Daniel Rowe, Keagan Masters and Michael van Rooyen took a win-a-piece at Red Star Raceway this past weekend (September 25-26) while Brad Liebenberg and Jeffrey Kruger again showed their dominance in the GTC SupaCup.
The event consisted of three races which saw the first 2020 outing for the premier class competitors in the Global Touring Cars category, with three drivers also making their debut.
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Daniel Rowe (Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa) set the pace during Friday’s two latter practice sessions in his Volkswagen Golf 8 GTi and followed this up by taking his maiden Dunlop Polo Position on Saturday morning. He was joined on the front row of the grid by his teammate and reigning champion Keagan Masters. Michael van Rooyen (Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa) headed up the group of four Toyota Corollas in third place with Robert Wolk (Chemical Logistics Racing) alongside him. GTC2 graduate and Van Rooyen’s teammate Mandla Mdakane qualified in fifth place ahead of series and saloon car debutant Scott Temple (Chemical Logistics Racing).
Rowe and Masters made a good start and controlled the race from the front to retain their positions throughout; they started the season with a one-two finish for the reigning manufacturers’ champions. Van Rooyen held off Wolk in the early laps, but the latter made his way into third place on Lap 3. A puncture sidelined Wolk on Lap 6 and handed the position back to Van Rooyen. Van Rooyen crossed the line in third place after gaining on Masters in the final two laps, Further back Mdakane held off Temple for fourth place with Wolk classified in sixth place.
Masters took a lights-to-flag win from pole in Race 2 while Rowe lost two positions on Lap 1 to Van Rooyen and Wolk. While Masters held a handy lead up front, the two Toyota drivers battled for second place until Lap 7 when Van Rooyen went off track. This allowed both Wolk and Rowe through to complete the podium. Temple finished in fifth place a lap down. Mdakane retired on the warm-up lap with a mechanical problem.
In Race 3 Wolk took an early lead while Van Rooyen found himself jostling for position with the Masters and Rowe in the early stages. Masters retired on Lap 5 which saw Van Rooyen move up into second place. The midway point saw Wolk starting to struggle with tyre degradation which resulted in him losing the lead and second place on the final lap. This saw Van Rooyen taking his second GTC victory at the same circuit where he took his first win at the end of the 2019 season. Rowe finished second and Wolk rounded out the podium. Mdakane still struggled with mechanical problems during the race which resulted in him going off track on the opening lap. He finished the race in fourth place. Temple did not start due to mechanical problems.
Liebenberg and Kruger continued their battle for GTC SupaCup supremacy
Jeffrey Kruger (Universal Racing) took his maiden pole position ahead of Liebenberg (Nathan’s Motorsport). Saul Hack (Team Perfect Circle) showed good pace throughout Friday and Qualified in third place ahead of Jonathan Mogotsi (Volkswagen Squadra Corse). Debutant Jason Campos (Campos Racing) set the fifth-fastest time ahead of Andre Bezuidenhout (Team Perfect Circle). Manogh Maharaj (SMD Exotics) had the upper-hand over teammate Shaun Duminy this time round in Qualifying while debutant Johan de Bruyn (OdorCure) completed the grid.
Kruger took his second GTC SupaCup win from pole position after making a good start. Liebenberg finished in second place while Hack closed in on him during the closing stages on route to his first podium finish. Mogotsi finished in fourth place. Bezuidenhout passed Campos on the opening lap and held him off to finish in fifth place after a good battle that lasted for the entire race. Duminy and De Bruyn were promoted to seventh and eighth places respectively when Maharaj went off track on the opening lap; the latter finished in ninth place.
In Race 2 Liebenberg passed Kruger early on Lap 1 for the lead and went on to make make it two-wins-a-piece between the pair for the season. Hack also took third place from Mogotsi to repeat his Race 1 result. Bezuidenhout and Campos rounded out the top-six. Maharaj had the initial upper-hand over Duminy, but an off-track excursion saw sliding to ninth place while allowing Duminy and De Bruyn through.
Kruger won Race 3 on track, but following the completion of the race, he was judged to have accelerated the pace too early from his pole position. He received a five-second penalty added onto his time. This handed the win to Liebenberg while Hack made it three third places for the day. Mogotsi held off Campos and Bezuidenhout for fourth place. Duminy, De Bruyn and Maharaj completed the field.
The next round of the GTC Season will be hosted at the Aldo Scribante Racetrack in Port Elizabeth on October 30-31. This will be the first and only coastal visit for the 2020 Extreme Festival tour and will include both the GTC and GTC SupaCup classes.