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Wednesday, 08 August 2018 10:02

Cape Gti’s Set for Round 6 Extravaganza

Cape Gti’s Set for Round 6 Extravaganza


Round 6 of the Burly Pro Gti Challenge is on course for yet another spectacular epic showdown as the 2018 season
now heads for the closing stages. This season is also shorter than in the past with only 9 rounds scheduled for this
year, 8 of them being on home soil and 1 round away. But this round falls on National Woman’s Day Thursday 9 th
August running in conjunction with the Wingfield Motors Power Series at the Killarney International Raceway.
With the committee constantly trying new procedures and looking for ways to improve the calibre of the series both
for the competitors and spectators alike, another starting procedure will be tested on the day. It will again be a
staggered start procedure, but this time round all classes will leave on 1 light, with the gap between classes being
increased to 6 grid slots. The aim being that the racing will still be as close knit as previously with each class having
their own battles and not interfering with classes higher or lower down.


In Class A it will be ex VW campaigner Jano van der Westhuizen (Wingfield Motors/Shatterfix Polo Vivo) who will be
looking to extend his advantage in the class championship as the veteran aims to achieve maximum points. But as
this season has proven, nothing is guaranteed as it has been a real rollercoaster of a season for the series veteran.
Besides looking for a trouble free run, the master class A driver will have to deal with another ex VW cup campaigner
Jurie “Umpie” Swart Jr (Alpine Autohaus Polo Classic). It was a disastrous previous round for the current class
champion as engine failure in the 1 st heat saw the youngster retire for the day and also drop drop down in the class
standings. Swart is also eager to get back to winning ways and try to get back into title contention come raceday.
However this season has seen the return of another young superstar Colin Nicholas Meder (International Tube
Technology Polo 6R) as the young ace has proven himself a worthy contender for the class title. Meder is only 5
points adrift from van der Westhuizen and with Swart also involved, the title fight could be turned on its head. The 3
upfront could potentially find themselves slap bang in the centre of a 4 way affair as son of ex series sponsor Chris
Roberts (Roberts Racing Jetta II) has found a working recipe with his vehicle and is equally capable of the rivalling the
front pack.


But a special announcement in the Roberts Racing Team as a wildcard entry in the form of Honorary Gti Challenge
Hall of Fame member and the 2007 overall champion Greig Edwards who will be piloting the vehicle of Team
Manager Arthur C Roberts “The Russian”. Edwards, who is well known in both the Gti Challenge series and the
WPMC VIP circles, returns to the circuit for a once off race. For those who don’t know, Edwards is the co-owner of
GAP Motorsport and is the man behind the scenes of cars campaigned by the Busi brothers, Roberts Racing Team, ex
overall champions Geldenhuys & Chris Swart. With over 6 years off the circuit, will Edwards be able to keep up with
the pace on raceday?


Completing the class line up is the duo of the Universal Healthcare Racing team, team manager Dr. Johan Pretorius &
CHD Chairman Francois “Trappies” van Tonder in identical Polo 6R’s. The good doctor has already taken his maiden
victory this season and will surely be looking to get back to winning ways on raceday. Van Tonder has proven that
when the car is on form, he can also fight for podium contention and knows raw harsh racing having also
campaigned in the VW Cup series as team mate to the good doctor & van der Westhuizen.
In class B the man to catch is no doubt class champion and overall log leader Eden Thompson (Somerset
Refrigeration/MAD Perfromance Golf I GTi). Thompson has put on a superb display of driving this season and shows
as he leads the overall championship. But Thompson is also fully aware that matters could swing either way in the
blink of an eye as last round an incident between the champ and Gideon Serfontein (Goeiehoop Onderdele Golf II
GTi) on the final lap cost them both the chance of victory. But if Serfontein wants to keep his title hopes alive, this
round is crucial to the class B rookie who currently sits 2 nd in the class standings.
But this season has also had its fair share of thrills and spills as class A refugee Mario Roux (Fuzion Pre-Owned Jetta
II) benefitted from the Thompson Serfontein incident to pick up a win. With new found confidence, Roux plans to
capitalize on the tensions and seek out another victory. But the 3 warhorses up front have trouble lurking from
young 17 year old ex CHD competitor Divan Lazarus (Cheapercars Jetta II). Although the 17 year old was devastated
last round by recording another DNF, there was cause for celebration as the young gun now holds the official class B
lap record for the 2018 season. This gripping pace shows that the 17 year old is indeed a threat to the leaders as
Lazarus is still on the hunt for his maiden class victory.


Not too far off the pace is Mr Consistency Wayne Field (Coetzee’s Auto Coachworks Golf II GTi) who has been having
another splendid season and has also found himself in a few cut throat battles this season. A new rivalry with 2017
rookie Grant Cloete (Upstream Connect Golf I GTi) has seen the 2 swop decals already in bid for championship
points. But can the 2 manage to fend off current series sponsor Emile Assure (Burly Pro/Krisp Vehicle Cooling Polo
6R) who has definitely found the magic with his vehicle. The 2018 rookie found himself leading the 1 st heat of
previous round and then unfortunately ran into suspension issues which saw the series sponsor retire. Looking for
much better fortunes this time out, Assure plans to take the fight to the 2 more experienced class competitors.
Undoubtedly dubbed the most popular & fierce class in the Western Cape, the class C wolfpack is also set for yet
another round of epic racing which is guaranteed to have the crowds on the edge of their seats. Current overall
champion Marco Busi (Automan Golf I GTi) still leads the class championship standings but is aiming to get back to
the top of the overall log and retain his crown for the 2018 season. But unlike last season, the ex WP karter has
received a raw deal and finds himself fighting tooth and nail for the top step. To add to his list of obstacles, his
closest rival for the class championship comes from within his own team as younger brother Dario in an identical car
also want that elusive class title. The 15 year old has shown that he is not afraid to lean on another competitor albeit
team mate and sibling.


But the brothers have far more threats as ex overall champion Jacques Geldenhuys (Ferroli/G&A Motorsport Golf I
GTi) showed the brothers that he has the pace and put an end to their dominance in the final heat of the previous
round. But as this season has shown, the competition is intense as another ex overall champion Christopher Swart
(Village Paint & Hardware Edgemead Golf GTi) was also involved in a real head turner dice with the current class
champ. Proof that Swart is an equal contender if not plagued by controversy.


Looking for better results is Bridge House College Matriculant & Franschoek resident Giordano Lupini (SA Oils Special
Gasoline/CIR Construction Golf I GTi) as the ex karter has been unable to convert his pole positions into victory. The
youngster has also been involved in a fair amount of controversy this season but his managed to recover and salvage
some valuable championship points. Getting ever closer to the front is 2017 rookie Ian Kapp (Hydracorr Hydraulics
Golf I GTi) as the ace also had an action packed previous round. Making good progress with each round is another
old warhorse Paul Winter (Shorty Smalls Racing Golf I GTi) as Winter had 2 incidents in both heats. Completing the
class line up is series vice chairman Gert du Plessis (Cheapercars/Superdoors Golf I GTi) who returns off a 2 round
absence from the season.


With yet another master class line of the finest drivers set to cause mayhem on the blackstuff, the crowds can be
assured that only the best calibre of racing will be on display as the battle continues to heat up. With season drawing
to its final stages, it’s crunch time as the championship fight is far from over.
Be sure not to miss this action packed instalment of the Cape’s wildly popular Burly Pro Gti Challenge with qualifying
set to take place at 8:30am followed by heat 1 @ 11:50am with heat 2 @ 16:15pm.
Move to strike, its game time..... Let’s play!


- Written By: Byron Wanza

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