|What||Dunlop Motorsport Update|
|When||Wednesday 18 May 2022|
|Community||South Africa National|
A Quarter Way Into the Season it’s Still All to Do
Dunlop Motorsport is the preferred tyre supplier to six of South Africa’s most important race series. The national championship Global Touring Cars, GTC SupaCup and CompCare Polo Cup championships all run Dunlop control racing tyres in the interest for fairest competition. Same goes for the jewels in SA’s regional racing crown, the Gauteng VW Challenge and the Cape Alert Engine Parts GTI Challenge, and also the Lotus Challenge up north.
All six championships are now a quarter or so of their way into their respective seasons, so if early form is anything to go by, there are a few favourites emerging in each of those classes. And others remain way too tight to call. So Dunlop’s 2022 South African national and regional champions are all well in the making, all of which prompts a look at who’s hot so far this season. And to learn a little more about the tyres each class runs on.
South Africa’s premier circuit racing series, the Global Touring Cars race on a Dunlop 280/680R18 full racing slick tyre. It delivers both the pace and the endurance to ensure an even playing field. Reigning champion Robert Wolk leads that tight championship chase in his Chemical Logistics Toyota Corolla GTC but by just three points over Chemical Logistics teammate, Mr. Reverse Race, Cape driver Julian van der Watt's Ford Focus RS GTC.
Wolk has won both opening races at Killarney in the Cape, and at Zwartkops in Pretoria, while van der Watt won both second reverse grid second races, where the top six finishing order of the first race is inverted. Wolk also took the R2,500 Killarney Dunlop Pole Position Award, which prize went to 16-year old rookie sensation Saood Variawa’s factory Gazoo Corolla at Zwartkops. Variawa also sits third in the title GTC chase from Daniel Rowe’s VW Motorsport Golf GTC, Michael van Rooyen’s Gazoo Corolla and Jonathan Mogotsi’s second works Golf.
The all-VW Polo SupaCup also races on albeit slightly lower profile Dunlop Racing 18-inch full slick 245/650R18 rubber. There Polo Cup champion, 16-year old Leyton Fourie holds a small title advantage over former GTC driver Keagan Masters and former double Polo Cup champion Jeffrey Kruger. They are just a few points apart in the chase and hold a small advantage over another group. A handful of points separate Keegan Campos, Zwartkops debutant Arnold Neveling, JP van der Walt Jason Campos and Cape lad Danie van Niekerk. Kruger and Masters have shared out the two Dunlop Pole Awards so far this year, while PE man Nick Davidson leads the SupaCup Masters.
Moving on to the Compcare Polo Cup, it runs treaded Dunlop Direzza 03G 215/45R17 semi-slick racing tyres. A tricky tyre to master, Direzza is the perfect rubber for SA’s top up and coming drivers. It’s advantage in Cape Town in the all VW Polo GTI Cup, where five points separate Capetonians, Bullion IT driver Jurie Swart, Angri lad Tate Bishop and Universal youngster Charl Visser. His teammate Dawie van der Merwe is best of the Jozi kids ahead of PE lad Clinton Bezuidenhout and top first year and another Cape driver, Giordano Lupini. Bezuidenhout and Lupini also snatched the respective Killarney and Zwartkops Dunlop Pole Position Awards.
Moving on to Dunlop’s top regional championships, all three of them race on the Dunlop Direzza 03G 195/55 R15 semi slicks. This bullet proof racing tyre is not only robust, consistent and competitive, but it is relatively affordable too. Which makes it the perfect privateer racer, track day or control race series rubber. It is also the tyre of choice for the highly popular Gauteng PABAR VW Challenge, its Cape compatriot Alert Engine Parts GTi Challenge and something completely different, the Jozi-based Lotus Challenge.
Two races into the 40-plus car Dunlop-shod PABAR VW Challenge, Class A driver Rory Atkinson tops the overall championship. His near perfect run so far includes all four overall race wins. He leads rookie sensation Class B man Hannes Scheepers tied for second with Class C leader Ian Walker overall, but Challenge is more about the classes. Atkinson leads Wayne Masters, Stiaan Kriel and Sam Dale in Class A. Scheepers heads lady racer Charisse van der Merwe, Ethan Coetzee and Francois van Zyl in B and Walker tops Class C from Pierluigi Muzzulini, Dino Smit and Mark Castel. All these regional results remain provisional.
The equally spectacular Cape Alert Engine Parts GTI Challenge is the jewel of the Killarney racing crown and that series is now three races into its eight race championship. Class C lad Chase Herholdt enjoyed a perfect past weekend to power ahead for troubled Class B leader Eden Thompson and Class A top dog Jurie Swart overall. Swart holds a small advantage over Marco Busi in Class A, with Colin Meder and Dillon Joubert next up. Thompson leads Tate Bishop, Kyle Wiltshire and Ian Kapp in B. And Herholdt heads John Henry Vaughan, Schalk Geldenhuys and Dylan van Eden in C.
Last but not least, the Lotus Challenge, which caters from Caterham, Birkin, Lotus and other Sevens. Thomas Falkiner and Jeffrey Kruger continue their meteoric tussle three races in to that title chase, with Rudi Barnard, Mackie Adlem, John Kruger and JP Nortje in hot pursuit. Like Falkiner, Sean Hepburn took over at the top of the Locost class title chase at Red Star on Saturday, from Andre du Plessis, Juan du Toit, Ben Knights and Nick Hodgson.
As noted, it’s still early days and anything can happen with five or six meetings to race for Dunlop’s leading South African racing classes. Global Touring Cars, GTC SupaCup and CompCare Polo Cup head to Port Elizabeth’s Aldo Scribante next on Saturday 28 May. The Cape Alert Engine Parts GTI Challenge race at Killarney a week later and the Gauteng PABAR VW Challenge and Lotus Challenge race next another week later at Zwartkops. Watch this space!
Issued on behalf of Dunlop Motorsport
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