Gauteng racing fans will get the opportunity to be entertained by top class racing when the second round of the 2017 Engen Volkswagen Cup takes place at the iconic Kyalami circuit on 21 and 22 April. It will be the first time this season that national racing of this calibre is hosted at the spiritual home of circuit racing in South Africa, and only the second time ever since the major refurbishment of the iconic racing circuit.
“The full field of more than 20 drivers are very excited about the prospect of showing their true mettle on the new tarmac of Kyalami,” says Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport. “The circuit is beautiful and the surface is perfect, but more importantly, it is also very wide and offers plenty of passing opportunities which will result in great racing for the many fans and supporters of the Engen Volkswagen Cup. And from a driver’s point of view, it’s the one race that everyone wants to win most as the circuit’s combination of tricky corners and fast sweeps provide a true indication of one’s raw speed and talent.”
Someone with loads of raw speed and talent is current championship points-leader Shaun La Réservée who sits on 28 points following a superb victory at last month’s season-opener in Cape Town, but he will not be adding to his points tally in Gauteng. Apparently there is life after motorsport as the Natalian picked a perfect day to get married. Another championship favourite, Tasmin Pepper will attend the same wedding, so she too will not be on the Kyalami starting grid. But in Lee Thompson and Dewald Brummer, the team did find two more than worthy replacements. Both are former race winners and both will be very eager to impress.
But perhaps the biggest fight of the weekend could be between Devin Robertson and Clynton Bezuidenhout. These two are currently tied on 22 points apiece on the points table following successful outings in Cape Town a month ago. Robertson managed to conclude a deal which will now see him contest the full championship, so expect nothing less than fireworks form this developing battle. Juan Gerber is only 1 point back and in 4th on the points table. Gerber was the pole-setter in Cape Town and will be determined to convert his pace into race wins at Kyalami.
But the nature of motorsport, and especially something as competitive as Engen Volkswagen Cup means that it is impossible to make any predictions. With this in mind, it will be foolish not to keep an eye out for a number of very fast drivers who will want to get their championship campaigns on track. One such young man is Matt Shorter who will first have to fight his way past the Oates brothers. A few more names worth mentioning are well-known in motorsport circles as thanks to the trials and tribulations of their fathers. Daniel Duminy, Giordano Lupini and Benjamin Habig will have it all to do at Kyalami, but they sure have it in their DNA.
“We are also very proud of what our own two Volkswagen Motorsport drivers have achieved so far. Kuda Vazhure did exactly what we expected of him in Cape Town, and Jonathan Mogotsi impressed everyone during his Volkswagen Cup debut. Both of them will now be going for more top-place finishes,” concluded Rowe.
Engen Volkswagen Cup action will kick off with the first practice at 10:00 on Friday 21 April. Official qualifying to determine the grid will take place at 08:40 on Saturday while the first of the day’s two races will start at 11:20. – VW Motorsport