Aaron Mason double Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup champion!
Aaron Mason claimed the second Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup championship title of his seven-year track career in the final race of the season at Donington Park, in a meeting that left season-long points leader David Sutton with a very bad taste in his mouth.
Rotherham race-ace Sutton had led the series since the opening round, taking 4 wins in the initial 9 races, with Mason increasingly snapping at his heels.
Coming into the final meeting Sutton had a 14-point margin over Doncaster driver Mason who claimed pole position for round 15.
Both the championship title duo had first-lap dramas as their VW Sciroccos were assaulted by Team HARD cars: Mason punted across the gravel, while Sutton was speared into the wall.
Limping back to the pits and retirement, Sutton recounted, “I passed a crowd of grinning Team HARD mechanics as I crawled down the Pitlane: their scholarship prize brought me into the series and I don’t think they wanted me to win the championship with any other team…”
Recovering to finish 8th, Mason said, “when I realised David had gone off I just had to bring it home”, trimming Sutton’s advantage down to just 2 points.
Needing to end the final race at least three places ahead of Sutton, 35-year-old Mason showed uncharacteristic restraint starting the final round from 8th.
“I was driving a very careful race, managing the car to the end”, Mason aware that Sutton was four places behind, was more relieved than delighted to see the chequered flag, “It just got me home – I’m not too sure how many more laps the car would have managed as I was suffering fuel surge, the tyres were gone, the driveshafts rumbling…”.
“I’m well chuffed as I’ve only won one race this year – the only time we’ve done OK is when there hasn’t been too much weight on the car”, consistent top-6 finishes meant his car always carrying 50kg success ballast, “That took its toll in the mid part of the season”.
After the morning race’s crash, “I thought it was 100 per cent over for me, so it’s amazing to be standing here now as champion!”.
24 year-old Sutton deserved a better end to his season – being allowed to mount a valiant head-to-head defence of his championship lead battling to the flag.
Instead, although repaired, his car was ill-handling and prevented him advancing higher than 12th from his 24th grid slot.
Proudly showing “Justin Wilson RIP” stickers on his crash helmet and car in remembrance of the fellow Rotherham racer, a dejected Sutton slipped to 3rd overall in the championship standings, 6 points adrift.
As VW Cup Champion, Mason is to race in the final rounds of the Audi Sport TT Cup at Hockenheim in Germany, “It certainly puts a smile on my face. I’m enthusiastic to drive one of the 310bhp Audis – it’s a bit more like a race car so I’m hoping that it will be a good experience!”.
While Mason is undecided what he will race in 2016, for Sutton an exhausted budget may make the decision for him.