In the sport of golf, they say that the third round played on Saturday is the one where players make their move and that this round often influences the final outcome of the event. Motorsport is very different, but when it comes to making a move, the same principles apply. The very popular Zwartkops Raceway to the west of Pretoria will play host to round 4 of the 2017 Engen Volkswagen Cup, a round that could well prove to be instrumental when all the points are added at the end of the season.
“Traditionally, the midway point of the season has proved to be a critical phase of a championship. If you had a bad start to the season, you have to make a comeback at this point,” said Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport. “Or on the other hand, if you have a decent haul of championship points so far, now is also the time to try and build on that and establish a bit of a lead.”
The one currently in the lead is none other than Devin Robertson who has accumulated a total of 62 points after rounds in Cape Town, Kyalami and East London. Robertson could have had a bigger lead was it not for a non-finish during the first race in East London, but he bounced back by winning race 2, taking the championship lead in the process. Clinton Bezuidenhout currently sits on 55 points in second position on the points ladder with Jeffrey Kruger in hot pursuit, just a further 3 points back. Kruger will be one to watch as he walked away with the overall victory at last month’s East London outing, a victory that propelled him to third place on the points table.
“These guys along with Juan Gerber who sits on 49 points will have the opportunity to make a move and try to get some daylight between themselves and the rest of the field while a number of other talented drivers will know that they are now running out of time and cannot afford another bad result,” continued Rowe. This group includes drivers like race winner Shaun La Réservée, Matt Shorter and Justin Oates. This trio all have 30 or more championship points which is slightly behind but still within striking distance at this crucial phase of the championship.
Volkswagen Motorsport’s own two drivers are more determined than ever to make their mark in the fiercely competitive world of circuit racing following successful outings during last month’s round in East London. Volkswagen Driver Search winner Jonathan Mogotsi had the best result of his short career in East London, while a bit of bad luck prevented Kuda Vazhure from gathering more championship points. “We are very satisfied with both Jonathan and Kuda’s progress so far this season. Our faith in them is already paying off and it’s just a matter of time before their raw talents earn them podium finishes,” said Rowe.
Race fans can once again look forward to and exciting weekend’s racing as more than 20 evenly-matched Volkswagen Polos will battle it out on the twists and turns that make up the 2.5 kilometre Zwartkops Raceway. Racing is always close at Zwartkops and with so much at stake for the drivers, the fans will be in for a real treat.