Donington lives up to its reputation
Volkswagen Racing Cup - Rounds 13 and 14
14th & 15th September 2019
After recording two non-finishes in rounds 7 and 8 at Donington Park the end of June, Jeff Alden was determined to change his fortunes at the Midlands venue for rounds 11 and 12 and the final Volkswagen Racing Cup meeting of the season. But it was not to be and a double DNF meant the Matrix Motorsport driver will now have to wait until next year to turn the tables at this challenging track.
Practice on Friday was going well until something broke in the Golf’s gearbox, bringing Jeff’s pre-event track time to a premature end. The Maximum Motorsport team changed the transmission overnight in readiness for qualifying on Saturday afternoon, but without the seat time in practice, Jeff was unable to get better than 12th for the start of race one on Sunday morning.
An indifferent getaway saw him head into Redgate in the middle of the pack and knowing he had a performance advantage over those around him, he attempted to make up places, only to get tangled-up at McLeans – a move that resulted in an excursion over the grass and contact with an Armco barrier. Unbeknown to Jeff, the radiator was damaged and he no choice but to retire after the second lap with an overheated engine.
The Maximum Motorsport mechanics then worked their magic and fitted a new engine before race two in the afternoon, enabling Jeff to get onto the grid, albeit on the back row. It was a better start and when the safety car was deployed on the second lap, he was up to eighth.
When racing resumed, Jeff began to make up more places, but after clipping a kerb at the Old Hairpin, another excursion and contact with a barrier on lap seven brought about another early exit.
“My Donington luck hasn’t seemed to have changed”, said a philosophical Jeff. “It wasn’t the way I wanted to bow out of the season, but it’s been great fun while it’s lasted, I’ve learnt a lot and know that better results are there for the taking. We’ll just have to wait until next year to put that into practice.
“I must thank the Maximum Motorsport team for their hard work this weekend and have done during the year. I also extend my appreciation to everyone who has supported me this season: SEE Services, Old Cottage Beer Company, DE Data, Inspired Business Media, ACCL, HVAC FM and