In the latest column for VXR, we get the inside story on the real battle fought over the course of the weekend at Snetterton, when VX Racing and Dunlop went head-to-head on the football pitch ahead of the seventh round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

While most of the teams in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship spent the Friday night before Snetterton preparing for the latest round of the series, a team from VX Racing was braving the conditions at the home of Mulbarton Wanderers and Belles for a football match against tyre supplier Dunlop.

As a rivalry that had bubbled under the surface all season came to a head, a team from the multiple BTCC champions took to the field against a team supposedly made up of Dunlop employees - but which also included TOCA officials and an ex-VX Racing engineer.

With rain falling, it was VX who hit the front, when striker George Wilks volleyed in the opening goal, but before half time the game was level when Dunlop equalised.

As if seeing the equalising goal hit the back of the net wasn't bad enough, the goal came from John Waterman, a former VX Racing engineer now working with James Thompson at SEAT - Waterman being one of the 'outsiders' called into the Dunlop squad when they were unable to raise a team of their own.

The second half yielded no more goals, which meant that the dreaded penalty shootout was called upon to decide who would claim the replica World Cup trophy and who would spend the rest of the weekend listening to jibes from the victors.

Unfortunately, the shootout would go the way of Dunlop - meaning it was VX Racing who left the clubhouse after the game with the booby prize of two DVD's of the Italian Job rather than the treasured trophy.

However, the Vauxhall crew were at least gracious in defeat when they gave their opinions afterwards.

Well, almost...

John Morton - Technical Director/Goalkeeper:
"It was a game of two halves but in the end football was the winner..... Oh and Dunlop, the cheating ********!"

Neil Pickering - Chief Truckie/Defender:
"Good game, we should have won! Afterwards I had a paper cut on my leg from the hundreds of brown envelopes I had to walk through and I also saw the ref getting into a brand new ROLLS ROYCE!.

"But on Saturday the cup was back with its rightful owners..."

Neil Riley - Tyre Technician/Midfielder:
"Fair, friendly and above all fun! Match could've gone either way, just a shame in the end it didn't go the way it should have....Maybe next time.

"Many thanks to Mulbarton FC."

Richard Walker - IT Manager/Forward:
"After the game I asked the ref if we played next year whether he would accept a bribe. He told me he would've this year!!! If only we'd known... Come to think of it, maybe Dunlop did :-)

"It'll be different next year anyway as we have a Russian billionairre interested in buying us. Expect some big money signings and maybe matching socks and shorts!"

Frank Marie - Marketing Manager/Forward:
"I had heard some rumours about some unethical deals going on before the game but could not believe it to be true. Now, come to think I did see some large brown envelopes being handed out at half time by the opposition's manager to some TOCA ringers...... ;-) "

George Wilks - Damper Technician/Goalscorer:
"Well what can I say! Tony and the Dunlop boys gave us a tough, and at the same time fair, game which I really enjoyed. There was a really good atmosphere even though the weather wasn't that special.

"The penalty shoot out at the end of the game was exciting and the better team won at the end of the day. May it be the first of many matches between us, and lastly well done to Mulbarton who put the nets up in a torrential downpour when we arrived! Well done to everyone involved!"

As for Tom Chilton, Gavin Smith and Fabrizio Giovanardi - well the less said about their performance on the sidelines, the better...

Dunlop will now defend their title in what is due to be an annual event next season.

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