WhatSouth African Motorsport Wrap
When30 October - 1 November 2020

Toyota comes out on top in bruising PE GTC, SA GT drivers star abroad

In a relatively quiet South African race weekend, Toyota came out on top in a dramatic Extreme Festival in Port Elizabeth. Kelvin van der Linde also opened up his ADAC GT Masters title advantage at the Lausitzring and David Perel came oh so close to taking the European Le Mans GTE title in Portugal. 

Chemical Logistics WSR Toyota driver Robert Wolk emerged the overall winner of Saturday’s dramatic Port Elizabeth GTC races. Daniel Rowe’s VW was saved by a final race red flag after he was involved in a first lap incident that eliminated Michael van Rooyen’s Gazoo Toyota Corolla. Rowe’s team hastily repaired his car to allow him to take the restart and follow Wolk home, both in the final race and overall.

The left GTC debutant Julian van der Watt to end third overall in the second Chemical Logistics WSR Toyota. Keagan Masters also escaped retirement after being helped off in the first corner of that final race. The VW team resurrected his Golf GTI to allow him to come home fourth. The Gazoo Toyotas suffered a day to forget. Mandla Mdakane missed the final race after a second race retirement. Van Rooyen never went any further after that contact with Rowe after trouble in the second race too.

Earlier, Rowe won race 1 in a comfortable lights to flag showing as Wolk overcame Masters to take second. Van der Watt followed the VW lad home ahead of Mdkane and van Rooyen. Masters took his turn to go lights to flag to win race 2. Wolk was second again from Rowe, van der Watt and a struggling Mdkane after van Rooyen stopped while running third.

Van der Watt initially led the restarted final heat from Wolk, but went off on the second tour. That allowed Wolk to lead from Masters, who took his turn to fall off. So Wolk took the win and the day from Rowe, van der Watt and Masters.

Brad Liebenberg took all three GTC Supa Cup class wins from Jeffrey Kruger and Jonathan Mogotsi. Saul Hack emerged fourth after a day long battle with veterans Rui Campos and Shaun Duminy, who were split by half a second after three heats of racing. GTC races again at Zwartkops this coming weekend.

Cape Town 18-year old Dario Busi delivered a sensible day’s racing to clinch the 2020 SA Oettinger Polo Cup championship. Busi came home seventh in an opening race won by 15-year old Leyton Fourie from lights to flag. He beat teammates, brothers Matt and Chris Shorter and Arnold Neveling, Clinton Bezuidenhout and Keegan Campos.

Busi then brought it home fourth behind title rival Chris Shorter, Neveling and Fourie to clinch the championship in the 40-minute double-points finale. Chris Shorter took the day overall from Fourie, Neveling, Matt Shorter, Busi and Bezuidenhout.

In other action, David McFadden dominated the Superbike races to beat Clint Seller both times. Dino Iozzo came back to beat Supersport race 1 winner Ricardo Otto overall – all of them riding Yamahas. Sifiso Themba took the Bridgestone win from Lubabalo Ntisana. And Graeme Van Breda took ZX10 Masters honours from Sanjiv Singh and Jacques Ackerman.

Moving abroad, Cape Town’s David Perel ended second in the 2020 European Le Mans GTE championship on a count-back of wins on Sunday. David and his Ferrari 488 GTE teammates Michael Broniszewski and Luca Cadei ended second. Rivals, Proton Racing’s Porsche 911 won the Portimao 4 Hour to see both teams tied on 99 championship points. 

The Porsche crew of Christian Ried, Michele Beretta and Alessio Picariello however won more races through the year. They provisionally take the championship on a tie break. As disappointing as it was to come so close, it was another great showing by Perel and his team.

South Africa’s Kelvin van der Linde and Swiss teammate Patric Niederhauser opened their 2020 ADAC GT Masters championship lead from one to five points over the weekend, following two dramatic races at a damp, dark and slippery Lausitzring.

Kelvin bounced back from qualifying 17th to bring his Audi home fifth in on Saturday. Niederhauser then ended sixth on Sunday despite a drive-through penalty following some driver change pit stop confusion.

Fellow South Africans, Jordan Pepper brought his Bentley home tenth from 23rd on Saturday and then ended 15th on Sunday and guest driver Sheldon van der Linde ended 20th after a late drive-through penalty on Saturday. He then came home tenth on Sunday. The ADAC GT Masters season wraps up at Oscherslieben this coming weekend.

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