|What||BurlyPro GTi Challenge Round 8 Report|
|Where||Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town|
|When||Saturday 19 October 2019|
|Community||Cape Town, Western Province.|
Stunning GTis steal Killarney show
The eighth round of the Burly Pro GTi Challenge stole the show at Killarney on Saturday with spectacular action from the first lap of qualifying right through to the final fall of the flag. Not only were all three sessions red flagged, but the day saw three first-time winners in Class C, unexpected winners in Class A and two 2019 class champions crowned as the series heads to a blockbuster three-way title shootout end-November.
Qualifying only lasted three laps after Class C lad Carel van der Merwe ended up in a very slick Turn 1 wall, but the three championship leaders had already done enough to take pole in each class.
Nian du Toit (Allied Fibreglass Jetta 3) topped the timesheets ahead of Polo R6 Cup five Marco Busi (Automan), Jurie Swart (Alpine Autohaus), Colin Meder (International Tube Tech), Dillon Joubert (Powder Coating World/Euro Blitz) and Chris Roberts (BMT Offshore), while Eden Thompson (Somerset Refrigeration Jetta 2) led class B, two-tenths clear of the returning Wendy Roberts (Golf 2 GTi).
Giordano Lupini (CIR /La Vie de Luc/ Accelerate Golf 1 GTi) led the Class C charge from, Jason Coetzee (CK Coachworks Golf 1 GTi), Alfie van Zyl (GT Graphics Golf 1 GTi) and Calvin Wiltshire (Golf 1 GTi), all of them within half a second, with Class B men Ashley van Niekerk (Ashrome Polo) and Marc Thompson (Somerset Polo Classic) next up.
Golf 1 GTi lot, Gert du Plessis (cheapercars.co.za), Kyle Wiltshire, Class B lad George Schutte (L & A Plates), Paul Winter (Duvel) and Jarred Simpson (Greenz Plumbing/Cape Refractory) lined up next. Emile Assure (Burly Pro Polo 6R), Carel van der Merwe (Golf 1 GTi), Ian Kapp (Hydracor) and Daniel Munna (ISE Group) Alton Steyn (GVW) closed off the grid, while Class A man Jano van der Westhuizen (Wingfield/Universal Polo 6R) did not post a time.
The day went from bad to worse for van der Westhuizen, who rolled into the first corner to bring out the red flag en route to an early shower as George Schutte spun into the kitty litter in sympathy.
Nian du Toit led the first lap after the restart, only to be passed by Busi the next lap, but du Toit was soon back ahead and under pressure from Swart. Jurie chased Nian down and found a way past on lap 6, before holding du Toit off to win by two tenths of a second, with Meder and Busi on their tail and Joubert in a lonely fifth after Chris Roberts retired. Behind them, Eden Thompson strolled to a three-second Class B victory over Wendy Roberts.
If the action up front was exciting, the Class C lead race proved fraught after favourite Lupini hit gearbox trouble from the get-go, to allow Alfie van Zyl to lead, but he soon hit trouble too. That left teenage trio, former motocross champions Kyle and Calvin Wiltshire and karting champion Jason Coetzee fighting it out up front, with Jarred Simpson closing in from behind.
The elbows came out as Coetzee led into the final turn, but he was sent wide, leaving Kyle to beat brother Calvin Wiltshire to the line ahead of Simpson, who also pipped Coetzee to the post. Class B straggler Marc Thompson was next up from Paul Winter, Gert du Plessis, Ian Kapp, Carel van der Merwe, Daniel Munna, George Schutte, the struggling Lupini and Steyn, after van Niekerk, Assure and van Zyl retired.
The second race did not last long either, before George Schutte caused the red flags to fly, when he took his turn to roll dramatically into Turn 1.
The race restarted once the track was cleared as Marco Busi shot into the lead and drove away up front, his Class A rivals squabbling behind. That settled after du Toit slowed and stopped, leaving Swart to chase Busi down, but Jurie ran out of laps to reel him in, finishing second ahead of Meder who kept the duelling Chris Roberts and Joubert behind, while Thompson cruised to another easy Class B win.
Jason Coetzee made an early move on Calvin Wiltshire and cleared off to win his first ever main circuit race, but there was drama aplenty behind them as Kyle Wiltshire fought Alfie van Zyl and Jarred Simpson off for second ahead of B runner Wendy Roberts in a battle that saw Winter and Kapp eliminated along the way. The still struggling Lupini scrounged a point in sixth ahead of Munna, Steyn, van der Merwe, du Plessis and Marc Thompson.
Overall, Swart won the day from Busi, Meder and Joubert, while Eden Thompson took Class B from Wendy Roberts and Calvin Wiltshire made it a triple Class C rookie maiden success on the day ahead of heat winners Coetzee and Kyle Wiltshire, Simpson, Munna and Lupini.
That means du Toit and Thompson clinched the respective 2019 Burly Pro GTi Challenge Class A and B championships, while Lupini holds a healthy Class C lead over fourth man in the championship, his class rival Jarred Simpson. Thompson provisionally leads the overall chase from du Toit, who emerged a point clear of Lupini Saturday afternoon.
There is however a significant sting in the Burly Pro GTi Challenge championship chase tail, with the 30 November season finale comprising a regular sprint race and then a double points paying one hour endurance race that requires each driver to team up with a co driver who has not raced in Challenge this season.
The one hour also pays each finisher five bonus points, so the gloves will be off as class leaders, Eden Thompson, Nian du Toit and Giordano Lupini prepare to slug it out for that overall championship. Diarise 30 November for Killarney right now….
Issued on behalf of WP GTi Challenge
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