What Global Touring Cars Round 3 Preview
Where Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
When Saturday 20 May 2023
Community South Africa National
Zwartkops all set as Global Touring Cars prepare for Pretoria battle
All of the championship top four may have been mighty impressive while otherwise indisposed in their racing affairs last weekend, but it’s all about containing runaway Global Touring Car championship leader Saood Variawa when racing finally resumes following a two-month hiatus at Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria, Saturday 20 May.
Variawa impressed immensely with victory on his rally raid racing debut aboard his dad’s Gazoo Hilux at the Barberspan 500 on Saturday, while second, third and fourth men in the GTC title chase, Robert Wolk, Andrew Rackstraw, and Nathi Msimanga similarly shone at the Simola Hillclimb. But it’s back to GTC business in Pretoria, and if the action at the Kyalami and Killarney rounds was anything to go by, Gauteng race fans are in for a treat.
It’s been a season of shocks and surprises too. Variawa has stamped authority on proceedings so far. He has claimed both full points feature race wins in each of the two opening rounds aboard his Toyota Gazoo Racing Corolla hatchback. Archrival and double reigning champion Wolk is yet to win in his Chemical Logistics Toyota Corolla sedan GTC, but he’s still second in the title chase, with a couple of full points feature race second places to his name.
Former Investchem Formula 1600 champion Rackstraw sits third in the title chase and fully intent on adding to his maiden victory in the half-points reverse-grid second race at home at Killarney in his Sparco RDSA VW Golf GTC last time out. He has impressive GTC rookie Msimanga far too close for comfort behind him in his Toyota Gazoo Racing Corolla sedan GTC. CompCare Polo Cup graduate Nathi has shone on his podium-rich arrival in the top class.
Michael van Rooyen sits fifth in the third Toyota Gazoo Racing Corolla following a troubled start to his season. He has reigning Investchem Formula 1600 champion Josh Le Roux right on his tail following an up and down start to his rookie GTC season, after pulling off a shock Kyalami race 2 win aboard his Master Stairs Investchem Audi S3.
So, judging by the fraught action in the opening Kyalami and Killarney rounds, Gauteng race fans can expect another brilliant day of Global Touring Car racing at Zwartkops’ Extreme Festival on Saturday 20 May. Sounds like a brilliant way to spend a splendid late-Autumn’s Pretoria Saturday!
Issued on behalf of Global Touring Cars
Photography by: Abri de Bruyn
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