Chemical Logistics Racing enjoyed another dominant Global Touring Car weekend at Zwartkops’ National Extreme Festival on Saturday. Robert Wolk and Julian van der Watt repeated their first round successes down in Cape Town by once again winning the respective first, and reverse grid second races in Pretoria. It was however another dramatic weekend with penalties, protests and appeals dominating post race proceedings.
Robert Wolk had a great qualifying to put his Chemical Logistics Toyota Corolla GTC second on the grid before twice jumping into the lead as it took a couple of attempts to start the race. From there he dominated in another compelling lights to flag display. The trouble with winning in GTC is that you start the reverse grid second race from the back, which while spectacular, is often controversial. But Wolk came from last to second behind teammate van der Watt.
“We had a solid day on track with a win and a second place in the two races,” Robbie confirmed. “That was another splendid job by the team, we had great pace all weekend.” But all was not as it seemed as Wolk explains and. “Unfortunately we were once again penalised. “I had slight contact with Daniel Rowe and we were handed a five-place penalty for nothing more than a racing incident.
“Rowe was the challenging car, and his challenge started at Turn 8 and it continued into Turn 1 of the following lap. “He took a high risk move to go around the outside of me and it didn’t pay off. Oddly enough Daniel did not lose a place and he was still behind me coming out of Turn 2, yet I am the one to be handed a five-place penalty-shocker, which clouded another otherwise great weekend.”
“Our newly stickered Chemical Logistics Ford Focus RS was ready to hit the track this weekend after WCT Engineering put a huge amount of work into it between rounds,” Julian van der Watt explained. “We had very good race pace on Friday and knew that we had a good race car under us. “I started race 1 in seventh, but picked up some damage when I was squeezed by a Volkswagen on lap 1, but I managed to salvage the race a secure P6.
“My WCT crew once again put in a huge effort between races to ready the Ford for race 2. “That effort really paid off with a lights to flag victory. “I pulled a 5 second gap and turned in fastest lap in what proved a perfect race. “I can’ thank Investchem and my team enough for all the effort they put into the car. Congrats to Rob too on his race 1 win — our team has a 100 percent win record this year. Now let’s continue that in the next round at Port Elizabeth!”
Third team member Andrew Rackstraw meanwhile quietly got on with business in his ageing Investchem RDSA Audi as the team readies his new car for later in the season. Reigning Investchem F1600 champion Rackstraw had a troubled practice, but race day went well. “Considering all the problems we faced with suspension issues, combined with my old, heavy chassis, I was more than delighted to maximise what I had for fifth for the day.”
Team manager and WCT Engineering boss Stuart Thompson was delighted with progress, but frustrated with the complications. “We have a 100% winning record four races into the season, which is fantastic,” Stuart pointed out. “But we need to get on top of the GTC driver conduct rules for overtaking in reverse grid races. “We can’t afford to undo our on track results in the stewards room afterwards every time. “Still, well done lads, suppose all that comes with success!”
Team principal Ian Schofield was delighted with another splendid weekend. “Two more race wins and a 100 percent winning record is all that we can wish for. “Well done guys, that’s brilliant — let’s keep that going into Aldo Scribante next month.”