Cape’s Gti’s Come Alive in Round 5
Saturday 14 th July was the date set for the 5 th round of the 2018 season of the Burly Pro Gti Challenge which also
marks the halfway mark of this enthralling championship. Each class is still pretty much tightly contested and
therefore the competition is still far from over and as history has shown, the 2 nd half of the season is what defines
the overall championship.
The drivers were greeted to a soaking wet and greasy track on Saturday morning as overnight rain ensured that
condition would be tricky. The rain was welcomed for the Cape’s dams, but this would see the far more experienced
drivers a slight edge in the slippery conditions.
In class A it was wildcard entry Nian “RaceMuis” du Toit who clinched pole in the slippery conditions. The old
warhorse making his intentions abundantly clear to the rest of the class. Sharing the front row was ex VW Cup
campaigner Jurie “Umpie” Swart Jnr (Alpine Autohaus Polo Classic) as Swart Jnr was looking to return to the top step
and keep his championship hopes alive. Heading row 3 was current class log leader Jano van der Westhuizen
(Wingfield Motors/Kwikfix Polo Vivo) with the always improving Colin Nicholas Meder (International Tube
Technology Polo 6R) alsong side the veteran. On the 3 rd row it CHD chairman Francois “Trappies” van Tonder
(Universal Healthcare Polo 6R) with Arthur Roberts “The Russian” in the 1 st of the Roberts Racing Jetta’s as the ex
series sponsor made his debut for the 2018 season. Completing the class line up was Chris Roberts in the second
Roberts Racing Jetta II.
With the drivers successfully through the qualifying albeit a few slips and slides, the pack headed for the starting grid
for the 1 st heat. The lights went and the pack sprung into action but disaster struck early for the current class
champion Swart Jr, as engine failure would see the ex VW cup driver out of the race and a premature end to his day.
A devastating blow to his championship and this would see the youngster slip to 4 in class.
It was a nail biting 1 st few corners as a determined van der Westhuizen wasted no time in getting to the front of the
class and making a bold statement to the rest of the pack that he is the man to beat this season. Du Toit and Meder
were then locked into a battle for 2 nd position but young gun Meder also was not content about being in P3 and
began his attack on du Toit. Meder patiently waited and timed his move to perfection to snatch P2 from slow moving
du Toit. It was quite unusual to see the RaceMuis unable to keep up and after the heat it was discovered that a
broken crank pulley was the result of du Toit being off pace.
A little further back a determined Chris Roberts was hot on the heels of 2018 rookie van Tonder as the CHD chairman
managed to keep his car ahead of a hungry contender. With tricky conditions and not being in the piloting seat for
over 6 months, The Russian was unable to maintain the pace of the front runners and gradually slipped back with
each lap. Not wanting to bin it on his return to the series, the Russian settled into a relaxed pace and went for
At the front however it was a charging van der Westhuizen who looked as if he was being chased by a demon as he
increased his advantage over a chasing Meder. With the ex VW cup campaigner showing no signs of slowing down,
its stayed that way as van der Westhuizen took the chequered flag in fine style while the chasing Meder was unable
to match the pace and settled for P2 as a wounded RaceMuis managed to limp over the line and take the final
podium place. Managing to fend off a hard charging Roberts was van Tonder to cross the line in P4 with the The
Russian completing the final class position.
It was a frantic rush for the team of RaceMuis as the wildcard entry was determined to redeem himself for his 1 st
heat woes. But RaceMuis has a way with tools and saw the faulty part changed in a jiffy. With all teams now
preparing for the 2 nd heat, it was game on as each driver was on the hunt for victory. It was no surprise to see 1 st heat
winner van der Westhuizen on pole and sharing the front with wildcard entry RaceMuis. Heading the 3 rd row was
Meder alongside Roberts Jr. Heading the final row was 2018 rookie van Tonder with The Russian completing the line
But trouble quickly crept up for the pole man as a puzzled van der Westhuizen was experiencing transmission issues
and could not select 1 st gear. A devastating blow to his hopes for victory, but the veteran had the “never say die”
approach and decided to continue with the hopes of nursing the car through the heat. With the field lined up on the
grid and ready to kick into high gear, the officials brought everyone under starters orders.
It was a slow start for van der Westhuizen who was forced to pull away in 2 nd gear, but the veteran managed to keep
his nose ahead of the cars further back only losing out to RaceMuis. But it was just not meant to be for the wildcard
entry and by the 2 nd corner a double whammy struck RaceMuis as the replaced crank pulley also broke to see the
wildcard back into the pits and retire from the heat. This gifted van der Westhuizen the lead but the veteran now
had a chasing pack of hungry drivers looking to take away the top spot.
Although van der Westhuizen had transmission issues, this did not stop him from maintaining the lead, but Meder
noticed that van der Westhuizen was lacking his 1 st magic. Just as a shark smells blood in the water, Meder began to
pounce on the wounded van der Westhuizen as the possibility of victory was now in sight. Further back it was almost
a repeat of the 1 st heat as van Tonder yet again had to vend off a hard charging Roberts for the final podium spot
with the The Russian just a tad back and ready to attack should any of the 2 in front run into issues. But it was not to
be as a strong running van Tonder ran into technical issues which would see the CHD chairman retire on lap 3.
A delighted Roberts settled into a smooth rhythm as the 2 at the front were just of reach and The Russian not within
striking distance. But on lap 5 van der Westhuizen could now feel that his vehicle was beginning to lose momentum
and could see that a hungry Meder was closing down on the leader. With 1 lap to go, Meder was now within striking
distance, but van der Westhuizen would make it any easier on the young superstar. If Meder wanted victory, he
would have to fight for it. It came down to the final turn on the last lap as van der Westhuzien’s car lost drive
approaching the line and in a mad dash for the flag, Meder snatched the victory from the wounded veteran as van
der Westhuizen missed out on a double by a 4 tenths. Claiming the final podium spot was Roberts who from the lap
3 was in a lonely P3 as The Russian took a well deserved P4 to complete the class entries.
In Class B it was current class champion and overall log leader Eden Thompson (Somerset Refrigeration/MAD
Performance Golf I GTi) who yet again snatched pole in the slippery conditions with a surprise coming for young 17
year old Divan Lazarus (Cheapercars Jetta II) sharing the front row with the class champ. Another stunner hit the
class as 2017 sensation Mr Consistency Wayne Field (Coetzee’s Auto Coachworks Golf II GTi) headed the 2 rd row as
series sponsor Emile Assure (Burly Pro/Krisp Vehicle Cooling Polo 6R) shared the 2 nd row Mr Consistency. Just a little
off the pace was another veteran Mario Roux (Automar Jetta II) who headed the 3 rd row alongside 2018 class B
superstar Gideon Serfontein (Goeiehoop Onderdele Golf II GTi) who found the slippery conditions quite tricky.
Completing the class line was 2017 rookie Grant Cloete (Upstream Connect Golf I GTi).
The drivers pulled onto the grid with class champion Thompson looking to increase his advantage over the rest of
the field. 2 nd in class standings Serfontein had the mammoth task of getting to the front and ahead of Thompson to
decrease the deficit. The lights went out and it was Serfontein who launched like a bat out of hell to slice through the
pack and catch the front runners by the 1 st corner. However it was pole man Thompson who was in control and just
where he planned to be. Young Lazarus found himself in a heated battle as the class leader tried to open up an
advantage while a hungry Serfontein was on hot on the youngster’s heels to catch up to Thompson. But Serfontein
knew that the longer he waited the more chance Thompson would have to get away at the front.
Young Lazarus gave his all but just simply couldn’t fend off a hungry Serfontein and was soon passed by 2018 class
sensation. Just a little further it was series sponsor Assure who maintained an advantage Roux, Field & Cloete. With
each passing round the series sponsor is finding something extra in his vehicle and could soon be challenging for the
top step. With Assure poised for another good finish, lady luck struck on lap 5 as the 2018 rookie made contact with
another vehicle which damaged the front suspension and would see Assure retire from the heat.
However back at the front it was a determined Serfontein looking for the top step and claw back some championship
points and keep his title hopes alive. On the timesheets it was Serfontein who was on the move as the class newbie
got quicker with every passing lap and was soon right on the heels of the class champ. But Thompson has done the
dance before and would allow Serfontein to out muscle him. Serfontein threw everything but the kitchen sink but it
was to no avail as Thompson crossed the line in fine to record his 3 rd straight victory with P2 man Serfontein
following suit as young Lazarus clinched the final podium spot just a tad further back. P4 went to a well deserving
Cloete who put in another splendid performance with Roux in P5 and unable to match the pace of the leading pack.
Completing the class line was field in P6.
With most of the teams managing to get through the heat unscathed, it was like Wall Street on business day for the
camp of the series sponsor. Determined to make the 2 nd heat, the pit crew worked like a well oiled machine to see
the front suspension changed and Assure ready to do battle. The pack made their way to the grid as Serfontein’s 1 st
heat performance awarded him pole position and sharing the front row with 1 st heat winner Thompson. On the 2 nd
row it was Roux alongside Lazarus, with Field heading the 3 rd row alongside Cloete as Assure completed the class line
The lights went out and it was Thompson who got the holeshot over a frustrated Serfontein who just couldn’t seem
to find the edge over Thompson. It was a 4 way fight at the front of class as Roux and Lazarus slotted in behind
Serfontein. It was a close tussle at the front and looked as either of the 4 in front could come away with the victory.
But 3 laps into the heat the front pack was reduced to a trio as an over anxious Lazarus over revved his vehicle and
would see the engine then develop a misfire to end his day and his podium contention. It has been a harsh season
for the youngster as Lazarus is yet to complete a 2 nd heat this season.
Brewing further back was a 3 way fight between Assure, Field & Cloete as the back trio were not too far off the front
runners. The team of Assure did a stunning job as the series sponsor managed to open a slight edge over Field &
Back at the front it was a repeat of the 1 st heat as Serfontein & Thompson were at each other’s fenders fighting for
the lead. The 2 also managed to open up a cushion over Roux who was now in a lonely 3 rd position. With what
resembled a fight of the last round of the season, the tensions were high amongst the 2 at the front as Thompson
wanted a 4 th straight victory while Serfontein was trying to keep his title hope alive. The 2 remained close and on the
final lap coming into the final corner Serfontein took the outside line and managed to get his nose ahead, but
Thompson was not going to hand over the lead that easy. The class champ hugged the inside line and the 2 were
side by side through turn 5 with a mad dash for the chequered flag.
As the 2 front runners exited the corner, light contact was made and both vehicles veered off the circuit onto the
grass with both Serfontein & Thompson completely airborne and narrowly missing the wall. Amazingly both drivers
managed to save their vehicles and got back onto the circuit but this incident allowed Roux to overtake the 2 and
snatch a his 2 nd victory of the season. Thompson managed to again get the better of Serfontein as he crossed the line
in P2 and Serfontein taking the final podium spot. Next home was series sponsor Assure in a well deserved P4 as
Field & Cloete completed the class line up in 5 th & 6 th respectively.
Another action packed instalment from the wildly popular wolfpack in class C was nothing short of spectacular as
some close knit racing amongst the drivers had the crowd on the edge of their seats. Master of the wet was ex VW
cup campaigner Bridgehouse College Matriculant Giordano Lupini (SA Oil Accelerate Special Gasoline/CIR Golf I GTi)
who took pole for the 1 st heat with current overall champion Marco Busi (Automan Golf I GTi) sharing the front row.
Heading the 3 rd row was younger brother Dario in an identical car followed by Ian Kapp (Hydracor Hydraulics Golf I
GTi). On the 3 rd row it was Ebrahim Levy (Armien Levy Motorsport Golf I GTi) alongside ex overall champion Jacques
Geldenhuys (Ferroli/G&A Motorsport Golf GTi). Finding the wet condition a little tricky was another ex overall
champion Christopher Swart (Village Paint & Hardware Edgemead Golf I GTi) on the 4 th row sharing with Paul Winter
(Golf I GTi) as a welcomed return for Matthew Curry (Omega Air Golf I GTi).
With another pole, young Lupini was aiming to convert the good starting position into a victory and keep his title
fight alive. The class settled into their grid slots and waited for the lights. It was go time and disaster struck for Lupini
as transmission issues saw the ex karter battle to get drive. Luckily Lupini pulled over to the side and allowed the rest
of the wolfpack to pass and avoiding a potential startline incident. With Lupini’s woes, it was Dario who took full
advantage and got the holeshot as older sibling Marco latched onto younger brother and looking to return to the top
step. But the 2 Busi brothers were not all clear infront as a cracking start by returning driver Levy saw the ace right in
the thick of things with brothers.
Just further back it was a battle of the ex champs as Geldenhuys and Swart had a fight of their own while a wounded
Lupini held station just further back. Disaster truck for 2017 rookie Kapp as contact on the startline damaged a valve
on 1 of the tires and would see Kapp return to the pits with a puncture. Winter now found himself in a dice with
Lupini as with each round the returning old warhorse shows great signs of improvement and can soon see him right
at the heat of battle. Curry was just a tad further back as the 2 and half year sabbatical from racing meant that Curry
would need to find the magic again.
Back at the front it was Dario, from Marco with Levy looking for a way past on both and clinching victory. An
Automan 1,2 had the team on edge as both brothers are not shy to lean on each other for victory. But young Dario is
not fazed by strong tactics and if Marco wanted victory, he would have to take it from the 15 year old. A frustrated
Levy was also looking for a way past but the pace of the brothers had the ace at wits end looking for an advantage.
Meanwhile further back Geldenhuys & Swart were having a good old ding dong battle of their own as they just
couldn’t match the pace of the leaders at the front.
It looked as if Dario had it covered when the pressure of older sibling got the better of the ex karter. A mistake in
turn 2 caused Dario to lose pace and Marco took full advantage to snatch the lead while Levy was unable to
capitalize on the mistake. But Dario was again back in the fight and was looking to regain the lead. However Marco
kept his calm and crossed the line in P1 with Dario just missing the victory by a tenth as Levy claimed the final
podium spot a further 3 tenths back. Winning the battle of the ex champs in a mad dash to the line was Geldenhuys
to take P4 by a mere 4 hundreds of a second over Swart. Pole man Lupini managed to limp home in P6 and get the
final point with Winter and Curry completing the class line up.
The break between heats gave Lupini’s camp a chance to resolve the transmission issues and the ex karter was back
for the 2 nd heat. Pole went to 1 st heat runner up Dario with older brother Marco making it an Automan 1,2. On the 2 nd
row it Geldenhuys from Levy. The 3 rd row headed by Swart alongside Lupini with Winter, Curry and Kapp at the back
of grid after failing to post a timed lap in the 1 st session.
As the drivers lined up in their grid slots, an eager Dario was determined to snatch the victory this time. The lights
went out and the surprise came from the 2 nd row as Geldenhuys got off to a flyer and sliced through the middle of
the 2 Busi brothers. Geldenhuys had 1 goal in mind, the top step of the podium for class honours. But it was a 4 way
dice at the front as Swart also fancied his chances at victory and latched onto the rear bumper of Marco with
Geldenhuys and Dario swopping decals at the front. Some early drama for the drivers further back as a determined
Kapp was keen to make up for the 1 st heat mishap. Kapp and Winter were having a real tight tuscle when Kapp was
just a little too eager and made contact with Winter. This would see Winter run wide and allow Curry to pass.
Back at the front it was class B exile Geldenhuys at the head of the pack with a vicious Dario looking to pass the ex
champ. But Geldenhuys drove defensively and was not willing to hand the victory to the 15 year old on a platter. Just
a smidge back, Marco and Swart were also locked it a fight of their own when on lap 4 coming out turn 5 Swart dived
for inside line and leaned on the 2017 champ, this move then cause Marco to just a tad wide on the exit and alloed
Swart to gain P3. But Marco was nowhere near ready to concede the position and on the very next lap snatched 3 rd
back from the ex champ.
It came down to the final lap as Marco managed to catch the 2 at the front and coming out of turn 5 became a 3 car
drag race for the finish line. But the spoils of war to Geldenhuys followed by Dario and Marco taking the final podium
spot and only a mere 9 hundreds of a second separating 1 st and 3 rd . P4 went to young Lupini who managed to pass
Swart in the closing stages of the of the heat. Unable to repeat his 1 st heat performance a disappointed Levy brought
his vehicle home in the final point’s position as Kapp, Winter & Curry completed the class entrants.
With halfway mark in the bag, the 2018 season of the Burly Pro Gti Challenge has been nothing short of epic with
thrills and spills throughout all classes. The championship is still quite closely matched and it is all to play for in the
Be sure not to miss round 6 of the Cape’s most wildly popular main circuit series on 9 th August 2018 for the Woman’s
Day Power Series event at the Killarney International Raceway.
- Written By: Byron Wanza