Review: Engen Volkswagen Cup, round 7, Killarney Raceway
Devin Robertson powered his Payen Volkswagen Polo to the 2017 Engen Volkswagen Cup championship at Killarney Raceway this weekend, adding to his 2011 title. It was a daunting event for the champion-elect after mechanical problems dropped him to a lowly ninth in the first race. A perfect second race saw Devin streak into the lead from third on the grid and take a dominant half a second win, his eighth of the season with two races remaining.
16-year-old Clinton Bezuidenhout (Glyco VW) had a bad day at the office by his lofty standards after his lowest qualifying position of the year. He raced to fourth and 11th places in the two-heat event.
Matt Shorter (Moog VW) had a rock-star weekend after racing to sixth and seventh places after being blocked on his fastest qualifying laps, which kept him in 10th and 13th place on the grid. Immediately after the races Matt was picked up at the track by helicopter and ferried to Cape Town Airport, where he jumped on a plane and flew back to Johannesburg to attend his matric dance!
Benjamin Habig (Nüral VW) had a big moment during qualifying when he left the track on cold tyres at the fastest corner on the circuit. He raced from 11th on the grid, showing solid race craft as he made his way up to eighth at the flag. In race two, the teen was pushed wide in turn one and lost several places, which he made up when his tyres came up to temperature, enjoying a multi-lap battle with team-mate Clinton along the way.
Quotes from the cockpit:
Devin Robertson (#33 Payen): “The weekend started well by claiming pole position and carrying that through to the superpole shoot-out as well. In the first race, fourth gear broke as I pulled away from the grid and I only had third and fifth gears for the whole race. The four points I earned for ninth place could be crucial. In race two, Oates was asleep when the lights changed so I passed him on the line and picked off Kruger by lap two. After that I built a decent lead. I’m really excited to claim my second VW Cup title and give Signature Motorsport another title and add to their success story”
Clinton Bezuidenhout (#38 Glyco): “I battled with a lack of grip in qualifying which was disappointing as it is the first time I missed the top six. I had a good race with Gerber and managed to finish fifth. In race two, Oates started the race in reverse and I had to take to the grass to avoid crashing into him. I lost traction and a lot of places. I managed to get some back and finished 11th”.
Matt Shorter (#11 Moog): “I had some of my best racing of the year. Qualifying was disappointing because I was blocked on my second flying lap which meant I started 13th. In the first race I went from tenth to seventh in one lap and had a great race with Kuda Vazhure along the way. In race two I went from 13th to ninth in turn one! I had another great fight, this time with Jonathan Mogotsi. This was some of the toughest racing I’ve had so I’m quite happy with my results”.
Benjamin Habig (#18 Nüral): “My car was good in qualifying but I went off in Damps Dip, which is probably the fastest corner at Killarney so I could only qualify 11th. I had some good, clean races and made up positions to finish eighth in the first race. I started from 12th in race two and lost places when I was pushed wide at turn one. Once my tyres came on song, I was able to make up some place. Clinton and I had a great race and I am reasonably happy with my overall performance”.
The final round of the Engen Volkswagen Cup is at Kyalami on 4 November.