The hotly contested Engen Volkswagen Cup makes its way down to the coast for the second time in just three events, but this time the spectacle moves down to the Eastern Cape where the historic East London Grand Prix circuit will provide the battleground for yet another war between a full field of fast drivers.
And they better be fast, because East London is also home to two of the fastest corners in South African motor racing, the feared and infamous Potter’s Pass and Rifle Bend. “The combination of Potter’s and Rifle, combined with the circuit’s tighter inner section will test each and every driver and car combination to the maximum,” commented Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport. “With around 20 evenly matched Polos and their drivers all going for the same piece of tarmac at high speed, the fans are no doubt in for a treat. But this is exactly why Engen Volkswagen Cup Racing is so popular.”
Following two consistent rounds at both the season-opener at Killarney in Cape Town and Kyalami in Midrand near the end of April, it is the name of Devin Robertson who appears at the top of the points table. Robertson managed to accumulate a total of 43 points so far that includes a bonus point for qualifying on pole position in Cape Town. Clinton Bezuidenhout is only three points back and will do his utmost to stay in touch this weekend. In fact, there is a two-way tie for second position as Masters driver Juan Gerber has also collected 40 points so far, including 2 for setting the fastest laps at both the Killarney races.
But the story of the season so far must be the one of Shaun La Réservée who took the overall victory in Cape Town but missed Round 2 at Kyalami. He had a fair reason though, as the Kyalami date clashed with his own wedding! The Natalian’s absence opened the door for super sub Lee Thompson who came, saw and conquered Kyalami. Thompson qualified in pole position, set the fastest laps and continued to dominate both races. His performance puts him in fourth on the points table with 36 points, but the objective was to take points away from La Réservée’s rivals, which is exactly what he did.
Jeffrey Kruger is next on the list, with a host of top drivers all within striking distance. One such driver is Tasmin Pepper who also missed the previous round as she was the maid of honour at the now famous wedding. “I can’t wait to get back into the car,” she said. “East London is definitely one of my favourite racetracks.”
A number of rookies, as well as Volkswagen’s Motorsport’s very own Kuda Vazhure and Jonathan Mogotsi, winner of the 2016 Volkswagen Driver Search will also find out just how daunting it can be to tackle Potter’s and Rifle. This will be Mogotsi’s first visit to the historic circuit alongside other rookies Benjamin Habig, Daniel Duminy and Giordano Lupini.
“It is going to be a battle of epic proportions throughout the field,” continued Rowe. “We have the guys at the top of the points table with championship aspirations, and we have a string very fast up and coming young drivers all trying to make their mark in the world of motorsport. It’s going to be a great weekend’s racing,” concluded Rowe.
Round 3 Engen Volkswagen Cup Racing Programme – Saturday 20 May:
- 09:10 – Qualifying
- 12:30 – Race one (10 laps)
- 16:00 – Race two (10 laps)
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