After 4 hotly contested rounds of South Africa’s most successful one-make series, the Engen Volkswagen Cup returns to the Eastern Cape for Round 5, the Volkswagen National Race Day at Port Elizabeth’s Aldo Scribante circuit. And after outings in Cape Town, Kyalami, East London and Zwartkops, it’s the name of Devin Robertson that tops the championship standings. The young man does however have a target on his back with more than twenty talented drivers that will take aim on 14 and 15 July.
Robertson had a near perfect outing at Zwartkops a month ago when he won both races and set both the fastest lap times in the process. Not claiming the two points that come with setting the fastest time in qualifying was the only blemish in an otherwise perfect weekend for the youngster who currently sits on 96 championship points. Clinton Bezuidenhout is his nearest rival, but the gap has grown to a full 24 points which means that Robertson has the equivalent of a full race win with some change in hand. Bezuidenhout has a points haul of 72, with Jeffrey Kruger and Juan Gerber hot on his heels with 66 and 61 points respectively.
“Devin Robertson has managed to build a comfortable cushion during the previous round at Zwartkops. A lead of 24 points is not to be sneezed at as we enter the second half the championship,” said Mr. Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport. “But having said that, the nature of the Engen Volkswagen Cup is such that any of a number of drivers can win on the day, so I expect a fierce battle in both races on Saturday.”
And fierce battles is exactly what race fans have come to expect from the very competitive Engen Volkswagen Cup who has produced 4 different race winners so far this season with Robertson, Shaun La Réservée, Lee Thompson and Jeffrey Kruger all tasting success in 2017. Someone who will want to add her name to that list is Tasmin Pepper. The lass from the well-known racing family missed an event earlier in the season, but bounced back by crossing the line in second position during both the Zwartkops races, so she is certainly on form. Juan Gerber is another driver who has shown great pace so far including two pole positions but he’s yet to convert it into a race win, something which he’ll want to rectify in the Eastern Cape.
Benjamin Habig, the son of multiple South African Rally Champion Jan Habig is currently the top rookie in the series and occupies tenth position on the overall standings while Volkswagen Motorsport’s own two drivers, Jonathan Mogotsi and Kuda Vazhure are lying in fourteenth and sixteenth respectively. “They are most definitely grinding their teeth in the real-world school of racing, but we are very pleased with their progress,” continued Rowe. Both Mogotsi and Vazhure have enjoyed success at Aldo Scribante in the past. As part of the inaugural Volkswagen Driver Search which Mogotsi went on to win, the two were part of a team that won the Overall Index of Performance during a 3-hour endurance race late in 2016. “Both Jonathan and Kuda know the circuit well after that race, so we have high expectations for both of them to perform at Volkswagen’s own race day. Either way, the competitors and spectators will all be part of a great spectacle this coming weekend,” he concluded.
Engen Volkswagen Cup action starts at 09:55 on Friday with the first of the weekend’s practice sessions while the first of the two 12-lap races will commence at 12:15 on Saturday.
Round 5 Engen Volkswagen Cup racing programme for Saturday 15 July:
- 09:15 – Qualifying
- 12:15 – Race one (12 laps)
- 14:45 – Race two (12 laps)
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