Brian Joss – After two action-packed events that saw the country’s premier circuit racing formula pay visits to both the South Coast of KZN as well as the Zwartkops Raceway to the west of Pretoria, the Volkswagen Motorsport team is now raring to take another huge step in its quest for GTC championship glory as they head to Cape Town for Round 3 on 10 and 11 May.
Following mixed results at the opening two rounds, Volkswagen GTC drivers Keagan Masters and Daniel Rowe still occupy second and third on the Drivers’
standings points table respectively. Masters is just three championship points behind the current leader with Rowe a further four points back.
Collectively though, the pair has done enough to place the team in a very strong position as Volkswagen currently leads the Manufacturers’ race by a full 20 points from rivals Audi. The team will now head to Cape Town’s picturesque Killarney Racing circuit with the clear aim to win races and to take command of the Drivers’ standings in the process.
“So far the season has been very competitive. Both Keagan and Daniel have recorded podium finishes which earned the team a substantial amount of points, but neither have been able to win a race yet. This is something we would like to achieve in Cape Town,” commented Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport. Masters and Rowe certainly have the pace and if they can steer clear of trouble, they should be able to fight for victories around the 3.27km of tarmac that make up the historic cicuit that first saw action in 1947.
In the GTC2 category of the series, the kind of performance that saw the Volkswagen Golf GTi dominate the past few years seems to continue, this time with youngster Bradley Liebenberg behind the wheel. The talented driver has enjoyed a clean sweep in the first two events by claiming both pole positions and all four race wins. This performance has earned him a full house of 100 points after two race weekends. It gets better for the Volkswagen team as the Kyocera-backed GTi of teammate Adrian Wood is currently second in the standings and he has every intention to bring Liebenberg’s winning streak to an end.
“We had a successful test session at Zwartkops recently and we are hoping that we can apply the lessons learnt to our setups and strategies which should make us very competitive at Killarney. I would like to thank the team for all of their hard work and effort so far in 2019, and I know that all of them want to see us at the top of both the Driver’s as well as Manufacturer’s points tables after our visit to the Cape,” added Rowe.
As far as the Volkswagen drivers are concerned, they cannot wait to take the fight to the opposition in Cape Town. “Its my favourite circuit,” said Daniel Rowe. “I love the flow of the track and bumps that make it feel faster and gets the adrenaline going.”
It will be Keagan Masters’ first visit to Killarney from behind the wheel of the much more powerful and rear-wheel-drive Volkswagen Jetta since moving to the top class earlier in 2019. “Killarney is a very fast circuit. I don’t exactly know what to expect with the Jetta, but I know Daniel is very fast there and I can always learn from him,” said Masters.
The GTC2 squad of Liebenberg and Wood were equally upbeat about their Cape Town prospects. “I’ve had a good history racing in Cape Town and hoping to continue the trend,” said Liebenberg. Wood was quick to join the conversation. “It’s a lovely track with awesome crowds and a good place to go and race. And once we are there, I’m looking forward to giving Brad a run for his money.”
Action will start with all the practice sessions planned for Friday 10 May with qualifying and the two races scheduled for the Saturday.
CAPTION: GTC drivers Keagan Masters and Daniel Rowe currently occupy second and third in the drivers’ standings. Picture: Quickpic