What CompCare Polo Cup 2023 Round 5 Report
Where East London Grand Prix Circuit
When Saturday 22 July 2023
Community South Africa National
Charl consolidates title advantage with double wins
Charl Michael Visser was unstoppable as he raced to another double victory at East London’s fifth round CompCare Polo Cup races at the daunting Grand Prix Circuit’s Extreme Festival meeting on Saturday. Visser added another pole position to his tally, before taking both race wins, albeit keeping Anthony Pretorius at bay in race 1 and fighting Dawie van der Merwe off for the second race win.
The breeding ground of future South African champions took little time to tame the super-fast yet technically challenging racetrack as a fine, sunny Border Region morning greeted the pack after a miserable Friday’s practice and qualifying. Championship leader Visser extended his advantage with the pole position bonus point aboard his Tyre Zone Team Red Racing Polo, seven hundredths of a second clear of Jozi youngster Anthony Pretorius’ OMP Bucket List Polo. Second in the title chase, Mbombela driver Dawie van der Merwe was a further two thousandths of a second further back in third in his Nathans Motorsport Polo.
Jozi lad Farhaan Basha’s QVWI car was an impressive fourth from Jason Loosemore out of Richards Bay in his Security Fencing & Alarms Team Red entry, while veteran Dean Venter’s MTown VDN Polo sneaked into Superpole by the slenderest of margins. He was just a thousandth of a second clear of Franschhoek youngster Giordano Lupini’s Tork Craft entry, with another Cape lad, Nathan Victor’s Summit Racing car a further two thousandths back.
Behind them Bryce Pillay’s Techtisa Polo, lined up ahead of young gun Ethan Coetzee’s JRT Racing machine, Squadra Corse’s Reaobaka Komane and AF Fans Team Red rookie racing lass Tyler Robinson. Gqeberha driver Jeandre Marais’ Syrabix Polo, Mo Karodia’s Fast 5 car and Roshaan Goodman’s Upward Spiral Team Red Polo closed off the grid.
Anthony Pretorius got the jump early on to lead a close knit fight with Charl Visser on his tail and Dean Venter, Dawie van der Merwe and Farhaan Basha in chase ahead of a wild spat including Jason Loosemore, Nathan Victor, Giordano Lupini, Ethan Coetzee and Reaobaka Komane . Up front, Visser eventually found his way past Pretorius, while a shake-up behind them left van der Merwe and Basha in third and fourth and Venter under pressure from Loosemore, Victor, and Coetzee, after Lupini and Komane were delayed.
Pretorius did all he could to pressurise Visser, but it was not enough as Charl held him off to make it a hat trick of wins over his Aldo Scribante double, with van der Merwe a lonely third. Behind them, Basha held Venter, Loosemore, Victor, Coetzee, Lupini and Komane off. Jeandre Marais enjoyed a solid run to eleventh from Tyler Robinson, Roshaan Goodman, and Bryce Pillay and Mo Karodia who recovered from their own incident earlier in the race
Quickest in the first race, Dawie van der Merwe not only added a welcome bonus point to his tally, but that earned him pole position for race 2 from Dean Venter, Charl Visser, Anthony Pretorius, Farhaan Basha, Jason Loosemore, Giordano Lupini, and Ethan Coetzee. Van der Merwe got the jump to lead the way from Visser, who kept a watching brief until lap 4, when he made his move and drove away. Anthony Pretorius was third until Farhaan Basha made his move to steal his maiden Polo Cup podium with a couple of laps to race, while Dean Venter had a lonely race to fifth.
Behind him, Giordano Lupini overcame Ethan Coetzee, Nathan Victor, and Jason Loosemore for sixth, while Reaobaka Komane came home tenth. Mo Karodia was next up from Tyler Robinson, Bryce Pillay, Roshaan Goodman and Jeandre Marais.
Visser’s double victory brought him the overall victory, while making it four wins in a row and his sixth race win of the season, as he tightened his grip on the 2023 championship. Rookie Anthony Pretorius ended second on the day from second in the title chase, Dawie van der Merwe, Farhaan Basha, Dean Venter Jason Loosemore Ethan Coetzee, Nathan Victor, Giordano Lupini and Reaobaka Komane.
CompCare Polo Cup now takes a break before heading to Killarney in Cape Town for the penultimate round Extreme Festival on Saturday 10 September.
Volkswagen Motorsport thanks its partners CompCare Medical Scheme, Dunlop, Ferodo, Motul, Sparco and VW Genuine Parts.
Issued on behalf of Volkswagen Motorsport
Issued on behalf of Volkswagen Motorsport
Photography by: Andre Laubscher
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