Preview: Sasol GTC2 Championship – Rd 1, Kyalami – 24th March
The Ferodo and Champion MINI John Cooper Works GTC2 race cars are ready to take the fight to rivals Volkswagen in their quest for championship honours. With proven race winner Bradley Liebenberg back behind the wheel of his Ferodo-backed MINI and the 2017 Polo Cup champion Devin Robertson in the Champion-supported MINI, the GTC2 class will be a season long all-out battle at every round.
In their debut season last year, Signature Motorsport claimed five race wins, 12 additional podium finishes, three pole positions and six fastest race laps with the pair of MINI John Cooper Works. Chris Shorter claimed second place in the overall championship but has stepped down from the team to focus on his career.
With such a solid base to work from, Signature Motorsport has been hard at work to further improve their race package; pre-season testing has shown that, with new-for-2018 slick tyres, the MINIs have been setting formidable times while giving the drivers a more sure-footed car to drive. The team has focussed on handling and set-up development, much to the drivers’ approval.
Brad has done a considerable number of laps in pre-season testing and came away from each session with a broad grin. “The MINI feels like a proper race car now. The extra grip means a faster approach to turns and I can get on the power out of the corners a lot earlier. I have learnt from my mistakes last year in terms of what works and what doesn’t work, so I’m looking forward to putting that experience to good use and racing at the front”.
Devin’s first impression of his Champion MINI is that it is a responsive car to drive with confidence inspiring handling. He was soon setting times in testing that were very similar to Brad’s MINI. The change in Devin’s racing series as not traumatic as he is working with the same crew that helped him to his 2017 title. “It’s a privilege to be in the MINI team. It’s a big step up for me and a high profile, premier series. I always give my best to my team; my first objective is to adjust to the class and hopefully gather a few podiums. After that my target moves higher and I’ll be chasing race wins.”
Signature Motorsport welcomes race fans to their pit area between the races. The popular grid walk ahead of race one takes place at 11h45 with race two scheduled for 14h30.
Published by: Ronnie Erasmus
Photography by: Dave Ledbitter
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