Sandton, South Africa – The Sasol GTC Championship battle continues unabated at the Festival of Motoring at Kyalami this weekend (August 31 to September 2), as the seventh round of the closely fought chase for title honours will play out in front of a new audience at the revered Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit.
Michael Stephen leads the title chase in his Engen Audi GTC by eight points after claiming his third victory of the year at the Sasol Race Day at Zwartkops Raceway two weeks ago. Gennaro Bonafede (Sasol BMW GTC) is also a triple winner this season, his latest triumph coming at Zwartkops as well; both seasoned racers now aiming for maximum points with three rounds remaining to make the fight at the front of the pack a fierce one.
Not to be outdone, Simon Moss – in the second Engen Audi GTC and third in the standings – has his own championship aspirations and will be looking to bank maximum points at the Midrand circuit. He is nine points behind Bonafede, but well ahead of Volkswagen Motorsport’s Daniel Rowe (VW Jetta GTC). Rowe has clinched three victories this year and will be out to regain his winning ways after his Zwartkops disappointment , where he crashed while fighting for the lead.
Michael van Rooyen (RSC BMW GTC) is enjoying his most successful GTC season to date. He has the raw pace and has his eyes set on the top step of the podium at this race weekend. Three points behind van Rooyen is motorsport maestro, Johan Fourie (EPS Couriers BMW GTC). Fourie was a lap away from winning at Zwartkops, when he was involved in a crash with Rowe. The popular Cape Town driver will be out to make amends for that disappointment.
Robert Wolk (Sasol BMW GTC) is seventh on the points table with one podium to his name so far. Wolk has been quick and led races this year and is overdue a turn in his luck which he hopes will start at Kyalami. Mathew Hodges (Volkswagen Jetta GTC) endured a sequence of misfortune that sees him propping up the bottom of the points standings. Hodges won the East London round in the first year of the Sasol GTC Championship, and hopes to show his talents to the Kyalami crowd.
Keagan Masters (Volkswagen Motorsport Golf GTi) leads the points standings in the class for two-litre, front-wheel drive cars. He has enjoyed a stellar season so far with seven victories and three runner-up finishes in the 12 races held to date. He has amassed 259 points, 24 clear of his nearest challengers, the Signature Motorsport twins, Brad Liebenberg and Devin Robertson.
Liebenberg has raced his Ferodo MINI John Cooper Works to three victories and four podium results. Robertson (Champion MINI John Cooper Works) is tied on points with his teammate after scoring two victories and six podium placings. Whatever happens at Kyalami, the deadlock will be broken.
Trevor Bland (Universal Healthcare VW Golf GTi) started the year on a high note, but has lost momentum over the last few rounds. The feisty racer can never be discounted for a top result, while Adrian Wood (Kyocera VW Golf GTi) moved up a position in the standings with his best result of the year at Zwartkops last week.
Charl Smalberger (UniChip VW Golf) has three podiums against his name and is seven points adrift of Wood. Adding variety to the GTC2 field is Capetonian driver Dayne Angel in his Angel Autohaus Honda Civic Type-R. The privately developed Japanese racer has been indecently fast but has yet to score a podium result.
Robert Neill (Delmon Mining Ford Focus ST) continues to learn the ropes in GTC2, while Johan Pretorius (Universal Healthcare VW Golf GTi) is an occasional competitor, as is Paul Hill in his Kalex VW Golf GTi.
The Sasol GTC Championship has three practice sessions scheduled for Friday with official qualifying taking place at 8am on Saturday morning. The first race of the weekend starts at 11h55. Sunday’s action gets underway with a warm-up session at 8am, with the weekend’s second race scheduled for 12h15.
The Sasol GTC Championship will be housed in a giant marquee and invites the Festival of Motoring’s visitors to come and view the high-tech GTC racing cars and chat to the teams and drivers.
[ISSUED BY SASOL]