Three cars in the Killarney Polo top ten
Pepper Racing came way from Cape Town with another strong points haul and three cars on the overall top ten once again, following a competitive weekend at Saturday’s Killarney Engen Volkswagen Cup races. Tasmin Pepper took a Masters win and a second to end up second in Masters for the day, brothers Keegan and Jason Campos wound up 8th and 9th with Jason fourth in Masters and Keegan fifth in Juniors, while Shaun Le Reservee endured a trying weekend in the Cape.
“All in all another good weekend,” team principal Iain Pepper admitted. “Tasmin was right in there throughout the weekend and added another two strong results to her championship chase including a Masters race win and the Campos brothers both ended up in the top ten. “Shaun had a character-building weekend, but he’ll be back up there next time out - well done to the entire team on and off the track — now for an overall win or two…”
Tasmin Pepper qualified her Electric Life Pepper Racing Polo third and ended up third on the grid after superpole, but slipped back to fourth early on before racing to fourth overall and second in Masters in race 1. She then drew pole position from the second race top-six grid lottery and emerged second after the first corner before pressurising Jeffrey Kruger to the flag second on the road as she took the Masters win for fourth for the day and second overall in Masters. “That was a good weekend!” Tasmin concluded. “Cape Town always treats us well, but we have some pace to find to catch Jeffrey and we’ll keep working hard to be ready to win at Zwartkops in three weeks time.”
Keegan Campos qualified his Turn 1 Insurance Pepper Racing Polo tenth but became embroiled in the first race first lap confusion to drop back to 19th before fighting back to end up 13th on the road 9th among the Juniors in race 1, but race 2 was far better and Keegan raced home to fifth on the road and third among the juniors to end up pipping brother Jason for 8th overall and fifth Junior on the day. “It was clear the racing would be close with the top 15 cars split by 0.8 seconds in qualifying,” Keegan pointed out. “I had a coming together with Delon Thompson and rejoined the circuit last in race 1 but I managed to come through and finish 13th. Race 2 I had a great start to go from 8th to fifth in race 2 and hold it to the end.”
Elder Campos brother Jason Campos qualified his Campos Transport Pepper Racing Polo in 12th before driving home ninth on the road and fourth in Masters in race 1, before race 2 saw him tussling with Justin Oates before settling down to race home to ninth on the road and fourth in Masters to end up — you guessed it — ninth overall and fourth in Masters for the day. “Our pace wasn’t too bad this weekend,” Jason admitted. “The close nature of Polo Cup racing means any mistake is the difference between a top 6 to the bottom 6 result, but made up places in both races and my pace is close to where it needs to be — there are a lot of positives to take home and Zwartkops is only a few weeks away for us to keep building on this momentum.”
Shaun La Reservee endured a tough weekend, qualifying his Alpine Volkswagen Pepper Racing Polo 15th before climbing up 9th on lap 2 when he was helped into the tyre wall to retire. The team turned the car around for race 2 to allow Shaun to move up from 14th to end up 11th and fifth Master. “A character-building weekend is what I’m calling it,” Shaun rued. “I completely ballsed-up qualifying and we were on the back foot from there, but I made a great start and was up into ninth when alongside one of the new guys never saw me there and moved across, gently bumping me onto the infield where I ended in the Rallycross track tyres barrier. “Shane Mitchell and my dad worked hard to get the damaged car sorted for race 2 but I just lacked pace and ended 11th.”
Pepper Racing heads to its home track at Zwartkops next for round 3 of the Engen Volkswagen Cup Saturday 12 May.