All eyes on Tour­ing Cars


The Citizen (KZN) - - Motorsport - An­dre de Kock

Mo­tor­sport fans will be cheered by the in­tro­duc­tion of Polo GTI-based cat­e­gory

This year’s premier South African Global Tour­ing Car cham­pi­onship should see a dozen cars start the sea­son, with the num­bers ex­pected to grow dur­ing the course of the year.

Top­ping the en­try list will be the class for rear-wheel drive two-litre tur­bocharged GTC cars where reign­ing cham­pion Kea­gan Masters will de­fend his ti­tle in the fac­tory Volk­swa­gen Jetta.

He will be sup­ported by Daniel Rowe in an iden­ti­cal Jetta, with the team hop­ing to again clinch both the year’s driv­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers ti­tles.

The All Power Audi team will field a car for Si­mon Moss, with a driver for the sec­ond car still to be an­nounced.

Also chas­ing podium places should be the Ga­zoo Rac­ing Toy­ota Corolla of Michael van Rooyen to be backed by an­other new Corolla whose driver is, as yet, un­named.

Both the ve­hi­cles should run in the works Toy­ota Ga­zoo colour scheme, with the body­work prob­a­bly that of the just launched Corolla Quest.

BMW will be rep­re­sented by two pri­va­teers – Robert Wolk in the colours of In­vestchem and an­other car, with the specifics still to be an­nounced.

As men­tioned, all the Global Tour­ing Cars will be rear-wheel drive and pow­ered by four-cylin­der, tur­bocharged two-litre en­gines, boosted to pro­duce 312kW of power in race trim and 372kW in qual­i­fy­ing fet­tle.

In terms of num­bers the for­mula will be saved by Volk­swa­gen

Mo­tor­sport’s in­tro­duc­tion of the new Su­paCup class.

This will re­place the for­mer GTC2 cat­e­gory, which was ba­si­cally pop­u­lated by ex­pen­sive to main­tain Golf GTI and Mini Cooper JCW mod­els.

The new cat­e­gory will run un­der the Global Tour­ing Car sport­ing reg­u­la­tions, but the tech­ni­cal rules will be man­aged by Volk­swa­gen Mo­tor­sport for the im­me­di­ate fu­ture.

The cars will be based on the Polo GTI, which was in­tro­duced in the hugely suc­cess­ful Polo Cup cham­pi­onship in 2018, us­ing the man­u­fac­turer’s trusted two-litre tur­bocharged en­gine.

Ad­di­tions to make them Su­paCup cars are a six-speed se­quen­tial gear­box, big­ger tur­bocharger, big­ger front brakes, larger 18-inch wheels and tyres, wider body­work and a more down­force-ef­fi­cient aero­dy­namic pack­age.

En­gine man­age­ment is by Motec with strong sup­port from lo­cal agent MJR Tech­nol­ogy.

These changes have trans­formed an al­ready suc­cess­ful race car into a true pocket rocket, with mul­ti­ple GTC cham­pion Michael Stephen giv­ing the car a hugely suc­cess­ful race de­but at the Red Star Race­way near Del­mas late last year.

Volk­swa­gen Mo­tor­sport has tried to source as much as pos­si­ble from lo­cal mo­tor­sport sup­pli­ers to keep the costs low and sup­port lo­cal in­dus­try.

A bas­ket of parts will be stan­dard­ised, which other man­u­fac­tur­ers must use should they wish to join the Su­paCup fray. This will al­low the tech­ni­cal team to bal­ance the per­for­mance.

Jef­frey Kruger and Bradley Lieben­berg, the re­spec­tive 2018 and 2019 Polo Cup Cham­pi­ons, as well as Ja­son Cam­pos and Jonathan Mo­gotsi will be on the grid at the first race in March.

Reg­u­lar GTC 2 racer Paul Hill has also pur­chased a car.

The class will start with 10 cars in March and is ex­pected to grow as the sea­son gets into ac­tion.

Pic­tures: Dave Led­bit­ter

REIGN­ING CHAM­PION. Kea­gan Masters will be this year’s de­fend­ing South African Global Tour­ing Car cham­pion be­hind the wheel of this works Volk­swa­gen Jetta.

BOOKED. Two Ga­zoo Toy­ota Corol­las will com­pete in this year’s Global Tour­ing Car field, prob­a­bly in the new Corolla Quest bod­ies. Michael van Rooyen will be rac­ing, with the sec­ond ve­hi­cle’s driver to be an­nounced.

NEW RACER. A new­comer to the Global Tour­ing Car fra­ter­nity will be the Su­paCup cat­e­gory, with at least 10 of the front-wheel driven Polo Cup-based two-litre mod­els tak­ing to the tar­mac at the first race in March.

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