Pepper Racing scores on a tough weekend
Pepper Racing came home from a rough, tough and trying weekend of Engen Volkswagen Cup racing at Port Elizabeth’s Aldo Scribante racing with a mix of delight and disappointment. Tasmin Pepper scored best of the team with fourth overall, while team rookie Giordano Lupini finally had something to smile about, but Shaun La Réservée and Junior team driver Daniel Duminy both fell victim to an oil spill to exit race 2 after each had delivered positive first heat showings.
“We had the pace all weekend to win,” Campos Transport Alpine VW Pepper Racing Polo pilot Tasmin Pepper explained. “Our team guru Shane Michell and my dad gave me a really great car, unfortunately I messed up in qualifying trying too hard and because times were so close it put me 10th on the grid!” The top 17 cars on the grid — and all four Pepper Racing cars were split by just 1 second!
“That just meant my day would be a lot more difficult than I thought!” Tasmin nonetheless fought back hard to take 7th in race 1 and 5th in the second heat to end up fourth overall for the day, “The racing was super close and I’m happy with how it went - I may not have managed to get the results we probably deserved, but I certainly had a lot of fun! “Now for Zwartkops, where we will come back even stronger!
It was a bittersweet day for Alpine Volkswagen Pepper Racing Polo championship contender Shaun La Réservée who as usual put it into the top six in qualifying for both races and enjoyed a good race 1 to end up a fine podium third. “Race 2 was unfortunate — one of the cars blew a motor and spilled oil heavily in Turn 1 and I locked up on the oil and flat spotted the front left. I tried to finish just to gain some points, but the tyre burst forcing me to retire on the last lap.”
Pepper’s Junior Team lads also had differing weekends with rookie Giordano Lupini delighted to score his first points in 11th overall. “That was a much better weekend for us!” Giordano smiled “We had a completely clean weekend all the way way from practice 1 to the final race which was great for me as I was able to get lots of laps done on a track that was new to me.
“I qualified 15th but didn’t make the best start in race 1, but I managed my tyres well and pulled a few positions back to finish 16th. “I had a better start in Race 2 and had to work hard to hold off the cars behind me, but I kept my nose clean and managed to work my way to finish 11th and finally score some points. “I’m extremely relieved that we are finally over our unlucky streak — now we can focus on moving forward. "Thanks so much to Ian, Shane and the team!”
Despite becoming victim to the same oil spill that eliminated teammate La Réservée from the second race, Pepper Racing’s other 16-year old Junior driver Daniel Duminy was happy with his day’s work. “That was a very good day!” Daniel admitted. “I have finally proven that I have the pace and I can race with the top pack.”
Daniel qualified 17th but enjoyed a great first race in a combative drive to finish 12th, before being caught out by that oil and puncturing a tyre and retire. “It was an unlucky result but we will come back stronger — thanks to Iain, Juandre and everyone at Pepper racing for all the hard work — bring on Zwartkops!”
“It was a good weekend and all our drivers had good runs, so it was a pity to lose two of them as we did to that oil spill,” team principal Iain Pepper concluded. “Well done to the whole team — it was a tough one — now it’s time to refocus on Zwarkops on 12 August — let’s see if we can find our winning ways back.”