Pep­per ded­i­cates podium fin­ish in Aus­tria to SA race driver Zulu

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

SOUTH African driv­ers en­dured a tough week­end rac­ing abroad, with the most suc­cess­ful of them even man­ag­ing to bounce back from a dis­as­ter ear­lier in the week­end.

That hon­our be­longed to Jor­dan Pep­per, who turned in a star per­for­mance to put his Deutsche Post Bent­ley on his maiden pole po­si­tion for Satur­day’s first ADAC GT Masters race at Aus­tria’s Red Bull Ring, only for the car to suf­fer a tech­ni­cal prob­lem and miss the first race. Team-mate Daniel Abt made amends to put the yel­low Bent­ley third on the grid for Sun­day’s sec­ond race, be­fore hand­ing the car over to Pep­per, who drove it home third to claim his first podium.

“I was su­per happy to se­cure my first pole po­si­tion, but it was such a dis­ap­point­ment not to start the race,” Jozi driver Pep­per said. “But I am re­ally, re­ally happy with Sun­day’s re­sult — it’s my first podium of the year and a per­fect way to bounce back from Satur­day’s dis­ap­point­ment.”

Pep­per dedicated his podium fin­ish to South African race driver Gugu Zulu, who died af­ter com­pli­ca­tions with al­ti­tude sick­ness on Mount Kil­i­man­jaro last week.

Stephen Simpson was an­other driver to have a dif­fi­cult week­end on the other side of the pond at Lime Rock in Con­necti­cut in the U.S. the Indianapolis-based Capeto­nian had a good race in his Sport Pro­duc­tion BMW, be­fore mount­ing a stir­ring come­back in the Pro­to­type Challenge Oreca Chevy to sal­vage crit­i­cal cham­pi­onship points af­ter his Cana­dian team-mate Misha Goikhberg was in­volved in an ear­lier crash. Simpson drove with a new smi­ley face on his hel­met for the first time on the week­end — it will re­main there in hon­our of his late friend Gugu Zulu for the re­main­der of Simpson’s race ca­reer.

Back at Spiel­berg, an­other Capeto­nian, Jonathan Aberdein, en­dured a tough week­end of ADAC Ger­man For­mula 4 rac­ing and de­spite flying in prac­tice, the week­end proved tougher than planned.

A dif­fi­cult qual­i­fy­ing saw Aberdein start­ing well down the grid be­fore be­ing caught up in mid pack-in­ci­dent in the first corner of Race 1 and even­tu­ally stop­ping.

The sec­ond race went far bet­ter for Aberdein, who fought from 20th to fin­ish ninth be­fore an­other hard drive to 21st af­ter start­ing at the back in race 2.

South Africa’s other ADAC GT Masters hero Kelvin van der Linde and his Span­ish team-mate Isaac Tu­tumlu had a week­end to for­get with their blue Car Col­lec­tion Audi R8 at the Red Bull Ring. Sandton lad Van der Linde missed qual­i­fy­ing on Satur­day af­ter the car broke an en­gine, be­fore a dif­fi­cult first race and an­other dis­as­trous qual­i­fy­ing on Sun­day.

But Van der Linde drove a good sec­ond race to climb from 34th place on the grid to hand the car over to Tu­tumlu in 17th for the young driver to bring it home 19th and sal­vage some hon­our af­ter a hard week­end at the races.

— Wheels Reporter.


Jor­dan Pep­per at Satur­day’s first ADAC GT Masters race at Aus­tria’s Red Bull Ring.

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