Global Touring Car South Africa: Gazoo Racing takes opening race, Toyota Corolla the day

Global Touring Car South Africa: Gazoo Racing takes opening race, Toyota Corolla the day

22.03.2021: Some will say that the opening Global Touring Car heat was the race of the day at Killarney’s South African National Championship Extreme Festival in Cape Town on Saturday.

Some will say that the opening Global Touring Car heat was the race of the day at Killarney’s South African National Championship Extreme Festival in Cape Town on Saturday.

Michael van Rooyen’s Gazoo Racing Toyota Corolla won a close and spectacular opener fought out between the top six, but Robert Wolk took overall honours with a couple of second places in his Chemical Logistics Toyota Corolla GTC.


Race 2 was a dream come true for home hero Julian van der Watt, who powered the team’s new Europerformance RDSA Ford Focus to a debut victory over Wolk and Mandla Mdakane’s Gazoo Racing Corollas. Wolk’s two second places were enough to secure overall honours over Lee Thompson’s Universal BMW, Scott Temple in the second Chemical Logistics Corolla, van der Watt, van Rooyen and Mdakane.

Bradley Liebenberg did the GTC SupaCup double over the similar VW Polos of Jonathan Mogotsi and Jeffrey Kruger, who overcame rookies Saood Variawa and Mikaeel Pitamber with veteran Andre Bezuidenhout sixth.

Charl Arangies and his A+ Class Stradale Into Africa Lamborghini Huracan were in devastating form as the Johannesburg driver romped to a triple victory at Killarney’s season-opening Extreme Supercars races. Arangies was untouchable in the opening two races, but Dayne Angel managed to keep his Porsche ahead after Arangies spun early in the finale as Arangies chased him home. Only for Angel to pick up a 30 second jumped start penalty.

So Charl Arangies took the day from Silvo Scribante and Marcel and Dayne Angel as Marcel Angel’s Autohaus Angel Ferrari 488 GT3 took the balance of Performance GT3 class. Rick Loureiro’s BMW won Class A, Nieyaaz Modack’s BMW M3 Class B, Marius Jackson’s Audi R8 Class C and Imaad Modack’s BMW M3 Class was the Class D winner.


Cape Town home hero Umpie Swart opened his 2021 Volkswagen Polo Cup Campaign in perfect style as he stormed to pole position and two race wins. It was an emphatic victory for the local Alpine Autohaus Racing privateer, who raced on his own to overcome the favoured multi-car upcountry Polo Cup teams. He held Leyton Fourie, Arnold Neveling, Jean-Pierre vd Walt, Clinton Bezuidenhout and most impressive local youngster, Tate Bishop off.

Another home favourite, Andrew Rackstraw likewise utterly dominated the Investchem Formula 1600 weekend in his Investchem RDSA Mygale. He beat young guns, DAW lad Jarrod Waberski and Josh le Roux’s Mygales in the opening race and Nicholas van Weely's Magnificent Paints van Diemen and second overall Waberski in race 2. Ian Schofield overcame two first race spins to win Formula Ford Kent in his Investchem Mygale.

The Mobil 1 V8 Supercars returned to Killarney for the first time in seven years as Mackie Adlem’s Adlem Auto Jaguar thundered to the opening race win from Terry Wilford’s Fuchs Falcon and Franco di Matteo’s Deltec Jaguar. Thomas Reib won the second race in his Mobil Lumina from Adlem and di Matteo as Adlem took the day from Reib and di Matteo.

On two wheels, David McFadden’s Yamaha overcame Clinton Seller on Honda’s return to 1000cc Superbikes, with Gareth Gehlig’s Kawasaki third from Garrick Vlok on a Yamaha. Brett Roberts beat Brandon Staffen’s similar Yamaha to 600cc Superbike honours, while BMW rider Jonathan Schwerin took Bridgestone Superbikes. Race 1 winner David Enticott beat heat 2 winner Rob Cragg and Graeme van Breda in the SunBet ZX10 Masters.


In other racing, French trio Tristan Vautier, Loic Duval and Sébastien Bourdais drove their Cadillac to Sebring 12 Hour IMSA victory in Florida, US over Englishmen Oliver Jarvis and Harry Tincknell in a Mazda with Jonathan Bomarito. Eclectic trio Jimmie Johnson, Kamui Kobayashi and Simon Pagenaud’s Cadillac was third from the Acuras of Dane Cameron, Olivier Pla and Juan Pablo Montoya and Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Alex Rossi.

Ben Keating, Mikkel Jensen and Scott Huffaker’s ORECA took LMP2 ahead of GTLM top two, Cooper MacNeil, Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell's Porsche 911 RSR and Connor de Phillippi, Philipp Eng and Bruno Spengler’s BMW M8 GTE. Porsche’s Sebring cup flowed over as Laurens Vanthoor, Zacharie Robichon and Lars Kern's 911 GT3 R took the GTD win, while South Africa’s Stephen Simpson ended 38th in a Lamborghini Huracan GT3.

And finally, Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen kept his perfect Aussie V8 Supercars run alive with a fifth win on the trot thanks to a three race clean sweep for Holden, despite racing with a recently broken collarbone in the wet at Sandown over the weekend.

Next weekend is racing's biggest yet in 2021, with Formula 1 and Moto Grands Prix abroad and a full weekend of car and bike Cross Country racing back home. Watch this space for your Toyota Gazoo Racing Week overview of all the action, this time next Monday...  - photos Paul Bedford


22.03.2021 / MaP

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