|What||Burly Pro GTi Challenge Round 7 Report|
|Where||Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town|
|When||Saturday 7 September 2019|
|Community||Cape Town, Western Province.|
Challenge drama, action aplenty
The Burly Pro GTi Challenge not only delivered brilliant racing and surprise results in blistering hot conditions as Umpie Swart won overall and Mario Roux and Alfie van Zyl took the classes at Killarney over the weekend, but several dramatic turns served to tighten up the overall title chase too. Only four championship points now split overall leader, Class B man Eden Thompson and his title rivals, Class A leader Nian du Toit and Class C lad Giordano Lupini after all three suffered hit and miss weekends.
The three title contenders all started their days well with class pole positions as du Toit put his Class A Allied Fibreglass Jetta 3 onto the overall pole ahead of Swart (Alpine Autohaus/RDK Plant GAP Motorsport Polo 6R) and Jano van der Westhuizen (Wingfield/ Universal Health Polo 6R). Marco Busi (Automan/Liquid Blue GAP Motorsport Polo 6R) made his Class A return in fourth ahead of Colin Meder Jr. (International Tube Technology Polo 6R), Chris Roberts (BMT Offshore Polo 6R) and Class A debutant Dillon Joubert stepping up from Class C in his Powder Coating World/Euro Blitz Polo 6R.
Next up was Class B pole man Thompson (MAD Performance/Somerset Refrigeration Jetta 2) alongside Lupini, who only drove his CIR Construction/La Vie de Luc Accelerate Special Gasoline GAP Motorsport #racingforwomen Golf 1 GTi for the first time following his previous race crash on Friday evening, but stormed to the Class C pole. Class B trio Zaki Hendricks, Mario Roux (Automar Jetta 2) and Emile Assure (Burly Pro Suspensions Polo 6R) followed, with the rest of the B runners, George Schutte (L & A Numberplates Golf 1), Marc Thompson (MAD Performance/Somerset Refrigeration Polo Classic) and Wayne Field (Coetzee’s Coachworks Jetta 2) back among the Class C lot.
The rest of the all-Golf 1 GTi Brat Pack was headed by debutant Chase Herhold, who made a certain ripple in the Class C pond to go second, two rows behind Lupini but ahead of a tight squabble between Paul Winter, Alfie van Zyl, Calvin Wiltshire, title contender Jarred Simpson (Greenz Plumbing/Cape Refractory/CD Motorsport), Carel van der Merwe, Jason Coetzee (CK Coachworks GAP Motorsport), Kyle Wiltshire, Ian Kapp (Hydracor), Gert du Plessis (cheapercars.co.za), another debutant, Alton Steyn (GVW) and Daniel Munna (ISE Group/CD Mororsport), who did not set a time after car issues.
The drama started early with Class C man Paul winter spinning through the starting pack before pole man du Toit slowed on the second lap and pitted to sort a throttle linkage issue. That left Jano van der Westhuizen momentarily leading Jurie Swart, who made his move on the second lap and then led the rest of the way to take a narrow victory, with van der Westhuizen in hot pursuit all the way. Meder was third from Roberts, who overcame Busi mid-distance, with Joubert sixth.
Thompson took an easy Class B win in seventh as Zaki Hendricks pipped Mario Roux to the post for second, with Class C winner Lupini on their case all the way in 10th overall ahead of a recovering Emile Assure. The fraught action behind him was resolved in favour of Class C runner-up Alfie van Zyl, a short distance ahead of a brilliant three-way spat between rookie young guns Jason Coetzee, Carel van der Merwe and Kyle Wiltshire. Jarred Simpson went off from second, Calvin Wiltshire slowed and Chase Herholdt spun to leave Marc Thompson, du Plessis, Field and the recovering Winter and Herholdt to follow home ahead of Steyn and Munna.
The second race would prove even more dramatic behind an orderly Class A, where Nian du Toit bounced back from his first heat disappointment as he held off Swart's close attention, while van der Westhuizen kept a watching brief ahead of Meder, Roberts, Busi and Joubert. The drama began at the startline, when Thompson was involved in a bit of paint swapping exercise to leave Roux leading Assure and Hendricks in Class B, but Assure was soon ahead, only for his car to lose power on the final tour and allow Roux to win from Hendricks and Assure with Wayne Field fourth, deep among the Brat Pack.
Lupini meanwhile had his hands full behind Hendricks and under attack from a dicing pack including the recovered Simpson, Coetzee, van Zyl and Kyle Wiltshire, but Giordano somehow engineered himself enough of a gap ahead and behind and looked set to take the C win. But Lupini’s Golf was steaming and the overheating car ground to a halt on the final tour to allow Simpson to lead Coetzee, van Zyl, Wiltshire, du Plessis, Kapp and van der Merwe home ahead of Herholdt, Steyn and Munna, with Lupini classified ahead of the limping Eden Thompson.
So the overall results make for interesting reading, as Jurie Swart took the day from van der Westhuizen and Meder, while Mario Roux won Class B from Hendricks; and Assure and Alfie van Zyl emerged a delighted Class C winner over Coetzee, Kyle Wiltshire and Gert du Plessis.
All of that means Thompson provisionally retains a narrow four-point overall championship lead over du Toit and Lupini, who are now tied in second overall with four races still to run. Those three hold comfortable class championship advantages, with du Toit and Thompson both having one hand on their respective A and C titles and Lupini also strong in Class C, leaving the focus squarely on the overall chase now set to go down to the wire in what promises to be a thrilling season-ending one-hour endurance race in December.
Issued on behalf of WP GTi Challenge
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