Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup racer Josh Caygill encountered a very challenging and robust visit to Oschersleben in Germany over the weekend, 17th/18th May, with the Briton claiming a best result of 16th position during a rain-hit round four on Sunday.
Making his first competitive visit to the 2.3-mile track, the 24-year-old category rookie knew the event would be another significant learning curve but had hoped for more from the first race, round three, on Saturday when a potential finish close to the top 10, from 18th on the grid, went awry.
Despite an excursion and contact from a rival, which led to a puncture late in the race, Caygill still managed to coax his 2.0-litre, natural gas-powered Scirocco to the chequered flag to post an 18th position finish.
“It’s been another big learning weekend”, said the Netherton driver, “We struggled a bit with the tyres in qualifying, I only got about four good laps out of them before they went off so we ended up down in 18th for the first race which wasn’t what we’d hoped for.
“We’re up against a lot of really experienced drivers, though, and they’ve got good knowledge of the European circuits. We’ll definitely be stronger as the season progresses and we’ve certainly gained some important experience this weekend.”
Beginning Saturday’s race on the ninth row of the grid, Caygill gained a couple of positions on the opening lap and latched on to the battle at the tail of the top 10 with the midfield running nose to tail. However, an unfortunate excursion into the gravel on lap six, after the back of the car stepped out, impeded his progress.
Rejoining the track down in 21st position, the British racer battled his way back into 17th place but an errant challenge from a rival late on at the chicane damaged the wing as well as one of Caygill’s wheels which caused the puncture. Fortunately, he was able to make it to the finish.
Just prior to the start of Sunday morning’s race, rainfall led the championship organisers to elect to begin the encounter behind the Safety Car. As the conditions worsened, though, a decision was then taken to red flag proceedings to enable all of the drivers to fit treaded Dunlop tyres.
When the race resumed, still behind the Safety Car, Caygill held 19th position but when the action proper began he made swift progress and by the fifth racing lap he was into the top 15. Although elbowed back one place a few laps from the end, the West Yorkshireman was pleased with his pace.
“I worked hard trying to get through the field in race two and we were definitely happy to get another finish after, what was, a very eventful weekend”, he reflected, “Race one was going well too initially, I got up into 15th on the back of the battle over the top 10 but I just went a metre or so offline at the fast, triple left corner and lost the rear on the marbles.
“I did manage to save it but had to go through the gravel and then I got lunged later on. It wasn’t a result reflecting our level of performance as we had the pace to achieve more. It’s one to put down to experience!”
Yet another fresh challenge awaits Josh next month when the Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup travels to the Norisring street circuit in Germany for round five of the season on 28th/29th June. Before then, he will be back in action in the UK-based Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday, 1st June, and Snetterton 300 Circuit on Sunday, 22nd June.
Visit www.joshcaygill.com for all the latest news and follow him on Twitter @Joshracer14
Provisional 2014 Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup Driver Standings (after Rd4):=16th Josh Caygill & Frederik Schandorff, 23pts