WhatCheapercars GTi Challenge Final Report
WhereKillarney International Raceway
WhenSaturday 6 November 2021
CommunityWestern Cape Regional

Thompson, Swart & Wiltshire class champions after epic 1 Hour

Eden Thompson achieved a remarkable feat when he powered his Somerset Refrigeration Polo 6 to his fourth consecutive overall GTi Challenge and his sixth Class B title on the trot in a thrilling season finale 1 Hour endurance race at Killarney on Saturday. The duel went down to the last lap as Thompson beat Class A champion, Jurie Swart's Alpine Autohaus to second, with Class C champion Kyle Wiltshire’s Golf 1 GTi ultimately third in the title chase.

Swart opened his title shot with pole position, 0.2 seconds clear of Jason Coetzee’s Mint, Colin Meder’s ITT car, Kai van Zyl, TAC World man Dillon Joubert and newcomer Dewald Theron, all of them in Polo 6s. Giordano Lupini sat on the Class B pole in his Bullion IT Banhoek Chilli Oil Jetta 2 CLi from Thompson, Grant Cloete’s Upstream Connect Golf 2, Nadia Nair and Marc Thompson’s Polos, and Wayne Field, Ismail Norshib and Mario Roux’s Jetta 2.

Class C was back to its usual strength with a cracking 9 Golf 1 GTi grid as Kyle Wiltshire beat Chase Herholdt’s NDT machine to pole, with an impressive Nathan Victor next up from Tate Bishop’s Angri car. Newcomer Raaziegh Harris impressed in fifth from Jacques Geldenhuys, Matthew Rowe’s Sunmmit Golf and two more rookies, Rayghaan Mohammed and Roshaan Kahn.

Jurie Swart made short work of it up front as the lights went out, speeding off to a three second victory in the opening sprint race. He left Jason Coetzee to fend off Colin Meder in an entertaining spat behind. Dillon Joubert and Kai van Zyl also enjoyed a great fight for fifth, resolved in Joubert’s favour. But Meder was excluded underweight on the scales, to promote Joubert and Kai van Zyl to third and fourth ahead of newcomer Dewald Theron.

In Class B, Eden Thompson took advantage of Lupini’s clutch slipping at the start to clear off up front, while his rival quickly fought back from the mid pack and after allowing the device to cool and closed Thompson down. Giordano never had enough laps to catch Thompson, who won to wrap up his sixth Class B title on the trot, from Lupini, Grant Cloete, Nadia Nair, Marc Thompson and Wayne Field after Roux stopped and Norshib rolled out in Turn 2.

Chase Herholdt got ahead of Tate Bishop and Nathan Victor in Class C early on, while Kyle Wiltshire dropped behind and had to fight his way from the back in an entertaining Brat Pack spat. Wiltshire duly picked Victor off for third, before Bishop was found underweight and excluded. That promoted Wiltshire to second from Victor and Rowe as Wiltshire wrapped up the class title. Newcomers Raaziegh Harris and Roshaan Kahn entertained in a bruising spat ahead of Ray Mohammed.
With all three class champions crowned, it came down to the thoroughly entertaining one hour endurance race to determine this year’s overall cheapercars GTi Challenge champion. It was essentially down to a fight between Eden Thompson, who brought former Class B champion Shane du Toit in to share his Polo, Class A champion Jurie Swart, with GTi veteran Andrew Goslett sharing his Polo and Kyle Wiltshire in with an outside chance alongside brother Calvin in his red Golf 1. 

Swart had closed in to within a couple of points of Thompson on the log, after a full house in the opening race after Thomson won, but rival Giordano Lupini took the pole position and fastest lap bonus points. Swart led away up front ahead of a tight spat between Jason Coetzee, sharing with Nian du Toit, who also drove Dillon Joubert’s car in the first stint, Colin Meder sharing with Greig Edwards and Kai van Zyl alongside the one and only Kosie Swanepoel.

Behind them, Giordano Lupini, sharing his Jetta with Challenge veteran Ebrahim Levy, got off to a gentle start, but soon found his way past du Toit and made off, setting the fastest Class B lap. Swart was also fastest overall to swing the title advantage his way. After the driver changes, Levy was well ahead of Thompson and Goslett led du Toit. But Levy’s Jetta ground to a halt to hand the B lead to Thompson. 

Still, Goslett was doing enough to see the bonus points hand the title to Swart. But Nian du Toit put Goslett under huge pressure, closing right down and then striking as the pair negotiated the traffic to take the lead with a lap left to run and win. In so doing, du Toit handed Thompson his unprecedented fourth overall GTi Challenge championship on the trot! Thomson and Shane du Toit ended fifth overall behind Meder and Greig Edwards, and van Zyl and Swanepoel.

Behind them, Grant Cloete and Chris Roberts were happy to pick up second in Class B after a solid run to sixth overall from Nadia Nair and Bryan Morgan and Wayne Field and Shaun Ludwig, with Lupini and Levy classified fifth. It was dramatic in Class C as Kyle driving with Calvin Wiltshire overcame Chase Herholdt and the impressive Troy Dolinschek to lead the Brat Pack home. But the Wiltshires were docked a place to hand the class win to Herholdt and Dolinschek.

Matthew Rowe and Brett Roach enjoyed a clean race to third from rookies Roshaan Kahn and Sulaiman Effend, and Rayghaan Mohammed and Zaheer David after both Nathan Victor and Polo Cup star Clinton Bezuidehout and Tate Bishop and Kohen Bam retired out of that splendid lead dice. Madala team, Jacques Geldenhuys and Flavio Busi and Raaziegh Harris and Darrel van Niekerk both stopped.

So, Class B man Eden Thompson is the overall 2021 cheapercars GTi Challenge champion from Class A champion Jurie Swart and Class C champ Kyle Wiltshire. Giordano Lupini ended fourth in spite of starting the season late, from Class A men Marco Busi and Jason Coetzee. Second in class C, Tate Bishop was sixth overall from third in Class B, Ian Kapp, Class A man Colin Meder, and Chase Herholdt, who jumped from seventh to third in the class C chase with a perfect weekend.

That concludes another gripping season of GTi Challenge racing. It all kicks off again with several exciting developments in all classes in February’s season opener…


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