Reigning Global Touring Car champion Robert Wolk and his Chemical Logistics Racing Toyota Corolla GTC came away from the East London Grand Prix Circuit’s fifth round Extreme Festival races holding all the aces for a back-to-back title.
Teammates Julian van der Watt and Andrew Rackstraw fought to fourth and sixth on the day, Wolk kept out of trouble as he came from third to win the first race. He followed that up with a measured drive, rising from sixth to second in reverse grid race 2, while his championship rivals hit trouble.
“We came to East London looking to manage my title advantage and I’m delighted that we managed just that,” Robert Wolk admitted. “I managed to win race 1 from third on the grid, and then topped it off with a solid second in the heat 2, when my title rivals hit trouble. “That gave us second on the day – it’s a pity we still base the overall result on time, which doesn’t make sense with the reverse grid.
Anyway, looking back, we never extracted the pace we expected in qualifying, but we felt we had a great car for the race. “Which showed. “I was able to chip away at race 1 to eventually get into the lead with a few laps to spare. “I had a decent start in race 2 and made two places up to fourth on the first lap. Then I took advantage of all the incidents in front to get up to second. “I was a few seconds behind Michael van Rooyen, so we just banked the points and maximised our championship tally. “A great result for the team.”
Julian van der Watt had a more difficult day at the races in his Chemical Logistics Racing Ford Focus GTC. “That was a tough weekend,” Julian explained. “We had a turbo overboost issue in qualifying, which meant I took a penalty and started the first race sixth, where I remained all race in a high speed train, behind Mandla Mdkane and ahead of Andrew.
“Race 2 started well enough and I led a couple of laps from pole on the reverse grid, but Michael was too quick and then Robert also passed me. “I had a huge scrap with Mandla from there and he got me on the last lap, so well done to him. “All said and done, it was not a bad race day as I ended up fourth overall and scored some good points. “Now we look forward to the next race, which just happens to be my home track at Killarney in Cape Town. “Bring it on!”
“East London was another tough weekend,” Andrew Rackstraw owned up. “We missed most of Friday’s testing due to issues, so we were on the back foot. “I was stuck at the back of that high speed train throughout Race 1 and took seventh. “My second race was compromised by trying to avoid the chaos in the Copabana hairpin on the first lap. “I managed to get going again and then struggled home in sixth.
“But we never say die, focus on the positives and move forward. “I’m looking so forward to the next round at my home track at Killarney with the usual great local support. “As always thank you to my great team, sponsors and family. “Onwards and upwards – see you guys in Cape Town!”
“That was a very good weekend for Robbie, who stretched the championship advantage he has held from the get-go out handsomely on the Grand Prix Circuit,” WCT Engineering boss Stuart Thompson confirmed. “Julian and Andrew may have had some challenges in East London, but the lads overcame the worst of them and the Chemical Logistics team scored well overall.” Team principal Ian Schofield concluded, “That was another good day at the office. “Robert is further ahead in the championship with four races to run and Julian and Andrew brought it home despite some challenges. “Well done team!”
Issued by Motorsport Media on behalf of Chemical Logistics GTC Racing
Images by Motorsport Fanatix