck into the BBQ they put on. Sausages, Pork, Burgers, Chips, Wedges, Beans – everything you need for a nice BBQ with the TeamHARD boys and girls, well except the missing beers.

Sunday was soon upon us and the final race of the weekend for us was scheduled at 16:00. It was a manic day but was great to have so much support over the course of the weekend. Friends, family and sponsors all coming down to support the number 12 car and the team.

Race 2 fast approached and the plan was an all out attack. I got a good start, but people had decided to drive into each other at turn 2 meaning that I lost some of the advantage that I had made up. As the race progressed on I made up positions and even though there were some questionable driving standards out there, I managed a reasonable P16.

So, after a tough weekend we managed to pick up some more points for the championship. Not the best weekend of the season on the track, but definitely the best off it.

Huge thanks to all my friends, family, team and sponsors that are making this season possible. Next up is Donington  Park on 13th and 14th  September.

Simon Rudd

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