|What||BurlyPro GTi Challenge Round 1 Preview|
|Where||Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town|
|When||Saturday 17 February 2018|
BurlyPro GTi Brat Pack the maddest of the lot
If someone were to ask which class in South Africa is the closest and hardest fought of all in motorsport, you’d probably be excused for drawing a blank until you came down to the likes of the Polo Cup or Formula 1600, all of which is very well and good. But Cape Town race fans have one of the fiercest-fought racing classes right here on their doorstep and you need not go much further than visit Killarney once a month for your fair share of the fiercest racing of the lot…
The BurlyPro GTi Challenge comprises three classes, there’s always a fight in A, while B becomes a war zone, but rest assured that the baby class C ‘Brat Pack’ is the one to always steal the show. For very good reason too — see, to win in those national classes noted above you need national budgets to get there; let alone compete — cars cost hundreds of thousands of rand to just buy, never mind what you must run them all around the country. BurlyPro GTi Class C on the other hand only allows old Golf Mk 1s — or Citi Golfs for the want of a better word — to compete locally in the Cape.
Modifications are limited, the cars are restricted to 95kW and they must weigh more than 950kg, with penalty weight added to the fastest qualifiers and first race winners to stir it up even more. Drivers can only use just six new racing tyres over an 18-race season and the series exclusively races at Killarney, except for a single away weekend. So it does not cost an arm and a leg and if you are quick, you have an even chance of winning. But to win, you first need to beat what is rapidly becoming a stellar cast of racing rivals too.
Little wonder that BurlyPro GTi Challenge Class C is attracting more and more top drivers — it makes so much sense to compete in an affordable class, especially if you need to beat the best to win…
Best of all however, is that the new season starts at Killarney Saturday 17 February, with a Class C field that’s already tendering for best body shop prices. Reigning champion Marco Busi is the man to beat in his Automan machine, but it’s not going to be that easy a year for the man who so dominated in 2017. Of the entries confirmed at the time of writing it seems that Marco’s biggest problems next Saturday, will come from 2016 champion and Polo Cup expat Bryan Morgan and class regulars the likes of Jarred Simpson, Jacques Geldenhuys who steps back from Class B and another former champion, Chris ’Spongebob’ Swart.
There’s bound to be a challenge from two of the school kids in the class, former karting rivals, Marco’s kid brother Dario Busi and Polo Cup refugee Giordano Lupini ready to topple the lot from the get-go. All of the drivers mentioned so far have won in BurlyPro GTi Challenge C before, but there is also a cast of class regulars ready to pounce too — the likes of the much improved Dillon Joubert, the ever threatening Gert Du Plessis, quick Ian Kapp, the returning Mathew Curry, Albertus Van Zyl and PE’s flying doctor Nadia Nair, who brings a bit of lady class to and otherwise somewhat rough and tumbly field, while rookie Steven Vermaak certainly has chosen a wild way to serve his racing apprenticeship.
But that’s not all — several other top drivers are also known to be preparing for competitive Class C campaigns this year, some of whom may even be ready in time for the first race and not least of all the terrible twins — highly experienced international tin-top racer Shane Williams and another GTi Challenge leading light in Brett Roach is another man waiting in the wings alongside former Group N racer and GTi C expert, Ebrahim Levy. The more, the merrier!
The 2018 BurlyPro GTi Challenge season starts at Killarney’s Wingfield Motors Power Series pipe-opener Saturday 17 February, where a full program of excellent regional racing offers a fine day out for the family with great action on track, plenty to keep everyone entertained and fine facilities too. Rest assured however; the Brat Pack will deliver some of the finest racing of the day — as it inevitably always does…