The much anticipated 2017 Sasol GTC Series kicked off at the Killarney Raceway in Cape Town, in March, and now, more than five months later, the Volkswagen Motorsport squad of Mathew Hodges and Daniel Rowe are looking forward to returning to the Western Cape.
Brian Joss – The Killarney Race Day on September 9 will be the 7th of the 9 rounds that make up the series and time to make a mark is quickly running out.
“Both Mathew and Daniel claimed podium finishes during Round 6 at Zwartkops a month ago, so we are hoping that they can build on that this coming weekend in Cape Town,” commented Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport.
“Killarney is a tough circuit to conquer with lots of different elements adding to the challenge. It’s very difficult to predict what will happen once the lights turn green, but I know that both Mathew and Daniel will be there to race and that both will be looking forward to the challenge.”
Hodges has accumulated 215 championship points so far which puts him fifth in the title chase. “With 50 points for a race win up for grabs, and even more points available for pole position and fastest lap times, we certainly have an opportunity to close in on fourth and even third place on the points table,” said Hodges. “Our strategy over the remaining events and races that will make up the 2017 championship is to finish as high up as possible and hopefully reward our loyal fans with more podium finishes in the process.”
Port Elizabeth-based driver Daniel Rowe shares his teammate’s sentiments.
“It’s been a tough year in the country’s premier circuit-racing formula,” said the youngster. “I really enjoy driving the Volkswagen Jetta GTC car and would like nothing more than to reward the team with good results over the next few rounds, starting this coming weekend in Cape Town.”
Behind Rowe and Hodges in the premier GTC class, Volkswagen Motorsport hopes to continue with its dominance of the very competitive GTC2 category. Daniel Rowe won the inaugural GTC2 championship in 2016, and a Volkswagen Golf GTi has topped the points table ever since. This year, it is the talented Keagan Masters who has been setting the pace by winning 5 of the 12 races so far.
His performance also included 3 pole positions and no less than 5 fastest lap times. The result is a healthy points lead of 145 points over a similar Golf GTi driven by Trevor Bland.
“We have been very impressed and pleased at the same time with Keagan’s performance this season,” continued Mike Rowe. “He is managing his title chase perfectly, and even better news for Volkswagen is that Golf GTi’s also occupy the second and third positions on the current points table.” Masters has been a busy young man over the past few weeks and is fresh from another successful outing in Europe where he also competes in selected rounds of the Audi TT Cup. “We managed to finish on the podium at Zandvoort a few weeks ago,” said Masters. “It is really great to taste success on an international level, but for now the goal is to make sure we win the GTC2 title for Volkswagen Motorsport.”
Masters was due to race in Germany this coming weekend, but decided that the opportunity to win a South African championship is more important. “We don’t have to win every race to win the title, but we won’t be giving anything away either,” he concluded. Perhaps his biggest challenge in Cape Town will come from Volkswagen Motorsport teammate Mandla Mdakane who himself emerged as a race winner this season.”We are looking forward to an important race weekend in Cape Town. We have lots to gain in both the GTC and GTC2 categories and we will hope to provide our many Volkswagen fans with some excitement at Killarney,” concluded Mike Rowe.