Cape’s Gti’s Deliver Epic Thriller for Woman’s Day Crowd
National Woman’s Day was an extra special day for ladies as this date played host to round 6 of the wildly popular
Burly Pro Gti Challenge in conjunction with the Wingfield Motors Power Series at the Killarney International
It was no surprise to see the Cape’s Gti’s steal the show and delight the ladies with some extraordinary and
spectacular close racing synonymous with the series. However for this round, a change in the starting procedure
would see the 3 classes again separated by a 4 grid slot margin, but all classes were to start on the same light.
The battle in class A resembled a VW Cup shootout with red hot racing antics as neither competitor could afford to
relax in a fight for glory. First blood went to class A veteran Jano van der Westhuizen (Wingfield Motors/Shatterfix
Polo Vivo) as the young lad clinced pole by a mere 3 thousands of a second from the returning legend Greig Edwards
(Roberts Racing Jetta II). The 2 nd row saw an all Universal Healthcare Racing lockout as Dr. Johan Pretorius and team
mate Francios “Trappies” van Tonder placed their Polo 6R’s in P3 & 4. Heading the 3 rd row was another VW cup
campaigner Paulus Franken (Manitou Group Polo 6R) with young superstar Colin Nicholas Meder (International Tube
Technology Polo 6R) alongside class A newbie. Rounding out the class entries was the Chris Roberts in the remaining
Roberts Racing Jetta II.
But the qualifying session took its toll on the returning legend Edwards as coming into the pits, Edwards was plagued
with transmission issues having lost 4 th gear during the session. The car was then taken to the workshop where a
frantic race against the clock ensued. As the field lined up in the pre race paddock, an anxious Edwards had begun to
walk back to his bay when the rumble of his vehicle could be heard entering the paddock with minutes to spare.
A delighted Edwards strapped in and was now ready to wage war with some of the best on the national circuit. The
drivers then gradually made their way to the start line for the 1 st heat. The field came under starters orders as the
engines revved up and the lights went out. The class A field roared into action with P4 man van Tonder getting off to
a flyer and see the CHD chairman take the outside line alongside ex team mate van der Westhuizen. But the
challenge veteran hugged the inside line to get the holeshot for turn 1 to lead the field.
It was a class A freight train on the exit of turn 1 as a 6 car pack was latched to each other with no driver willing to
lay off for the other. But out in front it was veteran van der Westhuizen who got the hammer down and lead the
pack throught the heat. Although struggling slightly off the start line, the legendary Edwards soon managed to find
his rythm and by the end of the 3 rd lap had managed to repass van Tonder for 2 nd and was now on the hunt for
victory. At the front it was still van der Westhuizen pedal to the metal with Edwards mirroring the moves of the
veteran and simultaneously having to fend off the Universal Healthcare team of van Tonder & the good doctor as
Franken & Meder were also at each other’s throats.
While the 1 Roberts Racing car was involved in a tight fight for the victory, it was disappointment in the 2 nd vechicle
as Roberts was unable to hold onto the leading pack. The car felt down on power and Roberts battled to get the
magic of earlier in the season. With action red hot upfront, the fierce competition was bound to throw up a surprise
as each driver was now in a position for the victory. Unfortunately a determined and overzealous Meder just pushed
a tad too hard and ran wide on the 4 th lap of turn 1 which saw the superstar also lose his rear bumper and fall out of
contention for victory.
But it was a faultess and perfection drive from the veteran of class A as van der Westhuizen took the chequered flag
in fine style to lead from start to finish and just managed to beat the returning legend Edwards to the line by 5
hundreds of a second with van Tonder claiming the final podium place a further half a second back. P4 went to the
good Dr. Pretorius with Franken taking P5 with Roberts managing to beat Meder of his earlier off. After the race it
was van der Westhuizen and team who had cause for concern as the young gun complained about his vehicle losing
power towards the end of the heat. With time running out, the team decided to run the vehicle and let luck take its
course. It was also a heat to forget for Meder as the youngster just managed to get his vehicle back into parc ferme
after the clutch let go shortly after crossing the line. This also saw the team in a frenzy as the new clutch was fitted
and Meder back in the hunt for heat 2.
For the 2 nd heat it was Franken who had the best lap time to see the VW Cup driver come away with pole and sharing
the front row was Meder in P2. The 2 nd row was yet again locked out by the Universal Healthcare due of van Tonder
& Pretorius. The 3 rd row was headed by Edwards alongside van der Westhuizen with Roberts completing the class
line up. If the 1 st heat was anything to behold, the spectators would sure be in for treat as the fight for victory was
unpredictable. The field came onto the grid and were brought under starters orders to begin the 2 nd heat.
The lights went out and it was again the CHD chairman van Tonder who get off to a lightening start but pole man
Franken held station and got the holeshot for turn 1. It was almost a carbon copy of the first heat as it was yet again
a 6 car freight train could be seen fighting tooth and nail for the top spot, but this battle was ground to a halt as on
lap 2 the red flag came out and the heat stopped. With the only 1 lap completed, the drivers then had to return to
their initial starting grid positions and waited anxiously as the officials cleared the circuit. But the wait was quite
lengthy and 1 st to pull off the circuit was young superstar Meder whose car began to run hot. Such rotten luck after
the team rushed to have the clutch changed. But soon after Meder, Roberts’ car also began to overheat as the steam
could be seen from turn 5. This also saw the vehicle being pushed to the side and the field was now reduced to just 5
Once the incident on track was clear, the officials again brought the field under starters orders. The lights went out
and it was a 5 car assault barrelling down the main straight for the 1 st corner. Pole man Franken defended his lead
and kept pushing as this now put the VW Cup driver in the perfect position to clinch his maiden victory. But he had a
4 car pack of fierce wolves all over him as each driver fought for the top spot. But the man on the move was yet
again the CHD chairman van Tonder as the ex VW Cup campaigner definitely found the working recipe and was on
form. Unable to repeat his 1 st heat performance was a wounded van der Westhuizen who found himself at the back
of this enthralling battle upfront.
But by the end of the 2 nd lap, Franken could no longer defend his lead and the CHD chairman passed Franken with
Edwards trying to go around the outside in turn 5. But Edwards was a tad too hot and run just wide on the exit. The
contact with grass mildly unsettled his vehicle, but the legendary ex overall champion kept his foot buried and was
soon back on circuit and still in fight for the lead. The very next lap it was 5 into 5 as the all the drivers were
occupying each and every piece of track surface available to get ahead. But the CHD chairman held the inside line
and forced Edwards to take the outside as the good doctor and Franken were also in a spat of the own with van der
Westhuizen right on their tails should anything happen upfront.
But Edwards wanted victory and crept closer with each passing corner. On the 5 th lap the CHD chairman also was out
muscled by the legendary overall champ as Edwards out dragged van Tonder down the back main to take the lead
for a brief moment. But the fight was not over yet as the tussle between Edwards and van Tonder brought the good
doctor into contention after Pretorius managed to get a slight advantage over Franken with van der Westhuizen still
managing to hold onto the pack. The lead was indeed swopped around like an oil filter in a minor service as van
Tonder & Edwards fought fiercely at the front with the good doctor also seeking his opportunity at clinching victory.
It was touch and go as the 2 Universal Healthcare care cars leaned onto each other in the final turn. But the
legendary Edwards was under so much pressure and the excitement of victory that the ex overall champ miss shifted
into 5 th gear which saw a 3 car mad dash to the finish line. It was neck on neck as van Tonder managed to pass
Edwards by a bumper to clinch the victory in what must have been 1 of the greatest finishes in the history of the
series. The good doctor clinched the final podium spot with Franken 4 th and 1 st heat winner van der Westhuizen
completing the class line. The action was so intense that the entire class was covered by just 1.5s at the finish line.
In class B it was 17 year old star child Divan Lazarus (Cheapercars Jetta II) who came away with pole as class B rookie
Gideon Serfontein (Goeiehoop Onderdele Golf II GTi) was unable to match the blistering pace of the ex CHD driver.
Heading the 3 rd row was current class champion and overall log leader Eden Thompson (Somerset Refrigeration/MAD
Performance Golf I GTi) who had quite a shaky start to his race day as the class champ sheared a left rear stub axle
during the session. Sharing the 2 nd row with the overall log leader was Mario Roux (Fuzion Pre Owned Jetta II) while
2017 rookie Grant Cloete (Upstream Connect Golf I GTi) and Mr Consistency Wayne Field (Coetzee’s Auto
Coachworks Golf II GTi) shared the 3 rd row with series sponsor Emile Assure (Burly Pro/Krisp Vehicle Cooling Polo 6R)
completing the line up.
It was a busy morning in the pit garage of the class champ as the team grinded to get the stub axle issue resolved
and see the champ back in contention. It was advantage Serfontein as the 2017 class rookie was looking to reduce
the deficit between him and Thompson as time is running out. The field made their way to the startline and ready to
kick off the race day. The officials signalled the all clear and the drivers were brought under starters.
The lights went out as packed launched into action with class champ Thompson getting the dream start to pass both
Serfontein & Lazarus and get the hole shot. This was frustrating for Serfontein who was seeking to reduce his points
deficit to Thompson. But Thompson was out on a mission and wanted to assert his dominance over the rest of the
field and make up for his earlier woes. By the end of the lap 3, Thompson had begun to open up a slight advantage
over the pack as Serfontein was still looking for a way around the 17 year old. But Lazarus was having none of it as
he managed to defend his 2 nd position for a hard charging Serfontein.
Just further back Cloete and Field were locked into a tussle of their own as Cloete managed to keep his nose ahead
of the chasing 2017 sensation Field, however Field was not happy about his position and at the end of lap 3, made a
pass on Cloete to claim P4. But Cloete has shown amazing form of recent and latched onto the rear bumper of Mr
Consistency as the 2 nearly swopped decals with each and every corner. Disaster struck on the start line for Roux as
gear linkage failure saw the class A refugee pull off to the side of the pit lane exit and retire by the end of 1 st lap.
But at the front Thompson had opened up enough of a cushion as the tussle between Lazarus & Serfontein had
allowed Thompson to break away at the front. It was the perfect remedy for the overall log leader as Thompson took
the chequered flag in fine style while pole man Lazarus was successful in keeping Serfontein at bay to come home in
P2 with 2018 class B rookie taking the final podium spot. Further back the 2017 rookie Cloete managed to get the
better of Field with a last lap overtake to claim P4 and Field with another top 5 finish. Series Sponsor Assure was
plagued earl in the heat as an electrical fault saw the car down on power as Assure managed to limp home and
complete the class line up.
It was yet another tough day for the 2018 series sponsor Assure as after the team inspected the vehicle, the engine
also sounded a little worse for wear. It was a trough decision but Assure decide best to withdraw from the day and
resolve the issue for the next round.
Another blow to Serfontein’s championship hope as Thompson snatched pole for the 2 nd heat with Lazarus alongside
the log leader on the front row. Serfontein headed the 2 nd row with Field sharing the 3 rd row. A lonely Cloete was on
row 3 as Assure withdrew with Roux relegated to the back of the class after failing to post a timed lap in the 1 st heat.
The lights went out as the pack shifted into race mode and it was like a pack of vultures barrelling down on a
wounded animal as Thompson had a fierce pack of contenders behind him. As with class A, it was a 6 car freight train
circulating round the circuit when on the 2 nd lap, 2017 sensation Field was nudged by a class C driver at the end of
turn 1 which saw heavy impact with the wall on the outside of the Joubert straight. Field was quickly out of the
vehicle and the officials were on scene in a flash to confirm Driver “OK”. Unfortunately the impact was too severe to
continue and Mr Consistency was out to have a rather bitter end to his day.
The lights went out again and it was an identical restart with Thompson out in front as Serfontein & Lazarus were
side by side in a fierce fight for P2 while Roux was looking for a way past Cloete and to join the fight upfront. But it
was yet another bad day for Roux as just after the class A refugee managed to pass Cloete, the gear linkage gremlins
managed to creep back and by the end of lap 4, Roux pulled off the circuit on the exit of turn 5 to also end his day to
Back at the front it was an all Thompson affair as the class champ was showing no signs of weakness as he yet again
was beginning to extend his advantage over rivals Lazarus & Serfontein. But Serfontein desperately wanted to return
to the top step and bided his time behind the 17 year old. On lap 5 the class C graduate passed the 17 year old and
was on the hunt for the leader. But Thompson had his right foot buried and was looking for another double whammy
and further increase his lead in the standings. Serfontein crept closer and closer but just ran out of race distance as
Thompson took another lights to flag victory while Serfontein went 1 better to take a P2 and 17 year old Lazarus
finally finishing a full day’s racing to claim the final podium spot. With only driver left in class, Cloete brought home
his vehicle in P4 as the 2017 rookie had a good run of consistency throughout the season.
For the first time in quite a while, the wolfpack of class C had their performance matched up by the racing up in class
A, however this didn’t stop the fiercest class in the Cape from putting yet another 1 st class display of outright raw and
cut throat racing which was all to the crowd’s delight.
Bragging rights went to 2017 overall champion Marco Busi (Automan Golf I GTi) as the ex WP karter was flat out
through qualifying and showed on the timesheets as the class log leader came away with pole. Despite taking pole
position, Marco was more concerned about getting to the top of the overall standings as the current champ is
looking to retain his title for the 2018 season. Sharing the front row was Bridge House College matriculant Giordano
Lupini (SA Oil Special Gasoline/CIR Construction Golf I GTi) as the 17 year old was also on the hunt for victory.
Heading the 2 nd row was another ex WP karter Dario Busi in the 2 nd Automan Golf with ex overall champion Jacques
Geldenhuys (Ferroli/G&A Motorsport Golf I GTi alongside the wonderkid. On the 3 rd row it was another ex overall
champion Christopher Swart (Village Paint & Hardware Edgemead Golf I GTi) alongside 2017 rookie Ian Kapp
(Hydracor Hydraulics Golf I GTi) as Paul Winter (Short Smalls Racing Golf I GTi) & series vice chairman Gert du Plessis
(Cheaperscars Golf I GTi), after new driver Steven Vermaak (Most Wanted Performance Tuning Golf I GTi) who failed
to qualify, completed the class line up.
The field assembled on the starting grid and the wolfpack were brought under starters orders. The lights went out
and a rather rare sight on the start line as the pole man Marco was caught fast asleep on the line as the entire
wolfpack soared past the class log leader. The current champ was totally caught out by the change in starting
procedure and eventually got going after dropping right to the back of the field. This was a massive blow to the
current champ as now Marco had the mammoth task of having to work his way through the pack.
It was wonderkid Dario who managed to get the holeshot for turn 1 with ex overall champs Geldenhuys & Swart
slotting in behind the ex karter as yet again young Lupini was plagued with transmission issues to see the ex VW Cup
campaigner fell down the order behind the front runners. It was another ding dong battle in the wolfpack as Dario &
Geldenhuys begin to open up a slight margin over Swart but the star performer was yet again the current champ as
by the end of the 3 rd lap, Marco found himself in P3 and catch younger sibling Dario & Geldenhuys after getting pass
Just lower down the order vice chairman du Plessis was locked into battle with Kapp as the 2017 rookie was looking
for a way around du Plessis. Winter had another moment on track which then brought new driver Vermaak into
contention as Winter was now right at the back of the field and trying to work his way back up.
At the front it seemed as if Dario & Geldenhuys were glued together on the side as the 2 were neck on neck throught
the 1 st half of the heat and were not aware that the 2017 champ was creeping up behind them. At the end of lap 4,
young Dario managed to get a slight edge over Geldenhuys as Marco then made his move on the ex champ to see an
Automan 1-2. However with all the chopping and changing and changing in front, the fight brought Swart back into
contention as the ex champ was alongside Geldenhuys and going for the lead.
It was a fatal 4 way at the front of the pack as Dario looked on course to take another victory, but the pressure just
got to the youngster who ran wide on the exit of turn 5 on the final lap which then handed the victory to older
Sibling Marco with Swart getting the better of Geldenhuys in P2 & P3 as Dario then managed to salvage P4 while
young Lupini managed another top 5 finish. Kapp the pulled 1 back on du Plessis as Vermaak managed to stay ahead
of Winter at the finish line.
For the 2 nd heat it was team Automan who reigned supreme with a 1-2 starting position but it was younger sibling
Dario who pulled 1 over big brother as ex karter Lupini headed the 2 nd row alongside ex champ Geldenhuys. Swart
headed the 3 rd row as 2017 rookie Kapp shared the row with the ex champ. 4 th Row was the occupied by du Plessis &
Winter with newbie Vermaak completing the class line up. But trouble again for Lupini as approaching the start line
the ex karter lost 1 st & 2 nd gears and would have to make the best of his situation.
The pack made its way onto the starting grid as each driver looked to fight for victory. The lights went out as disaster
struck for Lupini who stalled on the line and feel to the back of the back. Luckily the matriculant managed to start up
and get his vehicle going but was now way down the road from the rest of the class.
At the front it was the youngest driver in the series Dario who led the pack and managed to get ahead of a lower
order class B driver to give himself an edge over the rest of the field. In P2 it was big brother Marco with Swart and
Geldenhuys locked into a tussle for P3 as Kapp found something special to be right in the hunt with the 2 ex champs.
Wonderkid Dario was now in an excellent position to take the victory but a massive twist of fate for the 15 year old
as on the main straight the throttle cable malfunctioned and the 15 year old lost drive. Such rotten luck after the ex
karter made such superb start. But it was controversy in the Automan camp as Marco who was unaware of younger
brother’s issues, was on a mission to clinch the lead. With the class B back marker slowing the champ, Marco then
attempted to overtake the driver on the exit of turn 1 when contact was made which saw the class B driver leave the
circuit and hit the outside wall which in turn brought out the red flag. Fortunately Marco managed to save his vehicle
and could make his way back to the start line.
Once the all clear was given, the field was brought under starters order to restart the 2 nd heat. With young Dario out
of the heat, it was the 2017 champ alone on the front row. Just what the doctor ordered for Marco as the current
champ was looking for maximum reward. The lights went out and it was a dream start for Marco who immediately
made his intentions abundantly clear. By the end of the opening lap ther current champ had opended up a sizeable
gap to the rest of the field and settled into a comfortable rhythm.
But lower down the sensation of the pack was undoubtedly Kapp who found himself involved for as podium fight
with ex champs Swart & Geldenhuys. All the hard work and practice finally rewarding the 2017 rookie who showed
his hand to the champs. With the current champ way ahead, it was a 3 way fight at the front for the final 2 podium
spots as the competition get red hot.
Just lower down du Plessis was no involved in a tussle with Lupini who managed to get going despite his gearbox
issues. Winter and Vermaak were then also involved in a small spat but Winter managed to open the margin with
each passing lap.
It was another round of chopping and changing between Geldenhuys and Swart as Kapp held station just a smidge
back and ready to pick up the pieces should any of the 2 in front run into trouble. But on lap 5 young Lupini managed
to break away from du Plessis and soon caught up to Swart, Geldenhuys and Kapp. The chequered flack beckoned as
Marco put on another master class performance to take a lights to flag victory with Geldenhuys coming out tops in
P2 & Swart taking the final podium spot only 1 tenth of second apart. Kapp managed to get the better of the
wounded Lupini to take P4 as du Plessis, Winter and Vermaak all made it over the line to conclude the 6 th round of
the 2018 season.
For the 7 th round, the series will be heading to East London Grand Prix Circuit for the annual away race. This will offer
up some more even racing as the drivers will be on similar terms with most having to learn a new layout. The 7 th
round will be taking place 25 th August and for those who are fortunate enough to make their way to the Eastern
Cape, will be in for more of the best main circuit entertainment in the Western Cape.
- Written By: Byron Wanza