• SA's most successful series resumed after five month break.
• Race wins each for Justin Oates and Dario Busi.
• No spectators were allowed due to Covid-19 protocols.
The Polo Cup made a safe return for the second round of action at the Zwartkops Raceway on August 8. The races took place without any spectators as part of the Covid-19 regulations.
"We as Volkswagen were delighted to have the opportunity to resume racing,"commented Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport.
"We respected all the protocols and regulations and took all the necessary steps to ensure that everyone in the Polo Cup could race safely and responsibly. Having said that, it was good to see the masks come off while the helmets went on."
20 drivers competed in the one-make series as they hustled and bustled in their Polo GTI race cars to take top honours.
Justin Oates claims first ever pole position
The action started on the Friday with three practice sessions with most of the drivers showing good pace despite the long break since the opening round, won by Dario Busi.
The Saturday morning's qualifying session was an indication of what was to come as the majority of the field were covered by only fractions of a second.
After the 20 minute session, the six fastest drivers lined up for the all-important superpole session in which each driver gets one flying lap to determine the starting order. Kyalami karter Kwanda Mokoena performed well to reach the superpole in only his second outing in the Polo, but the youngster had to be content with sixth position.
Mokoena was pipped by another young karter in the form of Leyton Fourie who qualified fifth fastest in his debut event.
Darren Oates was around one tenth of a second faster and claimed fourth on the grid, while it took only two hundredths of a second to separate Capetonians Dario Busi and Jurie Swart in third and second respectively. This left the door open for the second Oates brother Justin to claim his first ever pole position.
The racing was frenetic when the lights turned green, and Justin Oates made the best of his pole position as he emerged from the normal first-lap carnage with a slight lead.
The battle behind him got really heated with championship leader Busi muscling his way past fellow Capetonian Jurie Swart to take over the second position. Both Busi and Swart were putting big pressure on Oates at the front, but the twin brother resisted and held onto his lead until crossing the finish line a full second ahead of Busi with Swart in hot pursuit.
Chris Shorter was fourth over the line followed by Darren Oates and youngster Leyton Fourie who impressed in his debut race.
The starting order for the second race is determined by a numbers draw. Luck was on Busi’s side as he drew the number that would see him start the race from pole position.
Busi made the most of his superior starting position, but the the race was yellow-flagged for two laps as marshals recovered the stricken Polo of Chris Shorter. When the race resumed Busi put in a series of very fast laps to ever so slightly stretch his lead at the front of the pack.
The Capetonian was chased throughout the race by Darren Oates and brother Justin who fought his way up to third after starting in sixth. But it proved Busi could not be caught and crossed the line to take his second victory of the season ahead of both Oates brothers.
Busi’s victory and points haul on the day means he extends his overall lead on the championship points table.
The Oettinger Polo Cup was however not the only series to provide a spectacle. The day also saw the debut of the all-new SupaCup series in which a number of very fast drivers took on each other in identical new Polos built by Volkswagen Motorsport.
The drivers in the new series include the likes of former Polo Cup champions Jeffrey Kruger and Bradley Liebenberg, as well as Volkswagen Motorsport’s Jonathan Mogotsi. The battles in both races were fierce to say the least with Kruger and Liebenberg sharing the two victories with Mogotsi finishing hot on their heels in third.
The next race is set for 25 September at the Red Star Raceway near Delmas.
Compiled by Sean Parker