Red Star Raceway is ready to host the second round of the 2020 Global Touring Cars season this weekend (September 25-26) with the premier GTC class set to make its first appearance for the year ahead of the GTC SupaCup field.
New-look GTC field to set the pace up front.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the GTC field did not participate in the season-opener at Zwartkops Raceway in August, but the Volkswagen and Toyota models did make a debut in the South African Endurance Series with four of drivers getting an extended run in a competitive situation.
Daniel Rowe and reigning champion Keagan Masters will aim to continue Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa’s 2019 form in the Volkswagen Golf 8 GTi. This will be Masters’ second season in the top class after two seasons in the former GTC2. Thus far, every campaign for him ended with a Championship title. Red Star Raceway is also the venue where Masters won his 2019 title and he’ll be eager to add to his one race win at the venue.
Rowe will start 2020 as the category’s most experienced campaigner with 66 race starts to his name of which 52 were in the top class. His best championship result of fourth-place has inspired him to come back even stronger and he’ll be banking on the combination of youth and experience to emerge as a title contender heading into 2021.
Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa’s campaign will be headed up by Michael van Rooyen. His last outing for the team at Red Star Raceway saw him take his maiden win. He will be joined by Mandla Mdakane who makes his GTC debut after previously having 41 GTC2 starts to his name across the first four seasons of the category; one being a race win. The pair will be contesting 2020 in the new Toyota Corolla Quest.
Also changing to the Toyota Corolla Quest and adding a second car to their line-up will be the Investchem Logistics backed WCT Engineering outfit. Robert Wolk will start his fourth GTC season with Scott Temple set to make his debut; switching from the Investchem F1600 Single Seater category.
GTC SupaCup battle to continue
Brad Liebenberg (Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa) and Jeffrey Kruger (Universal Racing) are set to resume their battle at the front of the GTC SupaCup. At present, the second-tier class – which is open to other manufacturers as well – is contested by an all-Volkswagen Polo field. The two drivers shared wins at Zwartkops Raceway following two closely contested battles.
Liebenberg’s teammate Johathan Mogotsi found himself closely-matching the pair throughout the opening weekend and will be eager to take his first win in the class.
Team Perfect Circle’s Saul Hack and Andre Bezuidenhout have since completed a lot of competitive track-time with two successful South African Endurance Series outings. They’ll be aiming to find themselves in contention with the battle at the front of the field.
It will be the first outing at Red Star Raceway for the SMD Exotics duo of Shaun Duminy and Manogh Maharaj. Johan de Bruyn (OdorCure) will be making his debut in the class after having to withdraw from the season-opener. Jason Campos (Campos Racing) will also be a firt-time starter.
The event will form part of the national Extreme Festival tour. South Africa has moved to Level 1 of the Risk-Adjusted Strategy for the easing of lockdown regulations which still prohibits the attendance of any spectators at sporting events.
Friday will see four practice sessions ahead of Saturday morning’s qualifying session to determine the starting grid and Dunlop pole position. Both races on Saturday will be contested over eight laps and will start at 12:15 and 15:15.