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What Global Touring Cars Final Round 7 Preview
Where Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
When Saturday 14 October 2023
Community South Africa National

Three points separate Wolk & Variawa into epic finale

Robert Wolk and Saood Variawa are poised for an epic battle for Global Touring Cars title glory at Zwartkops Raceway’s Saturday 14 October Extreme Festival Finale. The two drivers arrive at the Pretoria championship decider with all of three points between them, following a dramatic season-long struggle for glory in South Africa’s premier circuit racing championship.

Wolk, who switched to his Chemical Logistics BMW M128ti GTC for the previous race in Cape Town, fought back from a slow start to the season to steal the championship advantage at that Killarney meeting. He’s chasing a championship hat trick following his 2021 and ’22 GTC titles. Teenage sensation archrival Variawa had led the title chase from the get-go in his Gazoo Racing Toyota Corolla Hatch GTC, only for a troubled Killarney weekend to allow Wolk to steal the advantage and set up an extraordinarily close shootout in Pretoria this weekend.

Wolk and Variawa cannot rest on their laurels, however. Not least considering that there’s just as fierce a fight between rookie Polo Cup graduate Nathi Msimanga’s Gazoo Racing Toyota Corolla GTC and Andrew Rackstraw’s Sparco LTR RDSA VW Golf GTC, fresh off the young Capetonian’s second win of the season last time out at Killarney. Another Gazoo Toyota Corolla GTC driver, veteran Michael van Rooyen is not out of the picture for that third place in the championship, so Msimanga or Rackstraw also cannot afford to drop the ball.

A third fight is on for sixth in the championship between rookie Josh Le Roux’s older GTC specification Master Stairs Investchem Audi S3 GTC, and Capetonian Julian van der Watt. Julian missed several races at the start of the season following his huge Kyalami accident, but he has however since fought back to within five points of Josh. The fight between the youngster in the old Audi and the veteran’s Chemical Logistics Toyota Corolla GTC promises to be yet another point of great interest on Saturday.

So, whatever happens in Pretoria next weekend, either Robert Wolk will emerge a triple champion, or Saood Variawa will be crowned South Africa’s Global Touring Car Champion for the first time. All of which makes Zwartkops the place to be on Saturday 14 October. See you there!

Issued on behalf of Global Touring Cars

Photography by: Abri de Bruyn

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