Brian Joss – The Engen Polo Cup championship brigade will visit the Aldo Scribante Raceway near Port Elizabeth at the weekend (July 13 and 14), when the venue will host round five of their 2018 national title chase.
Going to the Eastern Cape, the series should see a resumption of a three-way fight for this year’s South African championship, with little to choose between the top trio.
Jeffrey Kruger (Universal Health Polo) tops the current points ladder, marginally ahead of Tasmin Pepper (Electric Life Polo) and Jonathan Mogotsi (VW Motorsport Polo).
Depending on their results, any of the three drivers could emerge from the Aldo Scribante round as championship leader.
Other drivers who could interfere with their struggle should include Keegan Campos (Campos Transport Polo), Clinton Bezuidenhout (Glyco Engine Polo), Shaun La Reservee (Alpine Motors Polo), Daniel Duminy (SMD Group Polo), (Delon Thompson (A&L Materials Polo) and Darren Oates (Payen Polo).
Also able to provide surprises will be people like Justin Oates (URUP Polo), Jason Campos (Campos Transport Polo), Juan Gerber (Gerber Motorsport Polo), Paulus Franken (Manitou Group Polo), Altan Bouw (Ferodo Polo), Shivesh Bissoon (Etch Tech Polo), Raais Asmal (VW Polo), Peet Visagie (Nathans Polo) and Wouter Roos (Nathans Polo). New to the series this weekend making her debut in a National Championship formula is Mel Spurr.
The 2.48 kilometre long Aldo Scribante circuit has recently been resurfaced and club racing participants who used the venue at a regional race meeting were ecstatic with the results.
“The circuit used to be extremely abrasive, which resulted in high tyre wear, often impacting on race outcomes. According to all who have driven on it, the new surface will completely remove that problem,” said Volkswagen South Africa’s motorsport boss Mike Rowe.
“It will also give the Engen Polo Cup competitors unchartered territory on which to race, as none of the drivers have turned a wheel on Aldo Scribante in their new two-litre turbocharged cars”.
“We do expect a new category lap record to be set in one of the weekend’s two races,” he added.
With its long pit straight and tight, tricky infield, the Aldo Scribante circuit demands a finely balanced suspension setup.
By the same token, drivers will have to be selective in the use of their Push to Pass systems, with each competitor allowed eight power spurts per race.
The Engen Polo Cup drivers will contest practice sessions on the Friday.
They will take on an official qualifying session, plus a 10-lap and 12-lap race on Saturday.
CAPTION: Blistering lap time expected on revamped circuit. Picture: Motorpress