Some good decisions can prove costly. This is something that Engen Polo Cup Championship leader Jeffrey Kruger learned the hard way at Zwartkops Raceway. Round 3 of the 2018 championship saw him come home with one podium finish and a disqualification.
Friday saw Kruger completing three solid practice sessions leaving the Universal Racing team confident about their chances for Saturday. It was evident from start that the tight nature of the relatively short circuit outside Centurion will make passing very difficult. A good grid position would therefore be crucial. Saturday morning’s qualifying session saw him securing second place on the grid.
With championship rival Tasmin Pepper starting in front of him, Kruger knew that an advantage off the line would be crucial. Unfortunately his attempt was not well executed and resulted in contact between himself and Clinton Bezuidenhout. Not only did this cause damage to the front of his own Volkswagen Polo GTi, but the resulting carnage also eliminated Bezuidenhout from the race with major damage to his car. Subsequently the race was stopped with the competitors reforming on the grid. At the restart Kruger maintained his second place throughout.
The afternoon’s second race again saw Kruger holding onto second place while Pepper dominated up front.
Following Race 2 Kruger had an appointment with the stewards in relation to the events of the opening race. The incident was judged to be caused by his actions; resulting in him being disqualified from Race 1. This also saw him forfeit his second place in the overall results which are based on accumulated race times. It has to be said though that overall results are merely utilized by the organiser for prize-giving purposes and does not have any impact on the championship.
Still leading the championship, Kruger sums up the day: “We knew a win a Zwartkops would be difficult, we had to give it our best though. Two second place finishes on-track would’ve been great. We will come back strong at East London though. I’d also like to thank my title sponsor Universal Healthcare for the continued support. I would also like to thank my dad John Kruger for all his assistance. Last but not least I’d like to thank my friends and family who came to support me today.”
Kruger continues regarding the accident in Race 1: “It was a mistake on my part, we’re not going to dispute the findings. As race drivers we will always push that little harder or go for any opportunity available. Unfortunately I connected with Clinton. It is easy to say afterwards that I should’ve done this or that, but in the car we’re faced with split second decisions. Needless to say I’d like to apologise to Clinton, he’s team Signature Motorsport and the other drivers who became victims of this. I think we’re all glad that there are no serious injuries and I’m looking forward to competing against all of you again soon.”
Round 4 of the 2018 Engen Polo Cup will take place at the Border Motorsport Grand Prix Circuit in East London on Saturday, June 16.
Published by: Reynard Gelderblom
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