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New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

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Sasol GTC championship Round 4: East London round of racing doesn't disappoint

2018-06-22 07:17

Racepics.co.za

Image: Reynard Gelderblom/RacePics

Round 4 of the 2018 Sasol GTC Championship saw a large East London crowd entertained by close racing on Saturday,  June 16. 

The addition of the Push-to-Pass feature in South Africa’s premier saloon car category was one of the much anticipated factors ahead of the championship’s  second coastal visit of the season.

Action-packed racing

The very successful brand activation conducted by title sponsors Sasol and the championship the weekend prior to the event played a huge part in the number of spectators lined up next to the Border Motorsport East London Grand Prix Circuit; this despite cool and windy conditions on the race day. The series also saw a new competitor joining the GTC2 class: Paul Hill in the Kalex Volkswagen Golf.

READ: Sasol GTC championship: Masters extends his lead

Saturday morning’s qualifying session saw the Terry Moss Racing/Engen/Audi pair of championship leader Simon Moss and reigning champion Michael  Stephen locking out the front row of the grid.

In the GTC2 class Keagan Masters was eager to maintain his grip on the championship in his Volkswagen Motorsport Golf from his pole position. Devin  Robertson showed good pace throughout the weekend in his Champion Mini and lined up next to the reigning GTC2 champion.

A competitive field

The day’s first race saw a thrilling battle up front between Moss, Stephen and the BMW trio of Gennaro Bonafede, Michael van Rooyen and Johan Fourie.  Moss suffered a misfire which saw him relinquish the lead and slipping back.

GALLERY: Round 4 Sasol GTC Championship

Bonafede moved into the lead to take the win in his Sasol BMW; holding off the persistent pair of Stephen and Van Rooyen to the flag. In GTC Robertson  made an early move past Masters.

                                                                   Image: Reynard Gelderblom/RacePics

The duo soon built up a margin over the rest of the field with Robertson taking the victory. Trevor Bland in his Universal  Healthcare Volkswagen Golf finished in third place.

The second race saw the customary reverse grid per class based on the finishing positions from the first race. This again saw Moss starting from pole position, but a loss of power saw him slipping down the running order.

                                                                           Image: Reynard Gelderblom/RacePics

Robert Wolk in the second Sasol BMW took the early lead with Fourie closely tucked in behind him. On Lap 2 Fourie made a move on Wolk down the straight  from Cocabana Corner and took the lead as the pack entered The Bowl. 

A determined Fourie went on to take his second Sasol GTC victory in the EPS Racing BMW ahead of Wolk and Stephen. In GTC2 Masters and Robertson continued their battle once they made their way through the field. This pass-per-lap encounter saw Masters taking the victory this time around. Adrian  Wood in the Kyocera Volkswagen Golf finished in third place.

                                                                   Image: Reynard Gelderblom/RacePics

Round 4 saw Bonafede retaking the Sasol GTC Championship lead with 160 points behind his name; closely followed by Stephen with 156 points. Moss  finds  himself in third position with 143 points accumulated. 

In GTC2 Master retains his lead with 174 points. Robertson finds himself in second place with 153 points ahead of his team mate Brad Liebenberg in the  Ferodo MINI with 151 points accumulated. Round 5 of 2018 Sasol GTC Championship will see another coastal visit to Port Elizabeth on Saturday,  14 July.

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