WhatPolo Cup Round 1 Report
WhereZwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
WhenSaturday 14 March 2020
CommunitySouth Africa National

Shenanigans curb Swart’s flying pace

While a seventh and a fourth place finish would likely thrill most of his rivals, the first round of the 2020 Oettinger Polo Cup in Pretoria proved a most frustrating one for Philadelphia flyer Jurie Swart. 

Umpie had proven sensational in Friday practice, but his pace was clearly a tad too daunting and his car his was thoroughly  stripped and inspected throughout the weekend in a series of moves that ultimately cost the little Cape G-Energy Lubricants Racing with Alpine Autohaus team its critical ultimate speed.

“I really should be happy with an seventh and a fourth place and the second quickest lap of the weekend in round 1 at Zwartkops that most of the big Gauteng-based teams call home, but in reality, that is no reflection the pace we should have shown,” Jurie explained. “My G-Energy Lubricants  Alpine Autohaus Polo was perfect on Friday and I topped the second and third practice sessions — all our hard work had paid off handsomely and we were delighted to be on top and I had a decent run qualifying in new rubber -- we made it into the top six shootout and I put it fourth on the grid.

“Sadly our day  turned into a nightmare from there — race officials pulled us over and made us take out and went over our front shock absorber units literally with a microscope, before excluding us from qualifying. “We however proved that the damper units were supplied and still sealed that way by VW Motorsport and race officials reversed the decision. “But that put us into a horrible situation as we only had half an hour to re-assemble the car and be on the grid — we were given next to no time to prep the car for race 1, which proved our undoing. 

“Sadly as would be expected, we had a few issues due to the rush to assemble and one of the plugs was left loose under the engine bay and I had neither push-to-pass nor third gear, so after a lightning start, I fell back to thirteenth. “Luckily for the immense torque of the Polo Cup I still managed to fight up back to seventh without third, but guess what happened next? “We were checked again because our start was so good! “Clearly once again, they found nothing.

“The second race went a bit better — we had third and push to pass back and I was able to fight back to fourth and best of all, another Cape driver won the day anyway and I have to congratulate Dario Busi for that! “But this was a hell of a character building weekend — it is clear that our pace has them worried, but our car was thoroughly checked all weekend, which serves as a compliment to my team and me. 

“When it starts again after the current restrictions are lifted, the season will be long and we will be back to win on track — bring it on!” 


Issued on behalf of Jurie 'Umpie' Swart

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