Action-packed VW Cup at Zwartkops

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 THERE'S ALWAYS NEXT TIME: Tasmin Pepper was looking good in Race 1 but her chances of victory were ruined during a track incident. Image: Quickpic / Facebook ~ Supplied

In perhaps the greatest display of bad luck experienced by one racer at the Volkswagen Cup series, Shaun La Reservée started two races - but was unable to finish a single lap on race day.

In contrast to this, championship leader Sheldon van der Linde was at the top of the results sheets the entire weekend; fastest in qualifying, winner of Race 1 and 2 and first overall for the day.

These two very different results highlight just how competitive the series for Volkswagen Polo Vivo GT race cars is.

CONTACT INCIDENTS

While Van der Linde ran away with the results for the day, La Reservée was pushed off in the first corner of the first lap in Race 1 and then was eliminated from Race 2 in the second-last corner while taking avoiding action in an incident involving other competitors. The Race 1 incident saw the race red-flagged after the first lap and then restarted while the second one had the competitors running under the Safety Car while the track was cleared.

With Van der Linde at the top of the time sheets, it was Christopher Shorter and Trevor Bland who rounded out the top three in the qualifying session. This was qualifying with the fastest 12 competitors across the start/finish line with just a second separating them.

TOUGH LUCK FOR PEPPER

In the top six draw, it was Tasmin Pepper who drew pole for Race 1. Next to her on the grid was Van der Linde and the championship leader made short work of taking the race lead. Pepper was not, however, going to be pushed around and did an excellent job of hanging on to second place, fending off all challengers. It was Daniel Rowe who moved up a place from fourth to pass Chris Shorter and take third in that first race.

Race 2 saw Masters championship leader Mathew Hodges with the car to lead the grid off the start, again with Van der Linde in second and Pepper this time taking the third grid slot.

With the Safety Car deployed in the first lap while the track was being cleaned after the incident that eliminated La Reservée from the race - and saw Pepper go from her third place start to showing up second-last on the results when she failed to finish due to a gearbox problem (likely caused by the incident earlier in the race) - it didn't seem to faze Van der Linde who again grabbed the lead and charged for the finish line, followed by Hodges and Rowe, claiming another podium result for the day.

This second race of the day was the longer 20-lap race, a real contrast to the eight lap race held to open the day for the Engen Volkswagen Cup competitors. It proved a taxing outing for the field, but added an extra dimension to the national championship.

For his efforts behind the wheel on race day, Justin Oates (44 - Glasfit) was awarded the title of Driver of the Day. Oates finished 16th and 12th to claim 12th overall for the day in his Engen Volkswagen Cup debut.

The Engen Volkswagen Cup field will head to Dezzi's Raceway in Port Shepstone on Saturday, August 29, for round six of the 2015 championship - and the field will tackle a race track that has never seen Engen Volkswagen Cup competition before.

RESULTS

RACE 1
Sheldon van der Linde 
Tasmin Pepper
Daniel Row

RACE 2
Sheldon van der Linde
Mathew Hodges
Daniel Row

OVERALL:
Sheldon van der Linde
Daniel Rowe 
Mathew Hodges

MASTERS OVERALL:
Mathew Hodges
Juan Gerber
Trevor Bland

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS:
Sheldon van der Linde - 252
Mathew Hodges - 235
Daniel Rowe - 212
Trevor Bland - 197
Matt Shorter - 184