|What||Motorsport Festival Report|
|Where||Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, Johannesburg|
|When||Saturday 4 November 2017|
Meintjes wins the war, Pepper a battle
Kyalami’s Motorsport Festival proved a most eventful weekend for Lee Thompson Racing, which not only came away with an overall MADA Volkswagen Challenge victory and a race win, but its Sasol GTC2 and Engen VW Cup Drivers also delivered strong performances at the Gauteng racetrack.
“That was a very busy day at the races!” team owner Lee Thompson explained.“Waldie was the man of the moment with the overall VW Challenge win for the day with Wayne Crous’ Delway LTR Polo third and Delon Thompson seventh, while Iain Pepper bounced back from a first race incident to win the second race and Shaun Crous was a close third in Class C. “Charl Smalberger endured a troubled but positive day in GTC2, while our VW Cup Master Simon Need fought back to one of his best results of the season.”
“Today I kept out of trouble and that certainly paid off,” Pretoria driver Waldie Meintjes pointed out. “There was more than enough drama around me all day long, but I am very happy with two second places on the day, which brought me the overall win to move me to fourth in the championship race and within striking distance of third. “We had a shocking end to last season after leading the championship, but this year we have had a good end to the season so far, so here’s to that carrying on through Zwartkops in a few weeks time.”
Although it was a rough and tough weekend for Lee Thompson Racing’s Class A championship leader that included a first race retirement, veteran racer Iain Pepper powered his Husqvarna Motorcycles LTR Polo to a second race win and a 12-point title advantage leading into the Zwartkops finale. “My championship rival Stiaan Kriel and I had contact and the damage stopped my car,” Iain explained. “He was later penalised and classified behind me and then we bounced back to win race 2, so the championship is looking good — can’t wait for Zwartkops!”
It was also a good weekend for Wayne Crous and his Delway LTR Polo with a third and a fourth in the two races netting third overall for the day. “I don’t really have much to say except that I am very happy with the results,” Wayne admitted. It was a good weekend overall for me and the team and happily no incidents to report, but things are coming together slowly but surely. “Thanks to Lee and the guys and to all the sponsors involved.”
“I only had about 15 laps to learn the track before qualifying, which never quite went to plan so I had to start from 6th.” Lee Thompson Racing’s former SA karting champion, Delon Thompson explained. “We also lost the sort of pace we expected in heat 1 and I had a problem with the car and retired in race 2, but driving at Kyalami was a great experience which will help with the goals we have set out to achieve with Lee Thompson Racing next year.
Lee Thompson Racing’s Class C VW Challenge Shaun Crous was delighted after racing his Ancro Projects LTR Polo Vivo at Kyalami. “What an amazing weekend!” Shaun explained “That was such fun and its by the grace of god we can race, even though I was in a little bit of a bump and fell all the way to 6th in race 2 and had to drive hard to get back to fourth to get third overall for the day.”
Lee Thompson Racing’s Sasol GTC2 star Charl Smalberger meanwhile overcame a series of challenges to bring his Sabretek iCorp VW Parts Golf GTI home fifth and fourth in his two races. “We had a few challenges over the weekend,” Charl explained. “We had an odd misfire on Friday and qualified well, but the pace was not there even with new tyres. I had a good start in the first race but an overheating issue in the dirty air made it difficult to pass Mandla Mdkane for fifth, but I pulled it off in the end.
“Race 2 had started pretty frantic and I had the same challenges to pass Keagan Masters, but I got it done and then had a great spat with the guys ahead and ended up fourth just a second off the lead at the finish. “We are still third in the championship, but it’s going to be a tough ask to move up to second. Congrats to Keagan Masters on the championship and thanks to Lee and the lads for a great car as always!”
Lee Thompson Racing’s Engen Volkswagen Cup Master, Mauritian Simon Need was another driver to endure a tough weekend after beginning with good pace before a difficult qualifying. “It was a tough weekend but I will take third in Masters for the day with both hands,” Simon explained after fighting back to tenth in race 2 to end up eleventh overall and third among the older Masters drivers to finish the season fourth among the Masters. “I would like to thank Lee and the team for a great effort this season — I have learned so much and my pace has improved race by race to the point that we are now quite competitive.”
With the Volkswagen Cup season wrapped up, Lee Thompson Racing will only have six cars to tend for at Zwartkops’ GTC and VW Challenge season finale Saturday 25 November.