- Saood Variawa and Keegan Campos head up the respective GTC Championship & SupaCup points tables heading into Round 2.
- Cape Town’s Andrew Rackstraw and Tate Bishop will both look to impress at home.
- Arnold Neveling will make his first 2023 appearance.
Only three weeks after the Kyalami 9 Hour season opener, the Global Touring Cars (GTC) Championship & SupaCup head to Killarney International Raceway in Cape Town for the second round (17-18 March).
Saood Variawa and Keegan Campos head up the respective points tables, but both classes will see a host of challengers eager to turn the tables around.
Saood Variawa (Toyota Gazoo Racing Corolla) heads up the points table leading into a race weekend for the first time in his circuit racing career. Now in his second year in the GTC Championship, Variawa will look to consolidate his position at the Cape Town circuit. Killarney International Raceway is where he took his maiden race win in September 2022, and he will look to repeat this performance.
In a reversal of the status quo for most of 2022, defending double-champion Robert Wolk (Chemical Logistics Toyota Corolla) finds himself trailing Variawa by five points. Wolk did not record a win at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and is eager to step to the top of the podium at the circuit where he has won a race in both of his 2022 visits.
Andrew Rackstraw (Sparco / RDSA Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI) occupies third place, a further four points adrift. He showed good pace throughout the season opener in his new car and claimed his first podium finish. Residing in Cape Town, he will be spurred on by the local crowd as he searches for his maiden victory. The former InvestChem Formula 1600 champion could cause a few upsets at his home.
Michael van Rooyen (Toyota Gazoo Racing Corolla) took the Race 2 win in Round 1 to make it a maiden double-victory outing for the team, the first for them since they joined the series in 2019. In 2023, the reverse-grid second race wins carry approximately half the points payload of a Race 1 win. Therefore, Van Rooyen finds himself in joint-fourth place but is eager to join teammate Variawa at the top of the table.
The 2023 debutants, Josh le Roux (Chemical Logistics Audi S3) and Nathi Msimanga (Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota Corolla) had excellent maiden outings with podium results. They are tied with Van Rooyen on 18 points heading into the weekend. Msimanga, who had his first outing in a rear-wheel-drive car, finished third in Race 1. Le Roux, the reigning InvestChem F1600 champion, completed his second tin-top start as runner-up. They are eager to establish themselves as regular frontrunners.
Following his horrific accident in the second practice session in Round 1, Julian van der Watt will not be competing. The Capetonian returned home last week following an extended hospital stay, including various procedures. The good news is that he has started the recovery process. His Chemical Logistics Ford Focus RS also sustained significant damage in the accident.
It is also a new name at the top of the GTC SupaCup points table heading into Round 2. Keegan Campos (Carello Auto), who took his first double victory at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, holds a seven-point lead over Volkswagen Motorsport’s Jonathan Mogots, who finished as runner-up in both races. While they appear to sit comfortably at the top, there are a host of drivers capable and eager to change the standings and establish themselves as 2023 title contenders.
Toto Carello (Carello Auto) is a further nine points adrift and is eager to become a podium regular. Carello is also in search of his maiden victory. 2023 debutant, Tate Bishop (Angri Racing), must not be discounted either. He is another two points behind Carello and started his campaign with a podium-by-default. Residing in Cape Town, Bishop is confident of a good performance in front of his home crowd, and with his extensive knowledge of the circuit, he could well be in contention for a maiden win.
Brad Liebenberg (Hype Energy Drinks / Sparco) is the most experienced driver on the grid. As a former double GTC SupaCup champion, he looks forward to putting the Round 1 issues behind him and establishing himself as a title contender. Although he finds himself 32 points behind Campos, he will channel his sole prior GTC SupaCup outing at the Cape Town Circuit in 2021, when he dominated every race and timed session.
Seventh and tenth places on the points table for Dominic and Calvin Dias do not justify their efforts to become regulars at the front of the field in their Chemi / Liquid Energy Polo SupaCups. Throughout Round 1, they showed good pace, but penalties and DNFs marred their weekend. They will both look to contest for the top spots in Cape Town. While Calvin has competed at Killarney International Raceway twice in his 2022 debut season, it will only be Dominic’s third race weekend in the series.
Another driver looking for Round 1 redemption is Jean-Pierre van der Walt (Platinum Wheels). Ninth place on the points table is a position he will aim to progress from with a strong weekend in Cape Town.
Arnold Neveling (Goscor Stradale Motorsport) is eager to get his season going after missing the season opener. Establishing himself as a frontrunner after missing the season opener is not a new experience for Neveling, who did not race in either of the Cape Town rounds in 2022. While his last and only sprint-race outing at the circuit was in 2019, Neveling does come into the weekend with ample seat time in the South African Endurance Series at the circuit.
Weekend programme and information
Saturday’s races will form part of the Extreme Festival tour and will start at 12:30 and 15:55. Spectators can purchase tickets in advance via Computicket or at the Killarney International Raceway entrance gate on Saturday. All races will be streamed live on the 2WheelsTV YouTube channel and the Global Touring Cars Facebook page.