SA Touring Cars

Rackstraw triumphs with podium finish at thrilling East London GTC race weekend

Saturday’s race weekend in East London proved to be a thrilling and eventful one for Andrew Rackstraw and his team.

In a display of great pace during practice, Rackstraw showcased his potential to be a contender in Round 5 of the Global Touring Car Championship at the historic East London Grand Prix Circuit.

Friday’s practice sessions provided Rackstraw with the opportunity to fine-tune the Golf 8 GTI’s setup and gain valuable insights into the track conditions. The team worked diligently, and Rackstraw’s efforts paid off as he finished an impressive second place in two out of the three practice sessions. The performance in practice was a clear indicator that Rackstraw was ready to take on the challenges of the East London circuit.

Qualifying, however, did not go as planned for Rackstraw. An untimely red flag caught him off guard, disrupting his opportunity to get the best out of the new tyres on what is a very abrasive surface. Despite the setback, Rackstraw remained optimistic and determined to make up ground in the races from his P6 starting position.

Race 1 was a rollercoaster of emotions for Rackstraw and his team. Starting from the third row of the grid, Rackstraw made a blistering start, quickly climbing up to third position. His pace was impressive, and it looked like he would be a strong contender for the podium. However, a setback occurred when the anti-roll bar broke during the race, hampering the car’s performance.

“The anti-roll bar issue was unexpected, and it definitely impacted our pace,” Rackstraw explained. “It was challenging to manage the car’s handling without the anti-roll bar, and our tires suffered heavy wear as a result. Despite the setback, we pushed hard and held on to secure a P4 finish.”

Race 2 proved to be a highly exciting and action-packed affair. With Rackstraw starting from the third row of the grid once again, he was eager to showcase his pace and compete for a top position. The race saw plenty of overtaking manoeuvres and wheel-to-wheel battles, with Rackstraw in the thick of the action.

As the laps unfolded, Rackstraw’s pace shone through as he made his way up to P4 and into a position to fight for P3. Unfortunately, the last lap battle with the car ahead got a bit heated and Rackstraw ended up being forced off the road. Crossing the finish line in fourth place, despite the last lap shenanigans, it was once again a stellar performance.

However, the excitement continued after the race, as post-race penalties were applied to some of Rackstraw’s competitors. This reshuffling of the final results saw Rackstraw being bumped up to third place, earning him a well-deserved podium finish.

“I’m thrilled with the podium finish,” Rackstraw expressed. “Race 2 was an intense battle, and to come out with a podium after the post-race penalties is a fantastic outcome for us. It’s a testament to the hard work of the team and our never-give-up attitude.”

“I’m proud of the team’s efforts throughout the weekend,” Rackstraw acknowledged. “We faced some setbacks, but we stayed united and continued to push forward. The results may not have been what we initially hoped for, but we showed great pace and fought hard in every race.”

As the Global Touring Car Championship continues, Rackstraw and his team are eager to build on the momentum from the East London race weekend. With each round offering new opportunities, they are determined to remain competitive and challenge for podium finishes in the upcoming races.

The combination of Rackstraw’s skill behind the wheel, the unwavering support of his team, and the backing of his sponsors RDSA, Sparco, Ravenol, SimGrid, and Investchem will undoubtedly play a crucial role in his pursuit of success in the championship.

“As a team, we’re taking each race as it comes,” Rackstraw stated. “We’ll continue to analyze and learn from our experiences, making the necessary adjustments to improve our performance. With the support of our sponsors and the dedication of the team, we’re ready to take on whatever challenges come our way in the Global Touring Car Championship.”

There are 2 Rounds left in the GTC championship and next up is Rackstraw’s home race in Cape Town. If you recall earlier in the year, the fan-favourite driver picked up his first win at his home circuit so he will be very excited to be heading back and to hopefully repeat his performance.

Andrew Rackstraw

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Image by Motorsport Fanatix

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