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GTi Challenge History

GTi Challenge Racing

GTi Challenge is a division of the GTi Club of SA, which offers an affordable means of getting into motor racing. It is a one make series catering for all VW products.

It all started in 1998 after a second trip to JHB to take part in their annual GTi Jamboree, then Chairman Grant van Eck stayed on to watch a round of the Gauteng GTi Challenge (soon changed their name to “VW Challenge” when it broke away from the local club) and to meet the committee. Following another successful GTi Jamboree at Killarney, which included the ever popular 5 lap race, Grant approached local WPMC Chairman Denis Joubert to introduce a local “version” of the GTi Challenge the following year. After many months of negotiation, Denis agreed to allow us to compete at 3 local race meetings in 1999 as demonstration races only. During this time, members rode their everyday road cars that were used at normal club events.

Starting with just 8 cars increasing to 15 by the 3rd race meeting, the seed was planted. Some of the early drivers that were well known in the local club scene included the likes of Grant van Eck, Brett van Eck, Wanie Phillips, Greig Edwards, Cobus Erasmus, Peet van der Walt, Anton Slabbert, Paul Winter, Peter Leid, Anton Kriel and Robby Ferroli. Some still race today.

We now had our foot in the door, however we still had some work to do. In order to compete in 2000, MSA insisted that we comply with normal rules and install roll cages, seats, harnesses and extinguishers – not taken lightly by our drivers, a few die hards stuck it out and did what they needed to do to keep the Scrutineers at bay. The next step was to put a set of rules together that was a cross over from the older Gauteng rules, but allowed us to maintain the cars that we had and allow other members to make an easy transition to challenge racing. After a lot of hard work we finally convinced all the powers that be and 2000 brought with it 7 local race meetings. And so GTi “Club” Challenge was born.

In the early years GTi Challenge drivers became well known for car preparation and driving skills and were regularly invited to exclusive events such as the CPMCC All Tar Rallies and Bloomsbury Hill Climbs. In 2000 three drivers braved the trip to JHB to compete at Kyalami in the televised VW Challenge. 2001 saw that number increase to 8 and in 2002 and 2003 16 drivers made the trek to the famous Aldo Scribante track in PE by invitation from Terry Moss. Since then GTi Challenge racing has travelled to the East London Grand Prix circuit and we have taken a record 28 cars to the Phakisa Raceway in Welkom for what has become our annual away race.

Our average entry levels has increased to a whopping 37 cars per race meeting and we had an all time record amount of entries at the race meeting of 02/07/2011 with 43 drivers entering GTi Challenge.

GTi Challenge is a grass roots motor sport category and with restrictions on things like the number of tyres used, power limits, minimum weights etc we not only make the series more affordable but also make for very close and exciting racing.

We have had the privilege of sponsorship association with the following companies:
1999 - Pine Time
2000 – 2001 NAD HiFi
2002 – 2003 Fast Parts
2004 – 2009 Powerflow Exhausts

2013-2014 Jive Cooldrinks & Armien Levy Motorsport

2015- present Bold Marine

 

The Gti Challenge Hall of Fame for Overall Champions:
2000 - Brett Roach
2001 - Gerrit Coetzee
2002 - George Economides
2003 - Wanie Phillips
2004 - Gerrit Coetzee
2005 - Peet van der Walt
2006 - Peet van der Walt
2007 - Greig Edwards
2008 - Aldrin van Zijl
2009 - Tersius van Tonder
2010 - Jacques Geldenhuys
2011 - Raymond Johnson

2012 - Raymond Johnson

2013 - Chris Swart

2014 - Paul Simon

GTi Challenge Chairman:
2000 – 2003 Grant van Eck
2004 – 2005 Peet van der Walt
2006 – 2008 Howard Daniels
2009 Rob Gillman
2010 - 2012 Lizelle van Rensburg

2013- 2014 Craig du Toit

2015 - Present Zaki Hendriks

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