It was another solid, points-scoring weekend (May 27-28) for debutant Jean-Pierre van der Walt at Aldo Scribante Racetrack in Round 3 of the Global Touring Cars (GTC) SupaCup.
Following good pace in Friday’s practice sessions, the Platinum Wheels Polo SupaCup driver secured a seventh place on the grid for Saturday’s first race. But an off-track excursion in the session saw him flat-spot a tyre.
“We knew the day would be difficult from that point onward,” said Van der Walt. “The regulations do not allow tyres to be changed unless there is a serious safety risk or damage. But we are up for challenges.”
Although gaining a position off the line in Race 1, he could not keep it for long. Matters were also aggravated by the car locking up on the same flatspot every lap, but Van der Walt defended his seventh place well against Danie van Niekerk. In Race 2, he had a good tussle with former GTC Champion Keagan Masters in the opening stages to record another seventh-place finish.
“I would rate Race 2 as my favourite race to date. Despite struggling with our tyre issues, I was able to hold my own against one of the most experienced drivers in the field. It was certainly a great battle.”
But celebrations were abruptly cut short on Sunday morning following a road accident involving the Volkswagen Motorsport transporter. The accident that took place outside Colesberg claimed the lives of Roger van Schalkwyk and Floyd Sipinyu.
“I believe I speak for the entire pit lane when I say it was a shock for all of us. Not so much the accident itself, but more so losing two valued and often unsung heroes of the tour. Roger has been driving race cars around for almost my entire life and Floyd was one of the technicians who worked on our car in last year’s South African Endurance Series finale. My deespest condolences to the family and loved ones of both these gentlemen, they will truly be missed.”
Round 4 of the GTC SupaCup will be held at Red Star Raceway outside Delmas on July 1-2.
Issued by Motorsport Fanatix on behalf of Platinum Wheels