Brian Joss – This year’s Engen Polo Cup championship title was clinched in impressive manner at the Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria on Saturday, 20 October.
The title went to youngster (include his age)Jeffrey Kruger, after he led the title chase in his Universal Health Polo from the beginning of the year.
Though never having been topped on the points ladder, Kruger only clinched the title in the 17th of the year’s 18 races.
In the process, the Engen Polo Cup contingent again provided much spectacle during the day’s Extreme Festival Series programme.
As always, the 2.4 kilometre Zwartkops circuit provided extremely close Engen Polo Cup action in the official qualifying rounds.
After Saturday morning’s official qualifying session, the times of the top 15 drivers were covered by a second.
Title points leader Jeffrey Kruger (Universal Health Polo) occupied the pole position ahead of Juan Gerber (DAF Trucks Polo), Delon Thompson (MF Autobody Polo), Clinton Bezuidenhout (Glyco Engines Polo), Darren Oates (Payen Polo) and Daniel Duminy (SMD Polo).
Fellow top title contenders Tasmin Pepper (Electric Life Polo) and Jonathan Mogotsi (VW Motorsport Polo) were in seventh and eighth places respectively, ahead of Darren Winterboer (A&G Spares Polo), Jason Campos (Campos Transport Polo), Keegan Campos (Campos Transport Polo), Justin Oates (Intercept IP Polo), Paulus Franken (Manitou polo), Simon Need (Photonics Polo) and Shivesh Bissoon (Etch Tech Polo).
In race one Jeffrey Kruger put the 2018 Engen Polo Cup Championship title beyond reach in race one, by leading from start to finish.
He crossed the line more than a second ahead of Gerber, followed by Thompson, Bezuidenhout, Darren Oates and Duminy.
Tasmin Pepper locked the year’s second title position in place by finishing seventh ahead of Mogotsi, Justin Oates and Bissoon.
Pepper clinched the year’s Masters category title at the previous event of the season.
Indian visitor Karminder Singh (VW Motorsport Polo), finished eleventh, ahead of Need, Franken, Karah Hill (Kalex Polo) and Peet Visagie (Nathans Polo).
In race two, Kruger took it easy in race two with the title already in his trophy cabinet.
Gerber did not, and blasted around to win from Bezuidenhout, Thompson, Pepper, Mogotsi, Jason Campos, Justin Oates, Kruger, Keegan Campos and Darren Oates.
Duminy, Need, Bissoon, Franken and Visagie rounded out the top 15 places.
“Yet again, talent, dedication and determination were the main ingredients that decided this year’s Engen Polo Cup champion,” said Volkswagen’s Head of Motorsport, Mike Rowe.
“For that to happen, you need virtually bulletproof cars, and that is what the 2018 Engen Polo Cup contenders got in the all-new, two-litre turbocharged Polo GTI vehicles. We are happy to place on record that the entire season did not see a single Engen Polo Cup race retirement due to engine, gearbox or any other kind of major failure. That meant the drivers could get on with what the formula was designed to do many years ago – finding young driving brilliance on an even playing field,” Rowe concluded.
CAPTION: All action: impressive victory for Kruger. Picture: Quickpic