Vinnie wins Zuera Cup!

May 18, 2021


It was a brilliant weekend for Vinnie Phillips at Zuera after he took his first win since graduating to the Junior X30 class, and on a big stage in the shape of the Zuera Cup! The event, that is being used by many to prepare for the second round of the IAME Euro Series, boasted a big grid with many familiar faces from the championship. Over the two days Vinnie was able to turn his recent bad fortunes around and take the win in just his fourth race with the Strawberry Racing team.

Since joining the team at the start of April, Vinnie has been quickly adjusting to the Tony Kart chassis and working with driver coach Callum Bradshaw, to prepare for the British Kart Championships and remaining IAME Euro Series races. Although Vinnie has been quickly improving his pace, his fortunes on track have not helped produce the results to mirror that.

With the Zuera Cup a one off event, purely used to prepare for round two of the Euro Series, this was a perfect opportunity for Vinnie to put all his recent hard work into practice. First though, he would have to learn the Zuera circuit, which is one of the fastest in Europe with its long straights and long sweeping corners. 

After a couple days of practice Vinnie was quickly up to speed and even quicker than his older and more experienced competitors going 2nd in qualifying. It put him in a great position for the three heats to follow which would see Vinnie finish 4th in the first before winning the second. A front fairing penalty in the third would sadly see Vinnie finish down in 13th but the combined results were still good enough to put him 3rd on the grid for the Pre-Final.

The Pre-Final would be perhaps a defining point for Vinnie in the weekend, despite the fact that he’d go backwards slightly in the race. After a good start, getting immediately into 2nd behind teammate Kanato Le, he would soon be put on the back foot. Dropping to 4th on lap four, Vinnie would still be in the lead battle, but that would change on lap six.

A battle kicked off for 3rd which would quickly turn into a scrap, seeing Vinnie forced back down the order all the way to 10th with just three laps remaining. As well as being in 10th he now had a gap to chase to the drivers ahead. With his bad fortunes in recent weeks, it is a situation Vinnie has found himself in a similar position a few times in 2021 and he put his recent work with Cal into good work, getting his elbows out on the last lap to finish 7th.

As well as a few positions gained, it put Vinnie on the inside of the grid for the start of the final. Vinnie would make the most of that starting positions to get himself up to 3rd on the opening lap of the final putting him straight in the fight for the lead. After closing down what was a small gap to the leaders, he moved into 2nd on lap three.

Making the move on Le had created a gap 0.7 seconds to race leader and local driver, Ivan Arias Chavarri. Setting blistering pace Vinnie had caught the leader in just three laps and took the lead straight away. Once there, the nature of the circuit made it difficult to break away and Vinnie would have to fight off three different drivers to hold on to his lead.

The pressure would last all the way until the last lap, when Vinnie would finally get a break and went on to go and seal his first victory in the Junior X30 class. The result couldn’t have come at a better time for Vinnie with the IAME Euro Series heading to Zuera this weekend and with the national championships about to kick off in the UK it makes a statement of intent for the rest of his season.

Vinnie will now hope to use that pace and race craft that helped him on Sunday and turn it into another good result at the IAME Euro Series second round at Zuera this weekend, where he sits just eleven points behind 2nd in the championship. 

Jesse Phillips finishes 2nd in Mini X30

It was also a great weekend for YRDA’s Jesse Phillips who finished an impressive 2nd in the Mini X30 class. After qualifying 3rd Jesse would spend most of the race fighting for the lead and a hectic last lap would see him walk away with 2nd after a great tussle with Luna Fluxa. It is Jesse’s first European podium and comes on the eve of the second round of the IAME Euro Series which will also be taking place at Zuera this weekend.