|What||Alert Engine Parts GTi Challenge Round 2 Report|
|Where||Killarney International Raceway|
|When||Saturday 10 April 2022|
|Community||Western Cape Regional|
Killarney delivers three brilliant Alert GTi Challenge races
Saturday’s Alert Engine Parts GTi Challenge races proved impossible to fully follow as three spectacular, simultaneous class battles divided fans’ attention throughout on a day of drama and a debut victory. Class C lad Dylan van Eden turned a nightmare in qualifying into a dream debut victory, while Jurie Swart Jr. fought back to take overall and Class A victory, and by the time the Class B dust had settled, it was Eden Thompson on top of the podium, as usual.
Swart put his Summit Racing Polo 6R onto a dominant pole position over similar machines, Marco Busi’s Automan car, Mint Wraps lad Jason Coetzee, Charl Visser’s Charl Electric Polo, Unlimited Auto kid Kai van Zyl and Summit lad Nathan Victor. Thompson’s Somerset Refrigeration Polo took the B pole from Tate Bishop’s Angri Jetta CLI, Kyle Wiltshire’s Summit and Ian Kapp’s Hydracor Polos, Grant Cloete’s Golf, Marc Thompson’s Polo, Wayne Field’s Jetta, Daniel Sandenbergh's Golf and Brent van der Schyff’s Polo.
Championship leader Chase Herholdt put his Unlimited Auto car on pole position in the all Golf 1 GTi Class C, over Alfie van Zyl, Veldt Reared lad Matthew Rowe and Seth van den Abeele for Summit Racing. Schalk Geldenhuys’ G+A car started fifth from Raaziegh Harris, John-Henri Vaughan and Ryan van Eden after brother Dylan hit trouble in his first qualifying and started from the back. Harris’ car dropped oil on the out lap and was pulled off the grid, before the field was sent on another sighing lap.
The problem with Alert Engine Parts GTi Challenge, is that the three classes start separately, five seconds apart, leaving fans struggling to follow the action as the three battles progress. Up front, Busi got the jump on Swart to lead the way. A confusing second lap saw contact between Coetzee and Swart, before Coetzee’s car spluttered to a halt. Swart closed Busi back down and do as he may, could not find a way past his old rival. Third man Visser closed in while they fought, while van Zyl fought Victor off for fourth.
Wiltshire got the jump to lead Thompson and Bishop in Class B, but an opportunistic Bishop move saw Thompson drop behind a feisty Kapp. Bishop piled the pressure on, but just as was happening a few hundred meters up the track, he could not pass Wiltshire. Thompson found a way past Kapp and closed down on the battling leaders when the flag flew. Bishop was later penalised for his move on Thompson, to promote Eden to second from Kapp, Cloete, Marc Thompson, van der Schyff, Sandenbergh and Field.
If all that was not enough to follow, the Class C action was extreme. Vaughan made the best start to lead Herholdt and a lightning starting Dylan van Eden from the back, as the grid in essence inverted. Van Eden soon found himself into the lad of an incredible 8-car scrap to lead Vaughn and a recovered Herholdt home, with Rowe and Ryan van Eden next up. Seth van den Abeele came home sixth from Alfie van Zyl after Geldenhuys hit trouble early on.
Jurie Swart made no mistakes in race 2 as he raced away to win from Marco Busi, Charl Visser and Nathan Victor after Kai van Zyl stopped mid-race. Kyle Wiltshire hit trouble at the start, leaving Eden Thompson to drive away in Class B. But Tate Bishop was soon up to second from the back and moved ahead with three laps to run and win from Thompson, Ian Kapp, Grant Cloete, Marc Thompson, Brent van der Schyff, Daniel Sandenbergh and Wayne Field.
The Class C dice was once again spectacular. Dylan van Eden led Raaziegh Harris and Alfie van Zyl early on, as John-Henri Vaughan and Chase Herholdt tumbled down the pack. Van Zyl was in flying form and soon picked off Harris and then van Eden before driving away to win. Schalk Geldenhuys fought back to beat van Eden to second as Vaughn scrapped back up to fourth from Seth van den Abeele, Herholdt, Harris, Rowe and Ryan van Eden.
Overall, Jurie Swart Jr. took the day from Marco Busi to consolidate his Class A title advantage, with Visser third from Victor and van Zyl. Eden Thompson benefited his title rivals' woes to not only take the day, but also open up a formidable lead in the Class B title race. Ian Kapp picked up second from Grant Cloete and Marc Thompson. And Dylan van Eden delivered a dream debut to win his first ever race day from John-Henri Vaughan and Chase Herholdt, and completely open that class title battle up.
The Alert Engine Parts GTi Challenge returns to Killarney for its third round on Saturday 14 May.
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