MARK Wakefield is determined that unexpected disruption to preprations for a new season won’t alter his aim of challenging for the Volkswagen Racing Cup title.

The Northwich driver will contest the opening round of the 2019 campaign as an independent entry after Team HARD Racing, who had been due to run his Golf again, announced last week it was quitting the series.

“I’ll be on the grid and that’s the important thing,” said Wakefield.

“But it’s been a rush job because we had no inkling before answering a phone call that they’d changed their mind.”

Wakefield had announced before Christmas that he would be staying with an outfit that had been home to the champion in each of the past two years.

An encouraging finish to 2018, which saw him stand on the podium after three of the final four races, convinced the Weaverham-based ace that he could compete – and beat – the championship’s quickest drivers.

It also convinced officials to present him with the Best Newcomer prize at their annual awards ceremony.

The 21-year-old told the Guardian he remains ambitious ahead of the season’s first races at Oulton Park, his home circuit, on Easter Monday.

Northwich Guardian:

Northwich driver Mark Wakefield is optimistic he can make an impression during the Volkswagen Racing Cup's opening round at Oulton Park, his home circuit, on Easter Monday

He said: “We made so much progress towards the end of last year.

“And the plan was always to take the next step and be at the front for the whole season this time around.

“The tests we have done so far have been positive, and we achieved what we had set out to when we spent a day at Oulton Park earlier this week.”

His machine will be prepared by engineer Craig Arnold, from Kingsley-based HSG Sport, who he worked with successfully during four years in the MINI Challenge UK.

It was his friend’s suggestion that he should ignore what his rivals were doing and opt for a different tyre that delivered a thrilling victory in drying conditions Donington Park last September when Wakefield surged from fifth to first during the final two laps.

“Craig was with us when we achieved our best results last season and there’s no reason why we can’t go out there do the same again,” added Wakefield.

“It’s been a frantic week or so trying to get everything ready but hopefully I can get a good result that makes all of the running around worthwhile.”

The Volkswagen Racing Cup provides support to the headlining British GT Championship and BRDC British F3 Championship this season.

Want to catch Mark in action tomorrow? Here’s what you need to know: 


Volkswagen Racing Cup 

Monday, April 22 

Qualifying 0830-0850 

Race one (20 minutes) 1300 

Race two (20 minutes) 1720 

Admission (on the gate)

Adults £25, Senior Citizens £19, Under 15s £15, Under 13s Free 

Or you can watch the action live on the Volkswagen Racing Cup’s YouTube channel here