WhatBurlyPro GTi Challenge Round 6 Report
WhereKillarney International Raceway, Cape Town
WhenSaturday 10 August 2019
CommunityCape Town, Western Province.

Killarney Challenge action aplenty

The Burly Pro GTi Challenge delivered supreme action at Killarney's Women’s Day Wingfield Power Series to see the three class leaders leave the Cape Town racetrack tied in a thrilling overall title fight with just a handful of championship points separating Class C lad Giordano Lupini, Class B leader Eden Thompson and Class A man Nian du Toit with three rounds left to race. 

Du Toit had it pretty much his own way on Saturday, while Thompson fought to both B wins, but Lupini suffered an enormous accident in the middle of the race 2 Class B and C melee after winning the opening heat, leaving Jarred Simpson to take the class after a come from behind race 2 win.

Du Toit took pole position with a monster qualifying lap in his Allied Fibreglass Jetta ahead of Jurie Swart Jr (Alpine Autohaus Polo 6R), Jano van der Westhuizen (Wingfield Motors Polo 3), Colin Nicholas Meder (International Tube Tech Polo 6R) and Chris Roberts (BMT Polo 6R), Class B pole man Thompson (Jetta 2) was seventh ahead of Class C Brat Pack frontrunners, rookie Kyle Wiltshire (Suicide Pistons) and Lupini (CIR / La Vie de Luc / Accelerate) Class B man, Ashley van Niekerk (Ashrome Polo 3) and another Class C lightie Jason Coetzee (CK Coachworks).

Du Toit made no mistakes, leading race 1 from lights to flag, initially ahead of Swart, who set the fastest lap of the day in his pursuit, but Umpie’s car started to misfire, allowing van der Westhuizen and Meder to pick up the chase. Roberts then slowed and stopped with gearbox trouble, but du Toit had to work hard for the win as van der Westhuizen closed right up to a tenth of a second behind at the flag with Meder a further second adrift and a misfiring Swart a distant fourth.

There was a far wilder chase in Classes B and C after Thompson had a slow start, which allowed allow Class C lad Wiltshire to lead van Niekerk, Lupini and Thompson and it took a few laps for it to all pan out and leave Thompson battling van Niekerk and third man in Class B, Zaki Hendricks (Wheelworx Polo Classic), with Class C leader Lupini keeping a watching brief a short distance ahead of Wiltshire.

Thompson overcame a wild last lap dice to pip van Niekerk to the post after Hendricks had a last corner off to allow Lupini to come home seventh and another all Golf 1 Class C win, ahead of Wiltshire and Dillon Joubert (Powder Coating World/TAC Steel) after Coetzee, who had sat third all the way, had an axle break and lost a wheel on the final tour. 

That saw Jarred Simpson (Greenz Plumbing/Cape Refractory CD) who missed qualifying to a gearbox failure, to follow Joubert home ahead of debutant Calvin Wiltshire, who has crashed in qualifying and only just made it to the grid after frantic repairs on his car. Another Class C runner, Alfie van Zyl (GT Graphics) was next up ahead of Class B men Marc Thompson (Polo Classic), Mario Roux (Jetta 2), the delayed Hendricks, Wayne Field (Coetzee’s Jetta 2) and George Schutte (Golf 1). 

But there was more drama as Wiltshire’s car was found to be a fraction over the Class C power limit in a post race dynamometer power rub and excluded from the day to shift all the drivers from third behind him up a position and hand Lupini a pole position point that may prove crucial come the end of the season...

The second race was stopped early after young Lupini’s car suffered an axle failure early on and lost all braking into Turn 5 from 180km/h. The car slammed into the tyre barrier and flipped onto its roof atop the tyre barriers. The championship leader thankfully emerged unharmed, but he was out of the race that restarted as a new 7-lap sprint, with Swart, Coetzee and Kyle Wiltshire also not making the start, 

Meder initially led du Toit, van der Westhuizen and Roberts, but du Toit was soon ahead and van der Westhuizen hauled Meder in for second and set off after du Toit, but he ran out of laps to leave du Toit to the double. Thompson took an easy lights to flag Class B win over the rejuvenated Mario Roux and Hendricks after van Niekerk stopped mid distance, with Schutte a happy fourth in class among the Class C frontrunners and Field and Marc Thompson a little further back.

The depletion in Class C left Simpson, who had led the Class before the red flags flew, only to manage the Class B front runners as they passed, to a lights to flag win over main circuit debutant Calvin Wiltshire’s battered but repaired machine, while Joubert was third from van Zyl and another newcomer, Carel van der Merwe Jr. Overall du Toit took the day and Class A from van der Westhuizen and Meder with Class B and C winners Thompson and Simpson next up as Roux and Hendricks filed the Class B podium and Calvin Wiltshire and Joubert took second and third in Class C.

The upshot of all of that is that the Burly Pro GTi Challenge is down to a three-way title fight overall with Class C leader Lupini now provisionally a single point clear of Class B man Thompson and Class A driver du Toit another few behind. The pressure is now on the Lupini camp to repair his wrecked car in time for round 7 of 9 at Killarney Saturday 7 September in what now promises to be an epic showdown between the class champions for that overall crown... 


Issued on behalf of WP GTi Challenge

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