Brad Liebenberg salvaged a podium from an otherwise trying East London Grand Prix Circuit outing this past weekend (5-6 August) in Round 5 of the Global Touring Cars (GTC) Championship.
Although points leader Robert Wolk topped all of Friday’s practice sessions, Liebenberg, in his Hype Energy Drinks / Universal Motorsport / Sparco Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI took his second-consecutive Dunlop Pole Position on Saturday morning. A fast-paced battle between Liebenberg, Wolk and Saood Variawa ensued in Race 1, with Liebenberg holding the lead for most of the race. Just before the start of the penultimate lap, Wolk made a successful pass to take the lead. Variawa, who was tailing Wolk, capitalised on Liebenberg not being on the ideal line and made his way through. Liebenberg crossed the line in third place.
The opening lap of the day’s second race saw Liebenberg and Andrew Rackstraw collected in an incident with both drivers forced onto the inside grass area after exiting Cocabana Corner. Despite sustaining damage, both drivers could continue, albeit at the back and amidst some GTC SupaCup battles. Nevertheless, Liebenberg was able to finish the race in fifth place.
“It wasn’t an ideal weekend for us,” said Liebenberg. “We had good pace and felt confident ahead of both races. Robert and Saood passed me with just too little time for me to retaliate. Still, third place was a good result, and we were positive ahead of the reverse-grid second race. Sadly, the incident left us limping at the back somewhat with some steering issues; from there, it was merely a case of damage limitation. Given a host of other incidents, I knew that if we kept going, we would be in an excellent position to pick up some valuable points. I believe we will be back at the front in Cape Town, and I would like to thank the team for always ensuring we have a strong and competitive package.”
The penultimate round of the 2022 GTC Championship will be hosted at Killarney International Raceway on 16-17 September.
Issued by Motorsport Fanatix on behalf of Brad Liebenberg