All eyes on Touring Cars
CHANGES: GTC2 CATEGORY DROPPED FOR CHEAPER VW SUPA CUP CLASS
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.
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.