MINI Motorsport, the defending Class T champion, has a fierce fight on its hands in this year's Class T Bridgestone Production Car Championship.
But with the next round of the championship taking place at Killarney Race Circuit in Cape Town, a track that?s been very good to the team in the past, both MINI pilots are more determined than ever to get the first win of the season under the belt.
MINI drivers Garth Waberski (Castrol MINI Cooper S JCW) and Robert Wolk (Afinta Parts MINI Cooper S JCW) will be looking to improve on their previous placings following a surprising start to the season.
"We were a bit surprised by the pace of the VW Golf GTIs at the two previous rounds," explains Danie Human MINI Motorsport Manger. "At Kyalami we set qualifying times faster than we have ever been before yet still we weren't able to challenge for pole. This vast contrast in pace is something we hope the officials will address, however in the meantime we are working as hard as we can to try and close what is very definitely an engine performance gap because we still have an outright handling edge."
Garth Waberski (Castrol MINI Cooper S) currently lies third in the Class T Championship but will be focusing on reeling in the leaders in Cape Town. "Our cars have been faultless since the start of the season," he explains. "We are going faster than ever before and the cars have been ultra reliable, so we are pleased with our progress. Obviously the much more powerful, 2.0-litre GTIs weigh more than our 1.6-litre MINIs, and with some further adjustments we believe that will be a factor in our favour. If we keep plugging away at it I feel confident that we will be able to close the gap."
Port Elizabeth youngster, Robert Wolk will be making his first trip to Cape Town in the second MINI Cooper S. Wolk joined the team at the start of the season and has acquitted himself well thus far. "It's been quite an adjustment for me ? coming from a single seater background I've had little experience with front-wheel drive cars. However the team have been great in assisting me with set-up and allowing me time to find my feet.
"Having not driven the car at Killarney before I will have to work on using Friday's practice sessions to get to grips with the car and find a set-up that suits me. Hopefully I will be up to speed by Saturday and Garth and I will be able to challenge the Golfs at the front of the field."
"The team has been working extremely hard since the previous round," added Human. "The competition is extremely fierce in Class T, so there is no room for error. We are confident that the cars are reliable and our drivers will be going all out to take the fight to the rest of the Class T competitors'and hopefully put MINI back on the top step of the podium where it belongs."