As the Cape’s most wildly popular main circuit series heads into the closing stages of the season, the Bold Marine Gti Challenge racing series heads down to Port Elizabeth to wage war at the infamous tyre shredding Aldo Scribante Raceway.
Although the battlefield has moved, the masses will be in for a real treat as each driver will be on similar terms with new straights & corners to negotiate. However a few competitors have had the opportunity to blast around the circuit in other racing formulas which will also give them a slight advantage come Saturday 16th September.
The field in Class A will be a small one with only 4 entries scheduled to appear on the grid. However these drivers are no strangers to the Aldo Scribante circuit and will be putting on a magnificent display of driving finesse.
On the entrants list is Round 2 winner & Inaugural overall champion Brett Roach (Old Mutual Jetta III). Roach returns to the driving seat after a 6 month break from the series. However the ex overall champion has not been too long out of action as he last competed in a Bmw e36 sedan in the Midas Clubmans series a little over 2 months ago. Roach will be looking at setting the benchmark once again as the ex champ plans to stamp his authority on the class.
But Roach will not have it easy as another fierce competitor whose name is synonymous with sheer driving skill is the lightening fast Nian “Race Muis” du Toit Jnr (Cheapercars/MRD Jetta III). Race Muis returns to series for the 1st time in this season as due to his current commitments, does not allow the ace to partake in the series. With a 9 month sabbatical from competition, Race Muis will be itching to get back behind the wheel of his Jetta and take the fight to the rest of the class entries.
Another threat to the podium fight will be son of series sponsor, Chris Roberts (Roberts Racing Jetta II). With father, Arthur C. Roberts “The Russian” unable to make this round, Chris will be piloting the vehicle as Chris’ car will not be ready after suffering an engine malfunction in the previous round.
The final entry in the class is another name that could potentially swing the podium fight tremendously. This driver is none other than current Engen VW Cup campaigner Jano van der Westhuizen (Wingfield Motors/Kwikfix Polo Vivo). Van der Westhuizen, who competed just last weekend past in the Engen VW Cup at Killarney International Raceway, had a torrid day with the ace having countless issues including 2 engine swops at his home circuit. Looking to have a much better run this weekend, van der Westhuizen will definitely be a spanner in the works on race day as the young gun will be looking to putting his VW Cup experience to good use.
In Class B the title fight has become a 3 way affair with current class champion Eden Thompson (Somerset Refrigeration/MAD Performance Golf I GTi) and ex overall champion Jacques Geldenhuys (Ferroli/G&A Motorsport Golf II GTi) only separated by a mere 3 points. With only 3 rounds remaining, it’s still all to play for in class B as Thompson will be seeking to reduce the deficit. But besides having to fend off each other, a thorn in the side for both protagonists comes in the form of Mario Roux (Automar Jetta II). With Roux taking the top step in class in the final heat of the previous round, the ace could potentially turn the title fight on its head come race day.
As with Class A, the entries for Class B are fairly limited with Wayne Field (Coetzee’s Auto Coachworks Golf II GTi) being the only other entrant for this round. Thus far the 2016 rookie has been having an excellent run during the season and heads out to Aldo Scribante for a debut drive around the infamous tyre shredder.
Running away with the championship in Class C is log leader and ex WP karter Marco Busi (Automan Golf I GTi). As the only competitor firmly into the 3 digit scoring bracket, young Marco will be looking to seal the championship as the ex karter has one hand firmly on the title. As simple as it sounds, the ex WP karter will not have it easy as a plague of class C competitors will be on the hunt for Marco.
The biggest threat in class will be current class & overcall champion Bryan Morgan (Greatsoft Payroll Golf I GTi) as the warrior, who also competed in the Engen VW Cup, is familiar with the P.E circuit. Morgan, who comes off a streak of bad fortune, seems to have found some new hope as the current champ was out testing his vehicle and showed some impressive pace. With a fresh and improved vehicle, Morgan is now in the position to challenge for class honours and will be pulling out all the stops for that all elusive victory.
As with each and every round this year, the class title fight is anything but predictable. With the action that unfolded in the previous round, Jarred Simpson in the 2nd Greatsoft Payroll Golf I GTi was the man on the move and gave young Marco a real fight with Simpson just narrowly missing out on victory in both heats. Although on new territory, Simpson is eager to fight for the class honours.
Another threat to the victory fight comes in the form of ex overall champion Christopher Swart (Jacks Paint & Hardware Edgemead Golf I GTi). The ex champ has also tasted victory and will be seeking some redemption as the ace looks to return to winning ways in P.E.
Although in his rookie season, young gun Dario Busi (Automan Polo Playa) will also be making his debut drive at Aldo Scribante Raceway and if this season is anything to behold, the 15 year old has proven himself worthy of a podium contender.
The slightly smaller class C field will include the likes of Gideon Serfontein (Goeiehoop Onderdele Golf I GTi), Dillion Jobert (TAC Steel/Powder Coating World Golf I GTi) who had a rather nasty fender bender in the previous round. Luckily Joubert has managed to get his vehicle sorted and will also be out in P.E. Rounding out the field will be 2016 rookie Alfie Van Zyl (Union Signs Golf I GTi I).
Although the grid will be slightly smaller, the crowd will still receive the immense entertainment which is synonymous to the Bold Marine Gti Challenge.
For the Cape Town spectators fortunate enough to make the trip down to Aldo Scribante Raceway, the epic class battles are scheduled to take place on Saturday 16th September with Qualifying taking place @ 09:15am followed by Heat 1 @ 12:05pm and Heat 2 @ 15:00pm.
This is Gti Challenge, Unleash the Beasts!
- Written By: Byron Wanza