SA Touring Cars

SASOL GTC CHAMPIONSHIP THUNDERS INTO PORT ELIZABETH

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The Sasol Global Touring Car (GTC) Championship rolls into Port Elizabeth for round two of six of the exciting new touring car championship with all the drama and expectation of a brewing Highveld thunderstorm.

With a field of eight bespoke GTC racing cars ready to unleash a combined 2600kW on the Aldo Scribante tarmac, two heats of 50km each are set to deliver a new motor racing experience to Eastern Cape motorsport fans on Saturday, 10th September.

The GTC cars, fitted with 2-litre turbo motors, emit a gruff roar and spit torrents of flames from their exhausts, adding visual and aural spectacle to the evenly matched field, while the long straight at Scribante should see the GTC racers reach around 280km/h.

The championship consists of four BMW 2-series GTC racers: two running under the Sasol GTC Racing Team banner, driven by Hennie Groenewald and Gennaro Bonafede, and one each for former Production Car Champion, Johan Fourie with backing from EPS Courier Services and an identical machine for Rustenburg businessman Michael Van Rooyen, who has support from Rustenburg Steel Construction.

Both Fourie and Van Rooyen are making their GTC debut at the coastal circuit.

Volkswagen will showcase their pair of Jetta GTC racers in front of their home crowd with multiple champion Graeme Nathan and former Polo Cup racer Matthew Hodges behind the wheel. With their manufacturing plant up the road in Uitenhage, there is going to be strong support for the ÔÇÿhome’ team and huge pressure to do well.

Another pressure cooker scenario awaits Port Elizabeth’s heroes Michael Stephen and Simon Moss in their Engen Xtreme Audi A3 GTCs. Stephen was the man to beat at the opening Sasol GTC Championship race held at Zwartkops Raceway last month and the question most experts are asking is: can anyone stop Stephen at his home track. Moss will be looking to get some mileage under his belt after minimal running in Pretoria.

With the cars lapping within 1.1 seconds of each other around Zwartkops, race fans are in for some exciting racing, while a single set of Dunlop racing slick tyres must last the whole weekend, adding another dimension for the teams to manage on the abrasive Aldo Scribante circuit.

GTC Production is a junior class for two-wheel drive cars producing just over 200kW and again, close racing is guaranteed from the closely matched entrants. Daniel Rowe and Mandla Mdakane race identical Volkswagen Golf GTis under the VW Motorsport banner, with Charl Smalberger (VW Genuine Parts Golf GTi) and Shaun Duminy (SMD Ford Focus STi) expected to wage war.

Race fans are invited to the pits to see these new-generation racecars and chat to the drivers between the races, which are scheduled to run at 11h30 and 14h00.

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