Liebenberg overcomes challenges to finish on GTC podium

Brad Liebenberg claimed his second Global Touring Cars (GTC) podium finish of the season on May 28 after overcoming a host of challenges at Aldo Scribante Racetrack, Gqerberha, during Round 3 of the 2022 championship.

His weekend started with him missing out on an additional practice session on Thursday afternoon, through no fault of his own. The transporter ferrying his car was held up en route and arrived late at the circuit. Despite the minor setback, it did not take the multiple South African motorsport champion long to get onto pace during Friday’s practice sessions.

For Liebenberg, the reigning and 2020 GTC SupaCup Champion, Aldo Scribante Racetrack, is not entirely unfamiliar, having dominated there since his debut as a saloon car driver. His adoration of the circuit was again evident after the Johannesburg youngster qualified his Hype Energy Drinks South Africa / Sparco VW Golf 8 GTI on Saturday’s front row of the grid (second).

A gearbox issue would add to Liebenberg’s weekend woes despite a good start from the less favourable side of the front row in Race 1. Able to race with the leader over the opening laps, a post-race analysis revealed a failed gear speed sensor as the cause of a gearshift issue, causing Liebenberg to lose a place midway through the race. He would, unfortunately, lose another place as he was run off the circuit as he attempted to lap the somewhat slower GTC SupaCup cars squabbling for positions in their race. His fourth-place finish was his first result since the opening race of the season.

In Race 2, Liebenberg was again menacingly close to the leader throughout the race and looked on target to record his best GTC result. However, he ran wide on the final lap and crossed the finish line in third to round out the podium.

“It was not the ideal result for us this weekend,” said Liebenberg. “Despite having good pace at a circuit I know well, we lost out during the races. I couldn’t drive this Golf any harder than I did this weekend. The little niggly issues cost us some good championship points and I’m really hoping that this is the end of it now. We need to be more consistent if we want any chance of being in the championship fight. Thank you to Hype Energy Drinks South Africa, Sparco and Universal Motorsport and to everyone who made the weekend possible.”

Another road accident dimmed the joys of the weekend for all. On Sunday morning, the Volkswagen Motorsport transporter was involved in a fatal accident outside Colesberg that claimed the lives of Roger van Schalkwyk and Floyd Sipinyu. Liebenberg and his team extend their sincere condolences to the families of the deceased.

Round 4 of the GTC Championship will occur at Red Star Raceway outside Delmas on July 1-2.

Brad Liebenberg

Issued by Motorsport Fanatix on behalf of Brad Liebenberg

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