|What||GTC Round 2 Race Report|
|Where||Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria|
|When||Saturday 17 April 2021|
|Community||South Africa National|
Temple escapes carnage to take fairytale race 2 win
Investchem Racing’s Scott Temple and the WCT Engineering team emerged as the Global Touring Car heroes following a fairytale come from behind maiden victory aboard his Chemical Logistics Toyota Corolla at Zwartkops on Saturday. Teammates Robert Wolk ended second and third overall, leaving Wolk a solitary point behind new championship leader Michael van Rooyen’s Toyota Gazoo Racing Corolla after two rounds of the championship.
Wolk was in fine form through practice, but so was van Rooyen, who pipped the similar blue car to put the Gazoo machine on pole position with van der Watt a very close third from Temple. Temple’s race seemed to last a couple of hundred metres after he and van der Watt tangled in the first corner. Temple was then tagged by Mandla Mdkane’s Gazoo Corolla, with the Chemical Logistics car ending up in the sand, its left rear corner ajar.
The race was red flagged and re-started without Temple as van Rooyen led the way from Wolk and a tussle between van der Watt, Mdkane and Lee Thompson’s Universal BMW 220i, when Temple’s Corolla amazingly returned to the track three laps after the start. The WCT team under Stuart Thompson had dragged the stricken car back to the pits, rapidly repaired the bent rear tie rod and dispatched Temple back into action.
“That’s our rally pedigree coming out!” Stuart Thompson smiled after the race. The top five initially battled before van Rooyen and Wolk made off up front to come home ahead of a competitive van der Watt, who missed nicking van Rooyen’s fastest lap bonus point by a couple of hundredths, Thompson and Mdkane. Best of all, Scott Temple was classified and would start the reverse grid second race from pole position.
Temple quickly dealt with Mdkane and soon opened up a gap in front as he set the fastest lap en route to a delighted and magical race win from Mdkane. Van Rooyen took advantage of a late race safety car restart to pounce on Wolk for third after both had passed van der Watt and Thompson through the race.
So van Rooyen took the day overall from Wolk, van der Watt, Thompson, Mdkane and Temple. Van Rooyen left Zwartkops in a single-point GTC championship lead over Wolk as the series heads for Port Elizabeth on 29 May. Investchem Racing has three cars in the championship top four with Julian van der Watt sitting third, just two points clear of Temple in the provisional standings.
“That was a bit of a dream race weekend,” Scott Temple admitted. “I thought it was all over sitting there in the first corner kitty litter, but Stuart and the boys got the car back to the pit and before I knew it, I was back in the race and able to claim the reverse grid race pole position. “That second race was awesome — a lights to flag win for my first GTC victory — I will take it with both hands, thank you very much!”
“I can’t complain about second in race 1 and fourth from the back in race 2 to take second overall again and be a point off the championship lead.” Robert Wolk admitted. “The car was perfect on Friday but I struggled with chassis balance and we lost a little pace on race day, so we have a little work to do.”
Julian van der Watt also emerged satisfied with his weekend effort: “I had good pace right through Friday and Saturday and just missed out on the fastest lap bonus point and we are in a good place in the championship,” the Cape Town driver confirmed.
“All in all, that was another great weekend of Global Touring Car racing,” Investchem Racing team boss Ian Schofield concluded. “Scott and Julian have won two of the four races this year and Rob sits a point behind the title lead in second with Julian and Scott third and fourth. “Stuart and the team did an incredible job to get Scott back out after that T1 tangle and that is what allowed Scott to clear off to his maiden win in the second race.”
"We will find out why Rob lost pace on Saturday as a priority and we also need to address clear power disadvantage before PE. "But all in all that was a good effort across the board for the team. “Now we can’t wait for Aldo Scribante at the end of May.”
Issued on behalf of Investchem GTC Racing
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