Saturday 6th July marks the halfway mark of the Burly Pro Gti Challenge 2019 as the drivers yet again prepare to wage war at the Killarney International Raceway in conjunction with the Wingfield Motors Power Series.
With the Cape already having a cold and wet week thus far, Mother Nature shows no sign of easing up as Saturday could see the field yet again fight for victory in wet & slippery conditions.
In Class A the chances for victory could go either way as the season has proved to be sizzling hot at the front. The spectators who will brave the cold conditions could see the fight at the front become as big as a fatal 5 way tussle between old warhorse Nian “Race Muis” du Toit (Allied Fibreglass/Progress Precision Engineering Jetta III), Jurie “Umpie” Swart (Alpine Autohaus Polo 6R), series veteran Jano van der Westhuizen (Wingfield Motors/Kwikfix Polo Vivo), 2013 overall champion Christopher Swart (Village Paint & Hardware Egdemead/Hazendal Jetta II) & VW Academy driver Colin Nicholas Meder (International Tube Technology Polo 6R).
But the fight could easily be influenced as class rookie & ex 1660 champion Mark Fontini (Medine Manufacturing Polo Classic) clinched his maiden victory last round and will surely be looking to challenge for victory come raceday.
A welcome return to another old veteran Chris Roberts (BMT Offshore/Roberts Racing Polo 6R) as Roberts sports some new machinery and will no doubt be eager to get back into competition.
Matters in Class B will display yet another close and hard fought affair as current overall champion Eden Thompson (Somerset Refrigeration/MAD Performance Jetta II) piloted his new machine to a double victory and maintained his lead in the class log. But Thompson has a large target on his bumper as returning old driver Ashley van Niekerk (Ashrome Group/Wheelworx Polo Playa) gave the champ a good dice. After 4 years off circuit, van Niekerk will definitely be looking for the top step. With an even greater hunger, Class C graduate Gideon Serfontein (Goeiehoop Onderdele Golf II GTi) will be seeking for class honours after being robbed by technical woes.
But the surprise of the field comes in the form of main series sponsor Emile Assure (Krisp Vehicle Cooling/Burly Pro Polo 6R) as the 2018 rookie clinched a spectacular podium finish and even fancies his chances at victory. Also getting closer to the front is series chairman Zaki “Mr Worx” Hendricks (Wheelworx Polo Classic) finds new pace with each passing round. A returning Mario Roux (Automar Jetta II) could pose a huge threat and certainly influence the fight at the front.
Just further back sees Mr Consistency Wayne Field (Coetzee’s Auto Coachworks Jetta II) along with class rookie Marc Thompson (Somerset Refrigeration/MAD Performance Polo Classic) and a return of fellow series sponsor Grant Cloete (Upstream Connect/Cape Kustoms Golf I GTi).
The wolfpack in Class C has seen a fairly dominant run by class & overall log leader Giordano Lupini (SA Accelerate/LaVie de Luc/CIR Construction Golf I GTi) with 7 victories out of 8 starts. The only other driver to claim class honours this season is inaugural overall champion Brett Roach (Mutual Valet Center Golf I GTi) as Roach returns to competition on raceday. Proving to have the pace in the wet is Jarred Simpson (Greenz Plumbing/Cape Refactory Golf I GTi) with 2016 rookie Alfie van Zyl (CD Motorsport/GT Graphics Golf I GTi) narrowly missing out on victory.
The mid pack sees series vice chairman Gert du Plessis (Cheapercars Golf I GTi) and Paul Winter (Shorty Smalls Racing Golf I GTi) return to cause a stir amongst the youngsters Jason Coetzee (Coetzee’s Auto Coachworks Golf I GTi) & Kyle Wiltshire (Flatline Racing Golf I GTi) as Daniel Munna (ISE Group Golf I GTi) edges ever closer to the heat of the battle. Actor/Producer Patrick Walton (Golf I GTi) also returns to circuit and looks to fight with the middle order.
With a sensational line up of fierce drivers, the action will be red hot regardless of the weather conditions. For spectators who are unfazed by weather reports, the action will unfold with qualifying at 8:15am followed by heat 1 @ 10:20am & heat 2 @ 14:15pm.
Burly Pro Gti Challenge….. THIS IS WAR!!!!
– Written By: Byron Wanza