SA Touring Cars

Mini battles to head up penultimate GTC round at Killarney

A host of mini battles will highlight the penultimate round of the 2022 Global Touring Cars (GTC) Championship & SupaCup this coming weekend (16-17 September) at Killarney International Raceway.

The respective points leaders, Robert Wolk and Leyton Fourie, will be looking to extend their advantages over their rivals in this year’s final coastal round.

GTC Championship
Reigning GTC Champion Robert Wolk (Chemical Logistics Toyota Corolla) will arrive in Cape Town with the handiest lead he has enjoyed over the past two racing seasons. Wolk has consistently been scoring points while his rivals have either won or capitulated in the past few races. Subsequently, he holds a 20-point lead going into the final two rounds.

Teenage rookie sensation Saood Variawa (Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Corolla) has impressed mightily through the season. However, a tough previous round in East London allowed Wolk to escape up front. Variawa arrives at Killarney International Raceway looking to reduce that championship deficit and keep his chase alive into October’s season finale at Zwartkops Raceway. Variawa is the only driver in the top five not to have won a race yet in 2022, something he will be eager to change.

The biggest battle in the championship sits another 26 points behind Variawa. Just nine points cover three drivers in their fight for the third position. Twice a race winner this year, Michael van Rooyen (Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Corolla) moved back up to third in East London. He holds a scant four-point advantage over Brad Liebenberg (Hype Energy Drinks / Sparco / Universal Motorsport Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI). The latter has also taken two wins in 2022. Just six points further back sits another 2022 double-winner, Cape Town’s Julian van der Watt (Chemical Logistics Ford Focus RS). He will aim to add another win to his tally, which he has done in his previous outings at the circuit.

There’s another tight battle behind them between Mandlan Mdakane (Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Corolla) and Andrew Rackstraw (RDSA / Chemical Logistics Audi S3). While Mdakane will be eager to continue his incredible momentum, Rackstraw will be looking to end the spell of misfortunes that have plagued him in recent rounds.

GTC SupaCup

Reigning Polo Cup Champion Leyton Fourie (Express Hire / Universal Motorsport) and Jeffrey Kruger (Universal HealthCare Team RED Racing) are equal in terms of wins and runner-up finishes in 2022. There has been little to choose between them. However, Fourie scored five of the six bonus points in the last four races versus Kruger’s one. This allowed him to gradually extend his lead to seven points with two rounds remaining. Having missed out on a win in the season opener, Fourie will also look to become the first driver in 2022 to take a win at each circuit on the calendar.

The battle for third place is an equally close contest. Keagan Masters (Motul Team Perfect Circle) and Arnold Neveling (Pagid Racing SA) are tied on 98 points, but with Masters being the only driver apart from the top two to have won in 2022, he is ranked above Neveling on the points table. However, Masters will not compete in Cape Town due to racing commitments abroad. Neveling is the favourite to slot ahead, but Round 5 will also see the return of Keegan Campos (Turn 1 Insurance Brokers Campos Racing), who held the place before the previous round. Only eight points separate this trio.

Behind them is a fierce contest for sixth place between JP van der Walt (Platinum Wheels) and Danie van Niekerk (Titan Stunts Van Niekerk Racing).  Van der Walt has been ever-impressing with each round, but Van Niekerk will hope to channel his home ground advantage. Jason Campos (Turn 1 Insurance Brokers Campos Racing) will miss his second-consecutive event, but Tato Carello (Carello Auto) will look to gain ground.

Two drivers who are, however, rocketing up the points table are the Volkswagen Motorsport GTC duo of Jonathan Mogotsi and Daniel Rowe, who have both stepped into the GTC SupaCup following the tragic events that led to the team’s withdrawal. In Round 5, Mogotsi (Sonax / Motul) showed the skill that saw him as a front runner in the class from its inception until his move to the GTC Championship. Daniel Rowe, substituting for Andre Bezuidenhout in the second Motul / Team Perfect Circle entry, has quickly slotted in behind Mogotsi on the points table.

With Masters not competing, Cape Town will see Reghard Roets’ debut in the series. Many anticipate a strong debut performance from Roets, considered one of South Africa’s best circuit racers. David Franco (Graphix Supply World Van Niekerk Racing) will make his first appearance since the season opener.

The GTC SupaCup Masters, forming part of the GTC SupaCup but with competitors also scoring in a separate interprovincial championship, Is headed by Nick Davidson (Stu Davidson & Sons). He has all but wrapped up the title from Paul Luti (Finishline UK Van Niekerk Racing). Iain Pepper will make his second appearance in the Campos Racing colours, while Rui Campos will be deputising in his son Jason’s car. Stefan Snyders (Telerex), who missed Round 6 will also return. Robert Franco (Graphix Supply World Van Niekerk Racing) is also scheduled to make his debut.

Weekend Programme

Both Saturday’s races will be contested over 10 laps and will start 13:10 and 16:05. Before Race 1, there will be a fan walk on the starting grid.

Spectator tickets can be purchased directly from the Western Province Motor Club. The event will be streamed live via the Global Touring Cars Facebook page and 2WheelsTV YouTube Channel.

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