By: David Leadbitter
With a combined power output of 3600 horsepower, the new generation Sasol GTC Championship cars are set to delight East London motorsport enthusiasts when the world-class touring car series visits the coastal town on 16th June.
The iconic Grand Prix Circuit, which first hosted a Formula One race in 1934, will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack, which features legendary corners like Potter’s Pass, Rifle Range and Cocabana Corners.
Top three contenders
The 2018 Sasol GTC racing cars pump out 450bhp in race trim which will ensure a white-knuckle ride around the 3.9km circuit as drivers seek out every last bit of grip from their control Dunlop tyres.
The top three title contenders are separated by six points after the first three rounds with Simon Moss (Engen Audi GTC) leading the way on 121 points after claiming two victories and a third place podium so far.
Moss became the season’s only double winner after adding victory in Cape Town to his win at Kyalami and continues to be the form man.
Image: Michael van Rooyen - RSC BMW GTC
Gennaro Bonafede (Sasol BMW GTC) is the meat in the Audi sandwich in the championship title chase, lying second with 118 points to his name, followed by the defending champion Michael Stephen on 115 points.
Both drivers have a win each with several podium results to their name. Bonafede took the season’s opening race win while Stephen took line honours at Zwartkops last month.
Michael van Rooyen (RSC BMW GTC) is enjoying his best GTC season to date, lying in fourth place on the log after earning a string of points-paying finishes.
Just two points behind is Daniel Rowe (Volkswagen Motorsport Jetta GTC) who took a popular maiden victory in the second race in Cape Town.
He added another win at Zwartkops a month later to his winning streak and cannot be discounted from the pool of possible winners at round four.
Image: Johan Fourie - EPS BMW GTC /David Leadbitter
Robert Wolk, behind the wheel of the second Sasol BMW has a podium to his name from the Killarney race, but lies in sixth place in the points standings.
The feisty racer will be looking for his first victory of the year at the East London race. Also, a race track where Robbie has fond memories of his young motorsport career.
Johan Fourie (EPS BMW GTC) who has endured a non-finish at every round so far, but the racing talent of Fourie should not be underestimated as he will come with all guns blazing to secure his fair share of victories.
Volkswagen Motorsport’s Mathew Hodges (Jetta GTC) is a further four points behind, after scoring two non-finishes this season and like Fourie, is due for a change in luck, with a fifth place result recorded as his best position of the year.
Image: Adrian Wood - GTC2 Kyocera VW Golf GTi/David Leadbitter
The defending GTC2 class champion, Keagan Masters (Volkswagen Motorsport Golf GTi) with four victories and a second place finish to his credit, has earned an eight point lead over Signature Motorsport’s Bradley Liebenberg (Ferodo MINI John Cooper Works).
The lead MINI driver has two wins and a runner-up podium against his name, which has earned him a seven point cushion over Trevor Bland (Universal Healthcare VW Golf GTi).
Image: Keagan Masters - GTC2 VW Golf GTi/David Leadbitter
Current form suggests Masters and Liebenberg will top the result sheets at the coastal track, but like the GTC class, the competition is too close to call.
The top trio of GTC2 drivers is being caught rapidly by Devin Robertson (Champion MINI John Cooper Works) who has two second place results so far.
Charl Smalberger (UniChip VW Golf GTi) and Dayne Angel (Angel Autohaus Honda Civic Type-R) always put on a good show as they battle with the field of competitive front-wheel drive cars.
Image: Daniel Rowe - Volkswagen Motorsport Jetta GTC 626/David Leadbitter
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This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by Sasol. |