Signature Motorsport will be fielding a strong line-up of personnel in a bid to become the new decade’s first Oettinger Polo Cup champions.
The national single-manufacturer championship’s most successful team will again be enjoying backing from Driv Incorporated and will represent three of the company’s premier parts brands: Champion, Ferodo and Monroe. In addition, the team will also enjoy backing from PolyJohn, ARMAL and Express-Hire; all three companies signing on as partners for a second season.
Three drivers have been contracted to pilot the Volkswagen Polo GTi’s in the team’s title bid. Chris and Matt Shorter will retain their seats while 2019 championship debutant Arnold Neveling will be joining the ranks.
Chris Shorter will be piloting the Champion branded car. This will be his fourth season with the team with whom he won the 2016 Championship. Both Shorter brothers took a sabbatical year in 2018 for personal reasons and returned to active driving duties for 2019. Chris finished the season in third place on the points table; also recording the team’s only race win for the year.
“It was a tough year, especially with learning all about the new car. The level of competition in the Polo Cup has certainly increased since my last season in 2016. Learning time is however over; 2020 is the year that we want to push for more victories and the title. We all are certainly very focussed as well. Signature Motorsport built a solid reputation for being a the front in the field and we’re all eager to get back there and live up to that reputation again.”
Matt Shorter will again represent the Monroe Suspension brand in the season ahead. The younger of the two brothers finished his fourth season with the team in fifth place on the points table. Although he showed blistering pace throughout the year, the latter part saw him also coupling this with strong finishes in what was certainly his the best few months in the series.
“The momentum from the end of last season is what I want to build on this year. We had a good stint in the closing stages, so if we can start the year in that manner this can only strengthen our title attack. We know we’ll be facing some tough competition this year and we are ready for the battles on track. Everything I’ve learned in the past few years has brought me to where I am now; the point from where to launch an attack for the title.”
Arnold Neveling will be driving the Ferodo liveried car in his first season with the team. Coming from a karting background, Neveling burst onto the scene in Roun 6 by setting the fastest time in the initial part of Qualifying for the Trinity Protection outfit. Two further weekends with the Total Excellium Racing team followed in which he showed superb form as well.
“It is a privilege for me to be racing for Signature Motorsport and I’ll be repaying the faith with some strong performances. I think we all know how important a title win is for the team this year. I’m still fairly new in this championship so I’m not going to make promises about that title coming from me, but I’ll be making sure to continuously be at the front-end of the field. Strength in numbers will be very important for us.”
The team will again enjoy the technical expertise of Shaun and Etienne van der Linde in 2020. In keeping with Signature Motorsport’s tradition of developing the champions of tomorrow, young karting sensation Leyton Fourie will be joining the technical team. He already had a brief introduction to the role of Assistant Data Analyst 2019. Fourie has been earmarked as a future driving prospect and the team is confident that his current duties will serve as solid preparation for his driving career.
The 2020 Oettinger Polo Cup season will start on March 13-14 at Zwartkops Raceway with a 50/50 split between inland and coastal events. Zwartkops Raceway, Aldo Scribante Racetrack and the Killarney International Raceway will each make two appearances on the eight-round calendar. Red Star Raceway will host one of the other rounds with the return of the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit completing the season.
Motorsport Manager for DRiV Incorporated South Africa Ronnie Erasmus feels confident in his line-up for 2020: “Apart from two personnel changes, we will be going into the new season with an unchanged team. I think we have a very balanced team this year with everyone ready to build onto what we achieved in 2019. Our title drought since 2017 has probably been harder for me than anyone else, but at the same time it left us very hungry for success again. We’re finding ourselves in a good position ahead of the new year. It will be a tough challenge in such a quality field of entrants, but we’ll be heading into the season opener ready to not just face it but make the most of it.”
Published by: Reynard Gelderblom
Picture Caption: Signature Motorsport will be aiming for their first title since 2017.
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