Brian Joss – The new Engen Polo Cup championship category will visit South Africa’s fastest racing venue this weekend (June 15 and 16), with the East London Grand Prix circuit hosting round four of the 2018 Extreme Festival.
Going to the Eastern Cape, this year’s Engen Polo Cup title chase is as close as it has ever been.
The two top contenders, Jeffrey Kruger (Universal Health Polo) and Tasmin Pepper (Electric Life Polo) are separated by a single point on the championship ladder.
The two drivers have, between them, won every Engen Polo Cup race held thus far in 2018, and they will certainly be determined to continue the trend in East London.
Their closest championship rivals will be Jonathan Mogotsi (VW Motorsport Polo), Keegan Campos (Campos Transport Polo), Charl Wilken (Cronje’s Auto Body Polo), Shaul La Reservee (Alpine Motors Polo), Darren Oates (Payen Polo), Clinton Bezuidenhout (Glyco Engine Polo), Daniel Duminy (SMD Polo) and Delon Thompson (A&L Materials Polo).
All of the above drivers could occupy podium places, and all will be determined to ruin the two front contenders’ Saturday.
Others to watch will include Juan Gerber (Gerber Motorsport Polo), Justin Oates (URUP Polo), Paulus Franken (Manitou Group Polo), Jason Campos (Campos Transport Polo), Benjamin Habig (Just Tools Polo), Altan Bouw (Ferodo Polo), Shivesh Bissoon (Etch Tech Polo), Raais Asmal (VW Polo), Peet Visagie (Nathans Polo) and Wouter Roos (Nathans Polo).
The East London circuit is without doubt the fastest racing venue in the country.
It boasts local circuit racing’s two fastest corners in Potters’ Pass and the Rifle Range sweep.
Experts predict that the new turbocharged Engen Polo Cup cars will reach their true maximum velocity for the first time this weekend, topping out in the Rifle Range sweep.
The high speeds at East London tends to elevate the art of slip-streaming to new heights and, with very little to choose between the top ten contenders in terms of pace, that should be especially true in the Engen Polo Cup heats.
Add the wise usage of the formula’s new and limited Push To Pass system, and spectators should witness two high speed chess games.
The ability to think clearly and plan while strapped into a racing seat, plus a touch of sheer bravery should come into play, making Saturday a memorable one for both competitors and spectators.
The Engen Polo Cup contingent will tackle practice sessions on Friday, with Official Qualifying and two race of 8 and 10 laps each on Saturday.
CAPTION: Title chase as close as its ever been. Picture: Motorpress