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The Zwartkops International Raceway witnessed explosive racing action as the National Extreme Festival brought together the best in motorsport for Round 3 of the 2024 South African Touring Car Championship (SATC). TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa (TGRSA) showcased their prowess on the track, with all three drivers putting up commendable performances.

South African Touring Cars (SATC)
The SATC races brought plenty of excitement and drama. The weekend kicked off with a qualifying session on Saturday morning, where Robert Wolk secured pole position with a best time of 1:02.018 in his SATC BMW 128Ti. TGRSA’s Nathi Msimanga followed closely, securing second place with a time of 1:02.239, while Saood Variawa clinched third with a 1:02.331. Michael van Rooyen completed the TGRSA lineup, qualifying in fourth with a time of 1:02.416, in the third SATC GR Corolla.

In the opening race, Msimanga initially crossed the finish line first, but a jump start penalty relegated him to sixth place, handing the win to title leader Wolk. Van Rooyen capitalised on the situation, securing a strong second-place finish for TGRSA, with Saood Variawa unfortunately retiring due to technical issues.

Race 2 saw a dramatic turn of events on the opening lap, with collisions involving Msimanga, Variawa, Pretorius, and Wolk. Despite the chaos, Michael van Rooyen emerged victorious, securing the heat and overall win for the weekend. Van Rooyen’s consistent performance throughout the races solidified his standing, with Julian van der Watt and Andrew Schofield completing the podium.

Official SATC Qualifying Results:

1. Robert WolkBMW 128Ti1:02.018
2. Nathi MsimangaToyota GR Corolla1:02.239
3. Saood VariawaToyota GR Corolla1:02.331
4. Michael van RooyenToyota GR Corolla1:02.416
5. Julian van der WattVW Golf GTI1:02.547
6. Anthony PretoriusToyota Corolla1:02.752
7. Andrew SchofieldBMW 128Ti1:02.866

Official SATC OVERALL Race Results:

1. Michael van RooyenToyota GR Corolla
2. Julian van der WattVW
3. Andrew SchofieldBMW
4. Saood VariawaToyota GR Corolla
5. Nathi MsimangaToyota GR Corolla
6. Robert WolkBMW
7. Anthony PretoriusToyota Corolla

In the SupaCup Championship, Bradley Liebenberg drove the TGRSA SupaStarlet with determination. Jonathan Mogotsi took the opening race win, with Keegan Campos and Liebenberg completing the podium. The second race saw Campos take the victory, with Mogotsi and Liebenberg again following closely behind. The SupaStarlet continues to impress with its inherent pace, and considering that Zwartkops was only the third outing for the car, TGRSA has every reason to be upbeat about its progress. Liebenberg and the SupaStarlet achieved third place in the overall results for the day.

Official SupaCup Results:

1. Keegan CamposVolkswagen SupaPolo
2. Jonathan MogotsiVolkswagen SupaPolo
3. Bradley LiebenbergToyota SupaStarlet
4. Charl VisserVolkswagen SupaPolo
5. Tate BishopVolkswagen SupaPolo
6. Jason CamposVolkswagen SupaPolo
7. David FrancoVolkswagen SupaPolo
8. Karah HillVolkswagen SupaPolo

Looking Ahead
As the season continues, TGRSA remains focused on maintaining their competitive edge in both the SATC and SupaCup championships. Despite a tough weekend, the TGRSA crews remain in the mix, and will be aiming for a mid-season push in the upcoming events.

“We are proud of our drivers and their performances this weekend,” said Riaan Esterhuysen, Senior Manager at TGRSA. “Despite some setbacks, the team showed great resilience and determination. We look forward to building on this momentum in the upcoming races.”

The National Extreme Festival now heads to the first of its two annual midwinter Eastern Cape appointments at Aldo Scribante in Gqeberha on Saturday, 29 June.

Published by: Karabo Sethusha

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