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What Global Touring Cars Round 5 Report
Where East London Grand Prix Circuit
When Saturday 22 July 2023
Community South Africa National

Pole, two race wins & fastest lap puts Robert in title contention

Robert Wolk powered himself back into Global Touring Car championship contention as Chemical Logistics Racing enjoyed a great day all round at the East London Grand Prix Circuit’s fifth round races on Saturday.

Wolk overcame a qualifying scare to still take pole position before powering to a double victory with the fastest lap of the day to halve his championship deficit. Teammates Julian van der Watt and Andrew Rackstraw both enjoyed positive weekends, while rookie Josh Le Roux impressed in a frustrating outing.

True to practice form, second in the championship chase, double reigning champion Wolk was quick out the box in his Chemical Logistics Toyota Corolla GTC and promptly went fastest. But he went off on his third lap to bring out the red flag. Still fastest, Robert was out of qualifying, but his rivals failed to take advantage as Robert watched on from the pits.

His car sorted, Wolk romped to the first race win after warding off early pressure, before quickly coming from the back to hound his championship rival early in the reverse grid second race. Wolk then made his move to clear off for a welcome double win. “What a weekend – pole and a double win with the fastest lap of the day!” Robert wrapped it up.

Julian van der Watt continued his impressive return aboard the new Chemical Logistics BMW 128ti GTC. He qualified fourth before dropping back as he avoided trouble on the opening lap. But Julian put his head down as he picked off his rivals and aided by a little attrition, moved up to third. He then held a determined Andrew Rackstraw off for third in race 2.

Andrew Rackstraw showed great pace in his Sparco RDSA LTR Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI GTC, but he was caught out by the red flag in qualifying and started out of position in fifth. Andrew fought up to third, before being overhauled by Julian van der Watt to end fourth. He then faced the van der Watt roadblock in race 2, chasing his teammate hard home in fourth.

Josh Le Roux’s Vitro Glass Master Stairs Audi S3 GTC showed far better pace all weekend. Running fifth in race 1, Michael van Rooyen passed him late in the race, but Josh fought back to claim the place back. Le Roux then led the reverse grid second race for two laps under extreme pressure, before slipping back and stopping. A good step forward for the youngster.

“At last a really good weekend for Chemical Logistics Racing!” WCT Engineering team manager Stuart Thompson admitted. “Robbie was untouchable all weekend and besides his quali blip, he was in a class alone. Julian and Andrew made it three of our cars in the top four and Josh shone today. Now it’s getting exciting, bring on Killarney on 10 September!”

“A great weekend all round,” team boss Ian Schofield concluded. “Robbie was in imperious form, Julian and Andrew entertained all day. Young Josh can also be very proud of his performance. We now continue our chase to our happy hunting ground in Cape Town, where with four races left to run, we now have everything to gain!”

Issued on behalf of Chemical Logistics GTC.

Photography by: Andre Laubscher

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