Nothing between it in SA's top title chases

With most of Dunlop’s South African racing championships just into their second halves, there’s much ado among the various contenders in the various categories. None of which are anywhere near resolved.

The Global Touring Cars for instance head to this weekend’s historic East London Grand Prix Circuit for the fifth round National Extreme Festival with Toyota Corolla GTC drivers, Chemical Logistics’ champion Robert Wolk, and teenage Gazoo Racing rookie Saood Variawa separated by just six championship points. They have form man Bradley Liebenberg’s Hype Energy VW Golf 8 GTI to contend with following his dominant maiden victory last time out.

Michael van Rooyen’s second Gazoo Toyota Corolla, and Julian van der Watt’s Ford Focus RS GTC are meanwhile both within four points of Liebenberg’s Golf on the championship log, while Toyota leads Volkswagen and Ford in the GTC Makers title race. The Global Touring Cars race on a Dunlop 280/680R18 full racing slick tyre renowned for both the pace and the endurance to ensure an even playing field.

It’s just as close in the all-VW Polo SupaCup, where another rookie sensation, Leyton Fourie’s Express Hire car heads to East London six points clear of experienced Universal Racing driver Jeffrey Kruger. They have a small buffer over Keegan Campos’ Turn 1 Insurance machine, consistent Arnold Neveling’s Pagid Polo, Team Perfect Circle driver Keagan Masters, and JP van der Walt‘s Platinum Wheels car. Nick Davidson meanwhile leads the Masters title chase. SupaCup races on slightly lower profile Dunlop Racing 18-inch 245/650R18 full slick tyres.

If GTC and SupaCup are close, it’s even tighter in the CompCare Polo Cup. Jurie Swart and his Bullion IT Racing hold a three-point advantage over Clinton Bezuidenhout’s Stu Davidson car heading to East London. 16 year old pair, Tate Bishop’s Angri machine and Universal lad Charl Visser are not far adrift. They have Universal lad Dawie van der Merwe, Nathi Msimanga’s Squadra Corse car and Bullion IT lad Giordano Lupini close behind too. SA’s top class for up and coming drivers, Polo Cup, races exclusively on treaded Dunlop Direzza 03G 215/45R17 semi-slick tyres.

Also racing as part of the Extreme Festival, the Toyota Gazoo Racing Yaris Media Cup races on the same Dunlop Direzza 17-inch semi-slick tyres as Polo Cup, to likewise ensure a perfectly level playing field. Here, former Nissan GT3 Academy racer Ashley Oldfield has proven almost indomitable in spite of rival scribes, Thomas Falkner, Mark Jones, Sean Nurse, Jeanette Kok-Kritzinger and Lerato Matebese’s best efforts.

Dunlop is also the tyre of choice for three of South Africa’s most significant regional racing championships. All of them choose Dunlop’s bullet proof, consistent, competitive and affordable Direzza 03G 195/55 R15 semi slicks. This tyre is the perfect choice for the privateer or track day racer, or as the ideal control race series rubber option.

The Dunlop-shod Gauteng-based Pabar VW Challenge has Class B rookie sensation Hannes Scheepers leading the overall title chase from Class C leader Ian Walker and top Class A lad Rory Atkinson. VW Challenge regularly attracts over 40 entries, so the going is tough and the cream there certainly rises. Another class A man, Wayne Masters sits fourth in the chase from reigning champion and Class C driver Pierluigi Muzzulini, Class B lass Charisse van der Merwe and A driver Stiaan Kriel. C driver Mark Castell and Class B pair, another lady racer Elna Croeser and Ethan Coetzee complete that fluid top ten.

The Cape equivalent Alert Engine Parts GTI Challenge is just as spectacular and also races on Dunlop Direzza 15” semi slick tyres. Also rivals in Polo Cup, Class A man Jurie Swart holds a handful of points’ championship advantage there, over Class B leader Tate Bishop, with Class C leader Chase Herholdt another three points behind. Then there’s a gap to Class B rivals Ian Kapp, Eden Thompson and Kyle Wiltshire, A men Marco Busi and Colin Meder, B driver John Henry Vaughan, and C lad Dylan van Eden.

The upcountry Lotus Challenge caters from Caterham, Birkin, Lotus and other Sevens. That title chase is being fought out between Jeffrey Kruger and Thomas Falkiner’s 15” Dunlop Direzza-shod machines. Rudi Barnard, Mackie Adlem, John Kruger and JP Nortje continue to fight it out behind them in the top class. Sean Hepburn meanwhile leads the Locost charge from Nick Hodgson, Davide Favo and Andre du Plessis.

Dunlop Motorsport not only exclusively supplies race tyres to all the above classes, but its support team sets up camp at all national and Gauteng meetings in support of its many competitors. Not only does the ATS Dunlop Service team mount, balance and care for all its competitor’s every wheel and tyre need, but the Dunlop Girls are on hand to lend a little Dunlop glamour to the pit lane. They also hand over the various R2,500 cash Dunlop Pole Position and Overall Race Winner’s awards to their recipients.

The Dunlop truck heads to East London next for coming Saturday 6 August’s East London races to look after all the Global Touring Cars, SupaCup, Polo Cup and Gazoo Cup tyre needs. Then it’s off to Zwartkops for the Regional Festival a week later.