Farhaan Basha proudly flew the QVWI Motorsport flag this past weekend, finishing seventh overall and claiming an excellent points-paying result in the third round of the CompCare Polo Cup Championship.
Heading to Zwartkops Raceway for the first of two rounds at the Pretoria-based circuit, Friday’s three practice sessions went without incident, leaving the Johannesburg driver confident of a strong showing in the afternoon’s Qualifying Session. Unfortunately for the team, bad luck could not have struck at a worse time as the QWVI Motorsport Polo returned to the pits with a puncture forcing the team to replace the brand-new Dunlop tyre with a used tyre. Basha, however, nearly performed the impossible but missed out on the top-six shootout by 0.023 seconds despite not having four new tyres on the car.
Race 1 would see Basha start from eighth on the grid. Following a solid start, he would soon be up to sixth and trailing Nathan Victor. After losing some ground to Victor, he would soon be under attack from Dean Venter. He kept his fellow Johannesburg driver at bay following some skilful driving to claim sixth over the finish line.
In the day’s second race, Basha made up another position off the start to slot into sixth while fighting off the challenge of Ethan Coetzee. After opening a small gap over Coetzee, Basha hoped to capitalise on the squabbling duo ahead as Dean Venter and Giordano Lupini battled it out for fourth place. However, a better drive up the hill to Turn 5 saw the QWVI Motorsport driver take the inside line to make a successful pass on Venter. As the laps counted down, Basha headed up a train of seven cars. He would retain that position to take the chequered flag in fifth place.
A third CompCare Polo Cup race concluded the day’s racing, with Basha starting fifth. Unfortunately, too much wheelspin off the line saw him lose a couple of places as he headed into Turn 2 under the setting afternoon sun. After some contact with Bryce Pillay, he would lose another position in the drive up to Turn 5. On the next lap, Pillay lost control of the car in Turn 2, with Basha unable to avoid the collision. This saw him lose four more places. To add insult to injury, Basha was awarded a penalty for an incident in the latter stages of the race to finish 12th.
“A frustrating Saturday is all I can say. After showing so much promise throughout yesterday, to have a puncture during qualifying is almost unheard of. However, I arrived at the circuit confident we could pull it back and fight for today’s podium placings. I made two good starts in the first two races but got caught up in battles I knew would slow me up. But this championship, again, shows the importance of a good qualifying position, especially around Zwartkops. The final race started how it ended. Disastrous! I couldn’t get off the line and got swamped by the bunch behind. When Bryce (Pillay) lost it in front of me, I had nowhere to go, tagged him and lost many places. Then the penalty. It’s a race I’d rather forget. Regardless, I am very grateful to the team and especially to my sponsors who make this all possible. We’ll regroup and bounce back at the next round in PE,” said Basha.
Round 4 of the CompCare Polo Cup Championship heads to the Eastern Cape and the Aldo Scribante Racetrack in Gqeberha on 16-17 June.
Published by: Motorsport Fanatix
Picture Caption: Farhaan Basha
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