Lupini a fighting third at Killarney
Franschhoek youngster Giordano Lupini was delighted to start his 2018 BurlyPro GTi Challenge Class C racing campaign with a hard-fought third at Saturday’s season-opening Wingfield Motors Power Series races at a sunny Killarney. Not only did Lupini have to deal with the attentions of a few highly experienced rivals, but he also ended up fighting to the finish after most of the field had slid wide on a last corner oil slick at the end of the second race.
“I am really going to cherish today’s third-place trophy,” Bridge House matriculant Giordano beamed after the race. “It ends a most difficult dry patch since the last one, but I really had to work for it! “Competition in the Class C Brat Pack is extremely tight and I found myself fighting hard with some highly experienced and pretty uncompromising men on Saturday — the car is a bit worse for wear and has a lot more rubber on the doors, but I am very happy with my weekend — it’s a great way to start the new season.”
Giordano qualified sixth on Saturday morning with the top ten in class split by a second, before becoming involved in a wild dice for fourth with former European Polo Cup champion Shane Williams, the forceful Jarred Simpson and former karting rival Dario Busi, but that became a race for second when two cars dropped out up front. “I had the pace to catch Shane, but he’s just so difficult to pass so I hatched a plot to make a move on the last lap and then I found myself fighting off Jarred so Shane was lucky. “I was happy with third — by just a hundredth of a second over Jarred in the end!”
The second race was a very similar scene, only this time Giordano had to deal with 2016 GTi Challenge champion Bryan Morgan’s attentions from behind while attacking Williams. “It was a tricky situation again — Shane was battling more with handling as the race progressed but he was also driving super-defensively and I had Bryan all over me like a rash, eventually forcing me to defend round the outside of Turn 4 with a lap to go, but I managed to pull it off despite a wild slide.
“Once again I planned my move on Shane for the last corner and had it all lined up and went for the outside and the car just did not turn — someone had left a sump of oil on the track and I went straight off! “I managed to gather it up but all the guys behind were also off and struggling around the outside on the dirt and then we all joined track together, so it was a sprint to the line. “Then the car that spilled all the oil was crawling along, so it was a mad situation as we avoided him and each other in the race to the finish!
“In the end Shane got away to finish second, but four of us — Gert du Plessis who came from nowhere, Bryan, me and Jarred crossed the line within half a second of each other and I had to make do with fifth. “I ended up third for the day behind Marco Busi, who managed to get away and avoid all the action to win today, and Shane in second with Jarred just two-hundredths of a second behind in fourth! “Thanks to all my competitors for a really hard fight today!
“I am more than happy with third — it’s a good start, but we have more to come from the car, which Brian Maunder and the guys at MRD have turned around to be so competitive so quickly and accidentGuru has a little panel work to do on it sometime soon but I can’t wait for the next race — this is a hell of a class and I’m so excited for the rest of the season.
“I would like to say a special word of thanks to my sponsors CIR Construction and La Vie de Luc mineral water, to my folks and to everyone who makes it possible to race — GTi Challenge, the WPMC, all the marshals, officials and anyone else who helps make our racing world go round.”
Giordano and the BurlyPro GTi Challenge Brat Pack are back in action at Killarney’s 10 March Wingfield Power Series races.