Caution! Slippery When Wet....
The Burly Pro Gti Challenge drivers were greeted by a wet and slippery Killarney International Raceway on Saturday
08 June for the 4 th round of competition in conjunction with the Wingfield Motors Power Series. Too make matters
even more interesting, the drivers were the first to be let loose on the slippery surface made made for some
interesting drifting exhibitions by the Cape’s most wildly popular main circuit series.
In Class A the old Warhorse Nian “Race Muis” du Toit (Allied Fibreglass/Progress Precision Engineering Jetta III)
mastered the greasy conditions to clinch pole even after falling victim to the slippery conditions and parking in turn
14 before the session ended. Sharing the front row was Colin Nicholas Meder (International Tube Technology Polo
6R) who chose the “smooth over fast” tactic but also had a moment in turn 4 before backing off and settling for next
best. Heading the 2 nd row was Polo Cup campaigner Jurie “Umpie” Swart (Alpine Autohaus Polo 6R) who also was
caught out by the wet surface to go off in turn 5 and was bridged in the kitty litter and would take no further part in
the session. Alongside the youngster was 2013 overall champion Christopher Swart (Village Paint & Hardware Jetta
II) who managed to keep all 4’s on the circuit.
Engine misfortune for Jano van der Westhuizen (Wingfield Motors/Kwikfix Polo Vivo) meant the veteran would have
to miss this round while ex 1660 stock car champion Mark Fontini (Medine Manufacturing Polo Classic) was unable
to make qualifying and was relegated to the back of class for the 1 st heat.
With the surface not really in much better condition than qualifying, the 1 st heat presented an interesting twist as the
drivers would find the track drying towards the end of the session and have to adapt as the heat progressed. The
drivers completed the warm up lap and were now ready to wage war.
The lights went out and it was a battle for traction as the pack fired into action. Pole man Race Muis got the hole
shot with Umpie Swart managing to get the better of Meder to slot into 2 nd as Swart kept his nose ahead of Fontini.
But the opening lap saw some early moments in turn 5 as both Swart and Fontini out braked themselves with Fontini
suffering a big loss and having to go through the kitty litter, dropping way down the order and finding himself with a
massive deficit to claw back.
Back at the front Race Muis had begun to open up a sizable margin as the old warhorse threw zero caution to the
wind and wanted to stamp his authority over the rest of the class. But on lap 4 it all went wrong for the leader as
engine troubles saw Race Muis drop back and fall into the claws of Umpie Swart. By the end of the lap Umpie Swart
hit the lead and Race Muis now found himself trying to hang on to P2 with Meder in hot pursuit. A lap later it was
Umpie Swart at the front and looking to be running away with the race as Meder was now latched onto the rear
bumper of Race Muis looking to pass the limping warhorse.
Just further back ex champ Swart was in a lonely P4 with a determined Fontini on a charge to try and catch the rest
of the pack. On lap 6 Race Muis could no longer hold off the fierce Meder who passed the limping Jetta III and was in
the hunt for victory in his efforts to catch the leader.
But with an already controversial race unfolding, lady luck struck leader Umpie Swart on the final lap, ironically also
with engine troubles to see Meder inherit the overall lead and cross the finish line in style with his maiden victory of
the season. Runner up spot went to ex champ Swart who kept it neat and tidy for the remainder of the heat as a
limping Race Muis crawled over the line to claim the final podium spot with Fontini unable to catch the pack and
would have to settle for P4 and final spot in class.
An ecstatic Meder was delighted with the result and noted “The team really worked hard this week and finally our
efforts paid off with this victory”.
The break between heats saw the team of Race Muis in a frenzy as some much needed repairs were required to get
the car ready for the 2 nd heat. But the same could not be said for the camp of Umpie Swart as the damage to the
engine was too servere and the team forced to withdraw from the day. A devastating blow for the young latter who
heads to PE this weekend for 4 th round of the Polo Cup series.
With sun coming out and the surface having dried up sufficiently, the drivers could now get the hammer down in
heat 2 as Race Muis was seeking some much needed redemption after his 1 st heat woes. With Umpie Swart unable to
make the start, Race Muis found himself alone on the first row as the 2 nd row was headed by 1 st heat winner Meder
with Fontini alongside as 1 st heat runner up Swart completed the class line up.
With lunchtime fan walk being done by the series, the field parked on main straight as fans got a chance to meet the
drivers and have a closer look at the fine machinery which produce the finest & fiercest action on the Western Cape
main circuit calendar. The officials also shortened the 2 nd heat to 6 laps due to an incident earlier in the day which
resulted in a lengthy delay of the programme.
Once the fan walk was concluded, the drivers strapped in and commenced with the warm up lap. But disaster struck
for the 1 st heat winner Meder who was unable to get his car going after series officials attempted at length to assist
the young superstar. A disappointed Meder had no choice but to push the sticken vehicle to the side and spectate
the race as his hopes of a double victory vanished before his eyes.
The lights went out as the class was reduced to just 3 drivers with Race Muis again getting the holeshot and
immediately opened up a slight buffer over a hard charging Fontini & Swart. With race distance shorter, the old
warhorse knew that opening up a margin at the start would be vital to his victory hopes. But on lap 3 a fierce Fontini
managed to catch right up to the race leader as the 2 came barrelling down the back main side-by-side, with Swart a
mere car length behind and ready to pick up the pieces should anything unfold at the front.
But on lap 4 Race Muis managed to again eek out an advantage of the ex stock car champion and looked set to pull
the pin. But Fontini was not ready to give the ghost and being this close to his maiden victory, the class rookie got
the hammer down and caught Race Muis on the very next lap. While Fontini set about catching the leader, ex the ex
stock car champ brought along Swart as the final lap became a 3 way battle for the top step as all 3 drivers were now
But Race Muis’ day went from bad to worse as on the final corner of the last lap his engine troubles return as Fontini
& Swart overtook the limping Jetta III in a mad dash for the finish line. Swart gave his all but was unable to get the
better of Fontini who took his maiden victory in style as Swart followed suit with a double runner up spot and
enough to give the ex overall champ a 1 st overall for the day. Taking the final podium spot was the limping Race Muis
to complete the class line up. A delighted Swart added “Although we narrowly missed out on victory in the 2 nd heat,
it was enough to give us first overall for the day as we managed to find something extra and my feeling with car was
In Class B pole position to current overall champion Eden Thompson (Somerset Refrigeration/MAD Performance
Jetta II) with returning driver Ashley van Niekerk (Ashrome Group/Wheelworx Polo Playa) sharing the front row.
Heading the 2 nd row with an outstanding performance was series sponsor Emile Assure (Burly Pro/Krisp Vehicle
Cooling Polo 6R) who only managed to get in 2 laps when poor visibility forced the series sponsor end his run.
Sharing the 2 nd row was Gideon Serfontein (Goeiehoop Onderdele Golf II GTi) who was unable to find his rhythm in
the slippery conditions. The 3 rd row was occupied by Wayne Field (Coetzees Auto Coachworks Jetta II) and class
rookie Marc Thompson (Somerset Refrigeration/MAD Performance Polo Classic) as series chairman Zaki “Mr Worx”
Hendricks (Wheelworx Polo Classic) completed the class line up.
The pack lined up on the grid and readied themselves for battle. The lights went out and the field stormed into
action as the battle for traction unfolded on the startline. It was class champ Thompson who managed to gather his
vehicle up quickest with van Niekerk following suit as the 2 made an early break from the pack. Next to follow was
series sponsor Assure with series chairman Mr Worx making a superb start to jump up to 4 th sport as Field had some
trouble off the line when a lower order class C car gave the 2016 rookie a minor nudge to get the 2017 sensation
It was a disastrous start for Serfontein who was involved in an incident with a Class C car and saw the class C
graduate drop down the order and now with task of having to play catch up.
Back at the front it was overall champ Thompson in a comfortable lead over van Niekerk who was just out of reach
but ready to pick up the pieces should the leader develop any issues. Just further back the series sponsor was in
amazing form and looking for a podium finish but was not in the clear yet as series chairman Mr Worx was
determined to make up for his qualifying woes and also had the hunger for a podium spot. At the lower end of the
pack, Field had managed to settle into a lonely 5 th position as Serfontein had managed to catch and pass rookie
Thompson snr by the end of lap 4.
Matters remained unchanged at the front as leader Thomspon Jnr show no signs of slowing down to cross the finish
line in style and claim victory with his new vehicle with van Niekerk unable to respond to the pace of the champ and
came home in a fantastic P2 after nearly 4 years out of competition. But all van Niekerk’s hard work and efforts were
undone when his vehicle was found with a technical infringement and van Niekerk was then disqualified from the
But the mid pack battle was something special as Assure & Mr Worx were involved in a fierce contest for the final
podium spot at the time. Assure then found himself being held up by a lower order class C car which allowed Mr
Worx to catch the series sponsor in a last lap battle for the podium. Mr Worx bided his time and finally made his
move on the final corner of the last lap after both drivers managed to pass the lower classed car. But the series
sponsor made a superb cutback on the series chairman as the 2 were in a side-by-side drag race to the line with
Assure coming out on top by a mere 0.001s. Little did the 2 know that they would each be promoted 1 position
higher with Assure getting the much needed redemption and taking runner up spot and series chairman Mr Worx
claiming the final podium spot.
A simply outstanding drive by Serfontein would see the class C graduate catch and pass Field on the penultimate lap
to take 4 th as Thompson drove yet another clean race to round up the class line up.
A disappointed van Niekerk then made the necessary adjustments to his vehicle and was deemed within
specification for competition. But van Niekerk had a mammoth task ahead of him as the ace would be starting from
A disenchanted Serfontein had a little turn of fortune as his pace in the 1 st heat rewarded the class C graduate with
pole for the 2 nd heat with the overall champ alongside on the front row. Assure again managed to head the 2 nd row
with Mr Worx going better to be stationed alongside the series sponsor. The 3 rd row was again occupied by Field and
Thompson snr as van Niekerk pulled into pit lane and waited for officials to give the signal.
The lights went out for the final time as the pack stormed into action. Serfontein got the hole shot and found himself
with a good margin as overall Champ Thompson not getting the best of starts. Just further back Mr Worx managed
to get the better of Assure but the series sponsor remained in close proximity to chairman and was ready to strike
should Mr Worx run into any difficulties.
At the lower end of the pack, Field was yet again in a lonely P5 with Thompson snr being hunted down by a fast
paced van Niekerk.
With the 2 nd heat reduced, overall champ Thompson knew that time was running out and set about catching leader
Serfontein who was in fine form and determined to make up for his 1 st heat mishap. With each passing corner
Thompson Jnr manage to close slightly but was running out time as Serfontein kept his eyes on his rear view mirror
and could see that the overall champ was edging closer. On lap 4 the pressure got to Serfontein who had a huge
moment in turn 4 and was at a full 90deg slide as the leader went farming which allowed Thompson Jnr to pass and
take over the lead. But Serfontein was dealt another blow as the off track excursion cased damaged to the cooling
system as the car began to overheat and would force Serfontein to retire from the heat after having a flawless run.
A disgruntled Serforntein expressed his anger in parc ferme as his hopes of victory vanished before him. Back at the
front Thompson now had a clear run to the line as Mr Worx and Assure again found themselves fighting for the
runner up spot as van Niekerk who managed to pass both Field and Thompson Snr was just too far to catch up.
A cause for celebrating in the Thompson camp as overall champion Thompson Jnr made it 2 out of 2 with Mr Worx
going 1 better to take the runner up spot as Assure claimed the final step on ther podium. Van Niekerk gave it his all
and had to settle for 4 th as Field and Thompson completed the class line up.
The wolfpack in Class C produced a delightful shakeup as Jarred Simpson (Greenz Plumbing/Cape Refactory Golf I
GTi) delivered a spectacular performance to clinch Pole in the closing stages of the session with overall and class log
leader Giordano Lupini (CIR Construction/LaVie de Luc/SA Accelerate Golf I GTi) having to settle for P2 but still
delighted to have a front row start. Heading the 2 nd row was Alfie van Zyl (CD Motorsport/GT Graphics Golf I GTi)
with stock car racer Kyle Wiltshire (Flatline Racing Golf I GTi) alongside. The 3 rd row was occupied by national karter
Jason Coetzee (Coetzee’s Auto Coachworks Golf I GTi) and returning driver Dillion Joubert (TAC Steel/Powder Coating
World Golf I GTi). Completing the class line up was Daniel Munna (ISE Group Golf I GTi), Ian Kapp (Hydracor
Hydraulics Golf I GTi) and another returning driver Patrick Walton (Golf I GTi).
The pack gathered on the start line and readied for the 1 st heat. The wolfpack stormed into action as the lights went
out. Simpson managed to keep his nose ahead of Lupini as van Zyl and Wiltshire followed suit. Just a tad back
Joubert got off to a flyer and jumped 2 spots to take over 5 th as Munna managed to stay ahead of Kapp with Walton
being held up on the startline after a slow starting class B car hindered the producer and actor.
At the front it was a hard charging Lupini looking to edge his way past Simpson as van Zyl had to contend with a
hungry Wiltshire and Joubert in a lonely P5. Just further back Kapp managed to find some pace to get up to 6 th to
open up an advantage over Munna with Walton staying in sight as Coetzee dropped right down order after being
involved in an incident with a class B car.
At the front a determined Lupini found his way past Simpson while van Zyl had a big moment in turn 1, forcing
Wiltshire to take evasive action and went well wide on the exit. This allowed Joubert to take over 3 rd as van Zyl
gathered himself to settle and 4 th and Wiltshire rejoining in 5 th . Meanwhile at the tail end Kapp was still in a secure 6 th
with Munna still in sight and Coetzee on a mission to gain back some positions as the karter passed Walton on lap 5.
At the front Lupini began to open up a margin as Simpson was unable to match the pace of Vega University Bcomm
1 st year with Joubert further back in 3 rd while van Zyl opted for the safe approached and settled in 4 th . The order
remained unchanged as a delighted Lupini took the chequered flag with Simpson runner up and a pleased Joubert
taking the final podium spot on his return after more than a 1 year off track. Van Zyl came home in 4 th for some well
earned championship points as Wiltshire completed the top 5. Kapp was next to cross the line as Munna just about
ran out of race distance and could not pass Kapp with Walton rounding up the class line up after Coetzee retired
from the heat on lap 6 with a broken CV joint.
But Kapp found himself in water and was disqualified from the heat after his vehicle was to have a technical
infringement. A highly frustrated Kapp express his dissatisfaction as the team put in a great effort to get the car
ready for race day. The break between heats allowed the team to alter the vehicle and officials deemed the car
within specification for competition. But Kapp now had to work even harder as the 2 nd heat would be starting from
1 st heat winner Lupini picked up where he left off to take pole as van Zyl stunned the wolfpack to share the front row
with the Franschhoek resident. Row 2 was headed by Joubert alongside Simpson. Row 3 lead by Wiltshire with
Munna alongside as Coetzee managed to patch up the vehicle and make the start of the heat.
The lights went out for the final time as Lupini and van Zyl made a brilliant start and immediately broke away from
the rest of the field. Joubert, Simpson and Wiltshire were grouped together when disaster struck on the opening lap
as Wiltshire and Simpson made contact as Wiltshire retired immediately. Simpson managed to complete a single lap
but then also pulled to the side after suffering a flat tire from the incident. The left Joubert in a lonely P3 as Coetzee
lead the tail end consisting of Walton, Munna & Kapp.
Lupini had only one goal in mind, and that class honours as the youngster edged away from van Zyl with each passing
corner. With van Zyl unable to respond to the leader, the 2016 rookie settled into a relaxed pace as Joubert set his
sights on van Zyl. But with a reduced race distance, Joubert simply did not have enough time to launch an attack on
van Zyl. The chequered flag beckoned as an overjoyed and ecstatic Lupini swayed vigorously across the main straight
to cross the line for a double victory with van Zyl taking the runner up spot as Joubert came home to clinch a double
podium. Coetzee was next to cross the line with a battered and bruised vehicle as Walton, Munna & Kapp
completed the class line up.
With the 4 th round of the 2019 Burly Pro Gti Challenge done and dusted, the series now approaches the halfway
mark and will have a 1hr endurance race in the final round of the season.
Although the lead at the top of the log has increased, the season is far from over and the action will only get more
intense with each round. Be sure to diarise the next instalment of the Cape’s most wildly popular main circuit on
Saturday 06 July. Till then...... Cheers!
BURLY PRO GTI CHALLENGE RACING..... CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF SHEER ON-TRACK BRILLIANCE!!!
- Written By: Byron Wanza