Thompson’s men on top at Red Star
Lee Thompson Racing celebrated a great weekend’s racing when all four of the team’s cars delivered great results at the Red Star Raceway’s Volkswagen Challenge races on Saturday. Iain Pepper moved into the Class A championship lead with a dominant display out front, while top class teammates Waldie Meintjes and Wayne Crous bounced back from incidents to score well and Shane Crous took a fine second in Class C.
“That was a perfect weekend for the team!” principal Lee Thompson admitted. “We could not have asked for more — Wayne was without doubt the surprise of the day — I did not lie when I said the potential is there — it was just a matter of time…”
Man of the moment Wayne Crous who qualified his Delway LTR Polo a career best second for race one and enjoyed a close dice with Stiaan Kriel but couldn’t get past at the end and settled for another career-best third. Race 2 saw Wayne in another race-long dice with Kriel, who he eventually passed, but Kriel punted him into the weeds to drop him to fourth. Kriel was however penalized for the collision, giving Wayne third back.
“Wow — what a day!” a delighted Wayne confirmed. “I qualified a best-ever second behind Iain and had a great start before Stiaan forced his way through, but I still scored my best ever race result. “I repeated it again when the results were adjusted after that Race 2 bump and also set the second fastest time on my last lap. “I just want to thank Lee and his team for all the hard work on the car — well done boys and huge thanks to Delway Trading, Toshiba Tech, Ancro and PBCS.
The Volkswagen Challenge day however belonged to Iain Pepper, who put his Husqvarna LTR Polo onto pole position and converted that into two race wins as he made it look so simple. “It wasn’t that easy — I had to work hard today,” Iain smiled. “Lee and his guys gave me a great car right from Friday morning and I was a bit off, but after sleeping on it, I came back strong on Saturday from my first lap in qualifying to my last lap of race 2.
“I’m happy to be able to reward Lee and his team with a full house, a pole position, two quickest laps and two wins again, as well as the championship lead — well done to my teammates for a great job — we were the quickest cars throughout the weekend!”
Waldie Meintjes qualified his silver LTR Polo a strong third but was punted off in the first corner by Devon Piazza Musso and had to work his way back to fourth. “I don’t think Devon did anything deliberate,” Waldie reported. “Clumsy perhaps, but I had to work hard after that. “The second race was easier — I started second and held off an early challenge from Stiaan, but I managed to edge away to finish second in that race and third overall for the day — it was another good weekend — thanks Lee and team!”
Lee Thompson Racing’s Class C lad Shaun Crous endured a lonely drive to second place aboard his Ancro Building Projects LTR Polo Vivo in the first race, before delivering a brilliant display of side-by-side racing with Rory Atkinson for the first few laps of race 2. Atkinson eventually edged away leaving Shaun to take second. “That was such a cool dice while it lasted!” Shaun admitted. “I really enjoyed it. “By God’s grace it was also a very good day at the races and I’m happy with second, but we need that tiny bit to beat Rory — the next one is mine!”
Lee Thompson Racing’s VW Challenge quartet will return to action at Zwartkops Saturday 30 September, but his national duo, Charl Smalberger (GTC2 iCorp VW Parts LTR Golf GTI) and Simon Need (Engen VW Cup Photonics LTR Polo), head to Cape Town for this weekend’s Engen Extreme Festival races at Killarney.
“It’s a change of focus again and we head back to the Cape this weekend,” Lee Thompson concluded. “Charl is becoming a serious title factor in GTC2 and with the championship leader probably missing this one to race overseas, we have a great opportunity to close the gap to the front. “Simon has been improving steadily all year too, so let’s see if we can get well into the Killarney Polo points.”