|What||BurlyPro GTi Challenge Round 6 Report|
|Where||Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town|
|When||Thursday 9 August|
|Community||Cape Town, Western Province.|
Challenge thrills with action all-round
The crowd was rewarded perhaps the race of the year by staying late to watch the second race of the Burly Pro GTi Challenge on a chilly but bright Woman’s day Thursday evening as the intrepid drivers of the Cape’s favourite race series put on an incredible show to remember. Comeback kid Greig Edwards emerged the overall winner on the day in his first race for six years, while championship leaders Eden Thompson and Marco Busi took Classes B and C, but the action en route was incredible.
Jano van der Westhuizen (Wingfield Motors/Shatterfix Polo Vivo) edged Edwards (Roberts Racing Jetta 2) to pole position with a last gasp lap, with Johan Pretorius (Universal Health Polo Cup) third, while young Divan Lazarus (Cheaper Cars) took his first-ever Class B pole ahead of Gideon Serfontein (Goeie Hoop Parts Golf 2) and Eden Thompson (Somerset Refrigeration/MAD Golf 1) despite shedding a left rear wheel when the axle broke and Giordano Lupini (Accelerate Special Gasoline/La Vie de Luc/CIR Construction Golf 1) found himself in a Busi sandwich with Automan Golf 1 brothers Marco on pole and Dario third.
Jano van der Westhuizen made no mistakes to lead the first race from lights to flag under intense pressure from Edwards, Francois van Tonder (Universal Polo Cup) and Pretorius throughout and the three split by just a second by the flag. Paulus Franken (Manitou Polo Cup) was fourth a short distance behind, but with the quickest lap to claim the race 2 pole with Chris Roberts (Roberts Racing Jetta) and Colin Nicholas Meder (International Tube Tech Polo Cup) seventh after a rear bumper shedding mid race off.
Eden Thompson took advantage of a great start and his rivals Lazarus and Serfontein dicing for second to race off to an easy win with Grant Cloete (Golf) a distant fourth ahead of Wayne Field (Coetzee’s Coachworks Golf 2) and a troubled Emile Assure (Burly Pro Polo) after Mario Roux (Fuzion Pre-owned Jetta) suffered a gear linkage failure before the start.
Class C saw a spectacular spat up front — Marco Busi fluffed the start to drop back behind the pack before charging back to a fine win, but not before a fraught spat between them to lead Chris Swart (Village Paint & Hardware Golf 1), Jaques Geldenhuys (G&A Golf 1), Dario Busi and Lupini home, with the lot of them covered by just a second. Ian Kapp (Hydracor Golf 1) and Gert du Plessis (Cash Cars Golf 1) enjoyed an entertaining spat a few seconds further back, while debutant Shaun Vermaak (Golf 1) came back from a wild Turn 3 slide to beat the troubled Paul Winter (Shorty Smalls Golf 1) to eighth.
The second race delivered a brilliant dice up front, but that had to wait for a red flag incident to be cleared when Class B man Wayne Field hit the Turn 1 exit wall hard. Thankfully, Wayne was fine, but his Golf was a sorry sight after the incident. Then both Colin Meder and Chris Roberts cars overheated while waiting on the grid and had to be pushed off, but the resultant five-way dice between van Tonder, Edwards, Pretorius and Franken - all of whom led at a point — and van der Westhuizen had the crowd on its feet and cheering, with the five of them covered by all of 1.5 seconds at the finish, which was somehow declared a lap before the chequered flag following an official bungle.
Eden Thompson had to work very hard for his second race win with Gideon Serfontein and Divan Lazarus all over his tail throughout the race and that trio writing half a second at the finish, with Grant Cloete some way back and Mario Roux taking an early shower.
Class C delivered another cracker - Dario Busi led the first start but stopped with a broken throttle cable and Lupini dropped back on both starts after his car lost first and second gears. Marco Busi made an early break and put a couple of Class B cars between himself and a furious dice between Geldenhyus, Swart and Kapp before Lupini fought back from the back to join them, with Swart edging Lupini at the flag before the results were adjusted a lap back for that flag issue to see Geldenhuys restored to second from Swart, Kapp and Lupini. Du Plessis overcame Winter in their own battle a little further back with Vermaak keeping a watching brief.
Overall, Greig took overall honours from van Tonder, van der Westhuizen, Pretorius and Franken; Thompson took the Class B winners trophy with Serfontein and Lazarus second and third from Cloete and Marco Busi took Class C from Swart, Geldenhuys, Lupini and Kapp. The Burly Pro GTi Challenge now travels to the East London Grand Prix Circuit for its annual away race Saturday 25 August and returns home to Killarney for the national Extreme Festival races Saturday 22 September.