The Sasol Global Touring Car (GTC) Championship is heading to Killarney Raceway in Cape Town for round three, bringing the visual and aural spectacle that the exciting new touring car series offers. After two rounds in Pretoria and Port Elizabeth, GTC has already established a strong following, particularly after three exciting heats in the Eastern Cape which was littered with thrills and spills.
Saturday, 24th September will be a memorable day for Cape Town’s enthusiastic and knowledgeable race fans when they see and hear GTC cars for the first time. The GTC racers are purpose-built race cars and look fast. even standing still! Three heats are scheduled to maximize track-goers value for money.
So far, no one has an answer to Michael Stephen and his Engen Xtreme Audi A3 GTC, who has won every race to date and leads the Sasol GTC Championship standings by a fair margin. The Port Elizabeth based racer has been the class of the field and looks untouchable as the series heads on a whirlwind tour of South Africa.
Second in the standings is Gennaro Bonafede in his Sasol BMW GTC. The young charger has secured three podiums from the five races held so far, consistent in his approach and results. He claimed the fastest race lap (worth three bonus points) in the wet in the third race at Aldo Scribante so has the ultimate pace to challenge for victory.
Matthew Hodges lies just 13 points behind Bonafede, the sleek Volkswagen Jetta GTC a quick machine as shown by his two podium places to date. Team mate Graeme Nathan is a further seventeen points adrift after some interesting races under his belt, which has seen him pirouette of the track and down the order on several occasions. Both VW drivers have the means and talent to challenge for victory.
Johan Fourie joined the Sasol GTC Championship at round two and immediately qualified his EPS Couriers BMW on the front row and bank two runner-up results to leap into 5th place on the points log. This, in spite of not having raced since 2014. He is a Cape Town hero and will attract a lot of attention come raceday.
Hennie Groenewald has had a tough start to his GTC career. The second Sasol BMW GTC driver has borne the brunt of the new car’s teething troubles, but bounced back to claim his first GTC podium in the third Port Elizabeth race.
Rounding out the championship standings is the second Engen Audi of Simon Moss, who has suffered suspension failure at each event which has cost him valuable points. Moss claimed a strong second place at the last round ten days ago and more podiums are on the card. It is hoped that Michael Van Rooyen will debut his Rustenburg Steel Construction BMW GTC at Killarney.
GTC Production, the class for 200kW front wheel drive cars sees Volkswagen Motorsport’s Daniel Rowe leading the way in his Golf GTi. The tall Port Elizabeth-based student has bagged three wins and two podiums to lead the title chase, followed by the feisty Shaun Duminy in his Ford Focus ST. Duminy races hard and has one victory and three second place finishes to his credit.
Charl Smalberger (VW Genuine Parts Golf GTi) claimed his maiden GTCP win last time out and will be hungry for more. Mandla Mdakane (VW Motorsport Golf GTi) has raced well with a strong second place and will be out to repeat that performance.
Race fans are invited to the pits to see these new-generation racecars and chat to the drivers between the races, which are scheduled to run at 11h35. A grid walk is scheduled in front of the main grandstand before race two at 13h15 with the Silver Falcons flying overhead. Race two starts at 13h55 and the final race takes place at 16h00.
[Issued by Sasol South Africa]