The 2.5 kilometers that make up the popular Zwartkops Raceway to the west of Pretoria will once again play host to a fierce battle when South Africa’s premier circuit racing series returns to the track for Round 6 of the 2017 Sasol GTC Series. The blue and white Jettas in the colours of Volkswagen Motorsport and piloted by Mathew Hodges and Daniel Rowe, as well as the GTC2 category Golf GTI’s of Keagan Masters and Mandla Mdakane will be more than determined to reward their team with a good result on the weekend of 11 and 12 August.
The series is positioned as SA’s premier circuit racing formula, but the Volkswagen SA management have their concerns. “Volkswagen is concerned by the direction that the Sasol GTC management seem to be wanting to take this formula, including allowing other engine configurations to compete in the series” said Mr. Matt Gennrich, General Manager of Group communications at Volkswagen South Africa. “The original principle of having equal cars in all respects to promote an affordable formula, which would allow real competitive racing thus giving all drivers an equal chance at the podium, also seems to be in question,” continued Gennrich.
Mr. Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport added the following: “We have met with and voiced these concerns with the management of the Sasol GTC series and will be watching developments closely going forward. Both our Jetta’s will however be competing at Zwartkops and despite our reservations and the relatively poor showing of our cars at Aldo Scribante in Port Elizabeth, both Daniel Rowe and Mathew Hodges are determined to make their mark at the next round.”
Someone who will no doubt be out for more victories is Volkswagen’s GTC2 points leader Keagan Masters. The young man is having a solid season behind the wheel of his Volkswagen Golf GTi following a number of wins backed up by consistent finishes when he wasn’t able to win. Motorsport is very unpredictable, but with a fairly comfortable lead in the standings his focus will now no doubt turn to self-preservation. “We don’t need to win every race to walk away with the GTC 2 crown at the end of the year, but at the same time we are here to race and I will just put my head down and get on with it. My aim is simply to continue collecting more points than my rivals and Round 6 at Zwartkops will provide another excellent opportunity to do so,” said Masters.
Perhaps his biggest challenge will come from within his own team. Fellow Golf GTi driver Mandla Mdakane has tasted victory before this season and the man from Johannesburg will be more than keen to repeat his success from earlier in the season.
“We have both races and championships to win over the remaining part of the season. This coming weekend at Zwartkops will be crucial for our GTC2 campaign, as well as for the future of the Sasol GTC series,” concluded Rowe.