Whilst eyes were focussed on the third round of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton last weekend, the prestigious and no-less-exciting Volkswagen Racing Cup (VW Cup) ventured to Snetterton, for the second round of the championship.The Norfolk track played host to the British GT Championship, of which the VW Cup is the main support fixture. The highly competitive series would utilise the infamous ‘300’ track configuration, known for its high speeds and for creating crowd-frenzying racing.
Power Maxed Racing’s VW Cup driver, Russell Joyce, was to take to the track in his Skull Club supported Mk7 Golf. After a solid performance at Oulton Park just a few weeks before, both Russell and the team were feeling positive about the weekend to come.
With the Qualifying session not starting until late afternoon, the team had plenty of time to analyse the upcoming weather and track conditions. The session started well, with Joyce posting increasingly improving times, until an unfortunate puncture put an end to his session after just 7 laps, leaving him unable to make the most of the clearer track and cooler air. He would start Race 1 on Sunday from P11.
Race 1 was to start just before lunch on a cloudy but dry Sunday. The race started well, with Russell making up places within the first lap.
A spectacular accident between Dan Crossley and former BTCC-driver Brett Smith would cause the race to be halted after just 3 laps, meaning Joyce was unable to capitalise on his pace to make up more ground, ultimately being classified P6, 5 places up from his starting position.
The reverse grid system employed by Series Organiser Stewart Lines meant that Joyce would start Race 2 from Pole Position. Wet at the start, a number of small-yet-unfortunate incidents would see Joyce concede a few positions to more experienced drivers as the track dried out, ultimately crossing the line in P6.
As well as accumulating a solid haul of points, Joyce also took home the prestigious Hankook Trophy.
Russell Joyce - “The complex Snetterton 300 racetrack was made even more challenging with the changeable weather! The team at PMR had delivered an awesome car, however after suffering with a puncture in qualifying we had a lot of work to do from P11. I’m delighted with two P6 finishes, which keeps me in striking distance of the championship title. We go to Silverstone GP next month with only 8kg of success ballast, so it’s all to play for!”
PMR and Joyce leave Norfolk sat at a fantastic P4 in the hotly contested championship, with the next round taking place at Silverstone on the 8/9th June.