• Toyota faced another tough weekend in the 2020 GTC championship.
• The team was plagued by a myriad of troubles.
• Michael van Rooyen classified the weekend as 'disappointing'.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa had a tough outing in Port Elizabeth this past weekend, following several issues on the factory racing cars.
The second round of the championship, held at the Aldo Scribante circuit, saw the team on the backfoot due to various challenges. While the practice sessions on Friday (30 October) looked promising, but the team failed to build on that performance in qualifying. In the end, Michael van Rooyen qualified sixth, with his team mate, Mandla Mdakane in fifth.
The first of three races at the challenging Aldo Scribante brought more woes for the TGRSA drivers, as they both struggled with wiring problems, resulting in misfires during the race. They recorded a fifth place for Mdakane and a sixth for Van Rooyen.
Toyota Gazoo Racing's Corolla sedan GTC car (MotorPress)
Race 2 brought a better start for Van Rooyen, who leap-frogged from fifth on the grid to third place - a position he retained until two laps from the finish when a broken sensor wire forced him to retire from the race. An electrical issue also plagued Mdakane, who coasted over the finish line in eighth place, after his car's engine cut out in the final turn.
The final race of the day saw Mdakane remain in the pit box, as the electrical gremlins precluded him from starting the race. Van Rooyen got off the line in fine form, but a tangle with one of the VW Golfs in turn two saw the Rustenburg Rocket forced to retire his Corolla for the second consecutive race.
Van Rooyen said: "It was a very disappointing weekend for us. We came here with high hopes, as both Mandla and I enjoy racing at Aldo Scribante. But then things just didn't fall into place, and we faced many challenges. But that's how it goes in racing sometimes, and we'll make sure to be in good shape for the upcoming races."
The final round of the 2020 Global Touring Cars championship takes place at Zwartkops Raceway in Gauteng in November.