|What||BurlyPro GTi Challenge Class C Round 1 Report|
|Where||Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town|
|When||Saturday 17 February 2018|
Marco leaves Class C commotion in his wake
Saturday’s Wingfield Motors Killarney Power Series action was great throughout the day, but if any class produced consistently extreme action, it was the Brat Pack of Class C in the BurlyPro GTi Challenge. Among the most competitive of any classes racing in South Africa in 2018, this baby class of the popular Western Cape series is limited to Volkswagen Gold Mk 1 GTis and has attracted a growing top class entry, but it was reigning overall and Class C champion Marco Busi who stayed on top aboard his Automan Golf on Saturday.
Busi may only have qualified fifth behind 2016 champion Bryan Morgan (Greatsoft), former European Polo Cup champion Shane Williams, the returning Jacques Geldenhuys (G+A Motorsport) and little brother, 15-year old Dario Busi (Automan), and ahead of another youngster, Franschhoek matriculant Giordano Lupini (CIR/La Vie de Luc), but he was soon on top of things following a brilliant race 1 start. That was however after the first attempt to race was red flagged following a startline shunt that eliminated another former class champion, Chris Swart.
Marco Busi quickly made his way up to second behind Morgan off the restart and promptly took the lead before the end of the opening lap, with Geldenhuys up to second with a tight battle behind as Williams, Lupini, Jarred Simpson (Greatsoft) and Busi junior engaged in a mano-a-mano struggle. Another group comprising Gert du Plessis (Cheaper Cars), Dillon Joubert (Powder Coating World/TAC), Ian Kapp (Hydracor), Nadia Nair and Alfie van Zyl were all immersed in an even wilder wrought that included several Class B machines.
Busi’s effort up front was made all that much easier when both Morgan stopped with a broken hub and Geldenhuys’s car started to misfire and slowed with a fuel issue late in the race to allow Williams up to second from the duelling Lupini and Simpson, with the youngster eventually ending up third by all of a hundredth of a second. Gert du Plessis took fifth from Dillon Joubert, the slowed Geldenhuys, Kapp, Dario Busi and Morgan with Nair and van Zyl next up.
Marco Busi once again made a break up front to fight amongst the Class B frontrunners as all hell broke out behind him in race 2. Williams resisted every effort of young Lupini in second, who in turn had Morgan all over his tail and Simpson looming large in his mirrors. Things were even more chaotic a little further back as Geldenhuys initially held off Joubert, du Plessis, Kapp, Dario Busi, Nair and van Zyl, but Geldenhuys brushed the wall and Nair tangles with one of the Class B cars in that bunch to reshuffle a running order that was changing by the second in any event.
The drama really erupted when oil was spilled in turn 5 on the last lap with an unsighted Lupini making a move on the defensive Williams, sliding way off the circuit — Williams escaped to end second behind Marco Busi, but most of the pursuing pack joined Lupini in what had suddenly become a rallycross sprint along the dirt to the finish. Gert du Plessis made best of the drama to steal third from Morgan, Lupini and Simpson — the four of them split by half a second, with Kapp a short distance behind from Joubert, Dario Busi and Geldenhuys.
Marco Busi was the comfortable overall winner in the end ahead of Williams and Lupini in third, all of one-hundredth of a second clear of Simpson. Du Plessis ended up fifth from Joubert, Kapp, Geldenhuys, Dario Busi and Bryan Morgan thanks to his race 1 issues, Nadia Nair and Alfie van Zyl.
There are only three weeks until the BurlyPro GTi Challenge Brat Pack are back in action at Killarney’s 10 March second round races - this is not the sort of action you’d want to miss again — diarise it now!