WhatDunlop North Versus South VW Challenge
WhereKillarney International Raceway
WhenSaturday 9 July 2022
CommunitySouth Africa National

Killarney epic raced on Dunlop Direzza tyres

Cape Town’s Killarney International Raceway recently hosted a most interesting pair of races, when the Gauteng-based Pabar VW Challenge visited the circuit for its annual away race. And for the first time, local Alert GTi Challenge Class A regulars were invited to race together with a visiting field. While they all run on Dunlop’s popular Direzza semi slick racing tyres, the two top A classes indeed race to slightly different rules.

All the Class A cars were however tuned to the upcountry specification for the big day, which was to prove a most interesting prospect in what turned out to be a brilliant, bruising Cape vs Gauteng epic as the local wildcards spiced the action up to a crescendo. Of course both these inland and coastal series’ respective A, B and C classes all race on the same Dunlop rubber, which certainly made for an even playing field.

Dunlop's bulletproof Direzza 03G 195/55 R15 semi slicks racing tyre is the perfect choice for any one make series, or any competitor looking for a robust, consistent, competitive and affordable race tyre solution. It’s also of course the tyre of choice for both the Pabar VW challenge, which visited the Cape, and the local Alert Engine Parts GTi Challenge which hosted their upcountry guests by treating them to the challenge of beating that clear home town advantage two weeks back.

It was always going to be tough for the upcountry Class A visitors coming to race the locals, who know every bump and stone at Killarney. Especially considering that the upcountry Pabar VW Challenge onslaught only arrived in Cape Town on the Friday morning. Meaning they had precious little time to dyno, tune and test their cars in the short sessions as they prepared to compete with the eager locals in their similar ex-Polo Cup Polo 6Rs, or Vivos as we know them today.

It took an ex-Capetonian and former WP GTi Challenge racer Stiaan Kriel to upset the applecart to quite literally take the challenge to the locals in qualifying. Kriel put his Design Hut T-Rex Racing machine on the outside of the front row alongside pole man and WP Alert Engine Parts Cape GTI Challenge Class A championship leader, Jurie Swart’s Summit Racing Polo on the all Dunlop Direzza grid.

Another two upcountry Pabar VW Challenge Polos, and the men fighting it out for that class championship, Rory Atkinson’s BHIT Industrial Transport car and Wayne Masters’ Performance Masters version were just as impressive in third and fourth, all considered. Four more Cape locals, Dillon Joubert’s Powder Coating World TAC Euroblitz Polo 6, Nathan Victor’s Summit Racing car, a troubled Marco Busi’s Goeie Hoop Simtech GAP machine and Unlimited Auto Angri lad Kai van Zyl followed.

The rest of the grid comprised Jozi six, Bevin Masters' CPS machine, Waldie Meintjies, an on form Pabar boss Mike Barbaglia, Dewald Theron’s Interceptor car, Sabertek man Derick Smallberger and Sam Dale’s Blue Belt Pozidrive Polo. Locals Raaziegh Harris’ Cooltouch car and Cape Class C graduate Schalk Geldenhuys’ G & A Motorsport car followed from Jozi dad Christopher Dale’s Blue Belt Polo, Gavin Ross and Colin Meder, who never got a lap in, closing off the Class A pack.

Race 1 started with a bang as Nathan Victor slammed into turn 5 tyre wall after something appeared to break under his Polo. Swart and Kriel meanwhile quickly made off up front to leave Atkinson, Masters, Busi and Meder in battle a couple of seconds adrift. Masters got ahead of Atkinson with Busi in close attendance, but Masters appeared to slow into Turn 1 mid-race to allow those three to slip by, before speeding up again. Swart meanwhile edged an advantage over Kriel up front.

So, local lad Swart took the win from Cape expat and first Pabar VW Challenge man home, Siaan Kriel, who in effect, took his first Pabar VW Challenge Class A win of the season. Busi got the better of Atkinson for third from, Masters and Cape trio Colin Meder, Kai van Zyl and Dillon Joubert, with visitor Waldie Meintjies ninth and fourth of the Pabar bunch and local lad Raaziegh Harris tenth. Jozi trio Smallberger, Sam Dale and Barbaglia with Ross and Mfani were a little further back.

Swart made a slow start off pole position for the second heat, to allow Kriel to escape with Busi in tow and a small gap back to Meder and Swart. Jurie soon passed Meder and towed him up to the two ahead. All four of them, now joined by Dillon Joubert were soon racing in a bunch as they dodged yellow flags to eventually arrive at flat out turn 4, four abreast. There was contact, as Swart splendidly held lurid slide as Kriel was forced to go off to avoid contact and dropped down.

That left Busi ahead of a bunch comprising Meder, Swart, Joubert, both Masters and Atkinson, with Kriel in Pursuit. Swart then disposed of Meder once again and closed down on Busi. He made his move to take the lead on the final tour, only for the race to be stopped by the red flag after an incident elsewhere on track. The results were scored at the end of the penultimate lap. 

So, cape star Busi took the closest of victories from Swart, Meder and Joubert, while Bevin and Wayne Masters ended up first and second in the Pabar championship race that mattered from Atkinson and Kriel. Meintjies, Sam Dale, Theron, Smallberger, Ross and Mfana kept a watching brief on the sports up front, while Kai van Zyl,  Harris and Mike hit trouble. Both Bevin Masters and Kriel's Pabar VW Challenge wins were their first of the season. 

All in all, the Dunlop Direzza-shod Pabar VW Challenge away race delivered a fantastic spectacle peppered with a cast of local wildcards that made it all that much more spectacular. It also had many a tongue wagging as to why these two splendid series don’t work on compatible rules to see all three classes able to race in a possibly bigger, short interprovincial VW Challenge series every year. Now there's a thought!


Issued on behalf of Dunlop Motorsport

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