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What CompCare Polo Cup 2023 Round 2 Report
Where Killarney International Raceway
When Saturday 18 March 2023
Community South Africa National

Giordano Lupini returns to dominate Killarney CompCare Polo Cup

Saturday’s CompCare Polo Cup races at Killarney’s Extreme Festival races powered by the City of Cape Town turned into a case of came, saw, and conquered as local lad Giordano Lupini quite literally turned the class form book on its head.

Lupini, who only decided to race on Monday morning, arrived virtually unannounced on Thursday and proceeded to deliver a devastating grand slam of pole position, two race wins with the fastest lap in each, and overall victory in what proved a splendid day of Polo Cup racing. Championship leader Charl Visser was the only driver to trouble Lupini throughout the weekend en route to second for the day ahead of his current closest rivals, Dawie van der Merwe and Jagger Robertson.

None of his rivals were expecting Lupini’s black Tork Craft Polo when they arrived at the circuit, but the local lad was soon on top of the practice times. Lupini then delivered a blinding qualifying lap to lead the way into the top six Superpole over impressive Pretoria rookie Anthony Pretorius’ OMP Bucket List Polo, van der Merwe’s Nathan Motorsport car, Universal Racing lad Visser, Nathan Victor’s Summit car, and Universal driver Jason Loosemore.

Lupini added Superpole to his Killarney cart to secure the pole position bonus point and line up alongside Dawie van Merwe and ahead of Visser, Victor, Pretorius, and Loosemore. Farhaan Basha’s QVWI car was next up from Steaming Bean lad Shivesh Bissoon, Jagger Robertson‘s Liqui Moly Universal entry and Dean Venter, who dropped from sixth to tenth on the grid after a qualifying administrative penalty.

Karah Hill’s Kalex Polo rebranded electric blue after her torrid Kyalami weekend, was next up from Squadra Corse driver Reaobaka Komane, JRT lad Ethan Coetzee, Bryce Pillay‘s Techtisa Polo, Mo Karodia’s Fast 5 car and local debutant Raaziegh Harris in his Cooltouch car. Tyler Robinson’s AF Fans Universal machine, Jeandre Marais’ Syrabix entry and Roshaan Goodman Upward Spiral Polo closed off the biggest Polo Cup field since before lockdown.

Giordano Lupini made no mistakes as he powered off the line to edge the duelling Dawie van der Merwe and Charl Visser at the start of the opening race. Lupini then consistently edged away as van der Merwe held Visser at bay. Behind them, Nathan Victor, Jason Loosemore, Anthony Pretorius, Jagger Robertson, and Farhaan Basha fought out a marvellous race-long battle to come home in that order. Ethan Coetzee drove a spirited race, disposing of the impressive Raaziegh Harris for ninth late in the race.

Both of them rose up through another delightful spat that saw Bryce Pillay end up eleventh ahead of Mo Karodia, Reaobaka Komane, Jeandre Marais, Shivesh Bissoon, Tyler Robinson and Roshaan Goodman. The hapless Karah Hill ended a lap down after smudging her brand new paintwork in the Turn 3 tyre wall when she was once again helped off on the opening lap following her similar Kyalami fate, while Dean Venter stopped mid-race with power steering issues.

Lupini was made to break a sweat in the second heat. Visser got his nose ahead at the start of the second race, but Giordano was having none of it and muscled his way back through turn 1 and van der Merwe emerged in third ahead of Anthony Pretorius, Jagger Robertson and Farhaan Basha. But a little contact in Turn 3 gyrated poor Pretorius hard into the wall. Anthony emerged unscathed but the incident brought the safety car out for a couple of laps while the Killarney marshals remove Pretorius’ stricken machine.

Lupini led the restart, but Visser made a lunge from far back into Turn 1 lap later. Lupini thought the better of risking it and let Charl through. Giordano only waited one lap to return the favour with a just as bold move around the outside, as he took the trouble to feed Visser to van der Merwe in third. But Dawie slowed suddenly to allow Robertson up into third from Basha. Lupini then cleared off, leaving Visser to deal with a feisty Robertson, as van der Merwe’s gearbox woes saw him fall into the clutches of a wild spat between Farhaan Basha, Ethan Coetzee and Jason Loosemore to end up seventh.

Dean Venter was next up from Bryce Pillay and Nathan Victor, who charged back to tenth from the back after falling off at turn 2 on the opening lap 1. Reaobaka Komane gave a good account for himself in eleventh ahead of impressive local debutant Raaziegh Harris, Karah Hill. Mo Karodia and Shivesh Bissoon, all of them scrapping every lap of the race, followed by Tyler Robinson, Jeandre Marais and Roshaan Goodman.

Giordano Lupini ultimately came, saw and conquered as he returned quite literally out of the blue to complete a rare Polo Cup grand slam as he topped both qualifying and Superpole for pole position, and took both fastest race laps en route to two race victories. That netted him a commanding overall victory from Charl Visser, Dawie van der Merwe, Jagger Robertson, Jason Loosemore, Farhaan Basha, Ethan Coetzee, Bryce Pillay, and debutant Razleigh Harris in tenth.

Provisionally Visser leads the CompCare Polo Cup title race by six points from van der Merwe, Robertson, Basha and Victor, with Lupini jumping straight up to sixth. The Franschhoek youngster now leaves the rest of the field wondering if that was really just a one off, or if he will return to race and make for a truly intriguing title fight when the action resumes after an Easter pause at Zwartkops up in Pretoria on Saturday 20 May.

Volkswagen Motorsport thanks its partners CompCare Medical Scheme, Dunlop, Ferodo, Motul, Sparco and VW Genuine Parts.

Issued on behalf of Volkswagen Motorsport

Photography by: Abri de Bruyn

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