With the dust of the opening round just beginning to settle, the drivers, teams, sponsors and committee of the Burly
Pro Gti Challenge now head into the 2 nd round of the already ecstatic 2018 season. Saturday March 10 th is the date
set for the epic showdown to unfold at the home of the WPMC, Killarney International Raceway in conjunction with
the Wingfield Motors Power Series.
If the 1 st round is anything to behold, the supporters, fans and crowd will be treated to yet another exciting and
exhilarating action packed edition of the Western Cape’s most wildly popular man circuit series.
Class A for this round has grown significantly in numbers with all drivers now having a chance of scoring full points
along with new and old drivers joining the class.
Crowd favourite & Gti Challenge veteran Jano van der Westhuizen (Universal Healthcare/Kwikfix Polo Vivo) returns
after missing the opening round. The superstar driver is all too eager to get back onto the black stuff and wreak
havoc in an already controversial series. However it will be all but easy as van der Westhuizen is joined by his 2 more
“life experienced” team mates, team manager Dr. Johan Pretrious & CHD chairman François “Trappies” van Tonder
in identical Polo 6R GTi hatches.
The trio could have the potential to control the race pace but could also find this task quite demanding as another ex
Engen VW Cup compatriot Paulus Franken (Manitou Group Polo 6R GTi) who showed extraordinary form in the
opening round. It is clear that Franken will be looking to better previous round and with a brief stint in the lead;
Franken is well capable of taking class honours come Saturday.
Another returning driver with yet another 6R Polo Gti is young gun Colin-Nicholas Meder (International Tube
Technology). The team acquired the new vehicle after endless issues with the 1 st vehicle. Meder looked on point
during mid week practice and was more than ready to get back on track after a full year sabbatical from racing.
Meder’s vehicle now brings the total amount of 6R hatches to 5. To some it would seem as Gti challenge is the
official “refugee camp” for the all the ex VW Cup campaigners.
But as last round proved, these new machines were taught a good lesson by the less modern and slightly older
models. 1 of the 2 Roberts Racing team members, son Chris Roberts has also been entered for this event and sports
the much older Jetta II which father Arthur piloted in the final round of 2017. Roberts has now gathered a sufficient
amount of testing and is ready to launch an attack on the rest of class.
Yet another class C graduate joins the premier class with also an older model vehicle. Stock car driver Jade Lynch
(Tableview Roadworthy Centre Polo Classic) moves up to the class and competed just shy of 1 full year in the series,
is ready to do battle with the front runners.
Class B has yet another action packed line up with current class champion Eden Thompson (Somerset
Refrigeration/MAD performance Golf I GTi) shared the top step last time out with another class C graduate Gideon
Serfontein (Goeiehoop Onderdele Golf II GTi). The 2 will now have a 3 rd contendender to deal with in the form of
Mario Roux (Automar Jetta II) after Roux was involved in a controversial startline incident.
Looking for a repeat performance is 2016 rookie of the year Earl Josephs (Silvermoon Roofing Polo Classic) as the
2016 rookie managed to achieve a podium finish last time out. Mr Consistency Wayne Field (Coetzee’s Auto
Coachworks Golf II GTi) seems to be lacking his pace of 2017 and will definitely be looking to improve this round.
Returning 2017 rookie Grant Cloete (Upstream Connect Golf I GTi) also couldn’t find a working rhythm and was
marginally off the pace. With Cloete still trying to iron out the minor setbacks, the ace hopes to be back in the thick
of things upfront come raceday.
Still to have a trouble free run is Clubmans refugee Jean-Michel Masue (Provence Welding Polo Classic) who has has
a terrible run of misfortune since joining the series. Masue and team have entered with the hopes of having a
trouble free run and with some much needed power increase.
It would seem that class C is experiencing de ja vu as in 2017 it was current class & overall champion Marco Busi
(Automan Golf I GTi) who also kicked off his championship winning campaign in the same fine style with a double
victory. With crucial championship contenders experiencing problems, the ex WP Karter took full advantage of the
circumstances and extracted maximum points in both heats.
However this time round the current champ might find himself with a pack of hungry wild dogs hunting for blood.
Closest rival comes in the form of 2016 overall champion Bryan Morgan (Greatsoft Payroll Golf I GTi) w2ho is keen to
make up for the previous rounds woes. But it appears that the closest contender to date would be Shane Williams
(Driving Force Golf I GTi) as Williams put on a show stopping performance to also claim a double podium and gave
the current champion something to consider going forward.
But as with the class being the most competitive of the 3, Marco has younger brother & team mate Dario to also
contend with in an identically themed vehicle. The 15 year old is a WP Karting Champion and is no stranger to
winning. This season is the youngster’s opportunity to fight for the title as he is well aware of the requirements for
Also hunting for the top step is ex overall champion Jacques Geldenhuys (Ferroli/G&A Motorsport Golf I GTi) who
had an incident filled opening round. Geldenhuys was out practicing this week and is happy with the vehicle. “The
car is feeling very responsive and the handling is spot on, I believe we can fight for the victory on Saturday” the ex
champion mentioned after his session. Christopher Swart (Jacks Paint & Hardware Edgemead Golf I GTi) has
probably been the most unlucky driver for the past 2 rounds with 2 major accidents causing extensive damage to ex
champion’s vehicle and would see Swart with 0 points in 4 heats. Looking to come back with a bang, Swart is seeking
redemption and crucial championship points to stay in the title fight.
After his maiden season in Engen VW Cup, Matriculant Giordano Lupini (CIR Contrunction/La Vie de Luc Golf I GTi)
returned to the series with a strong result of a podium finish and drove fiercely to fend off a hard charging Jarred
Simpson (Greatsoft Payroll Golf I GTi) after a small argie bargie. A familiar name returning to the class is Ebrahim
Levy (Jive Golf I GTi) who last competed in 2016. And rounding out the class entries is Ian Kapp (Hydracor Hydraulics
Golf I GTi).
With a strong line up as above, there will be an amazing display of spectacular and close racing come Saturday.
Qualifying to commence at approximately 08:15am followed by heat 1 @ 10:25 am and heat 2 @ 14:40 pm.
Be sure not to miss this spectacular round of the Burly Pro Gti Challenge unfold at the Killarney International
Raceway on 10 th March.
The talking stops now, Gti challenge in session, say La’vie!
- Written By: Byron Wanza