Review: Engen Volkswagen Cup, Rd 8 – Kyalami
Having clinched the 2017 Volkswagen Cup Championship at Killarney last month, the Signature Motorsport Team headed into the final round at Kyalami with the goal of securing second place overall for Clinton Bezuidenhout (Glyco Polo) but it was not to be.
In the opening free practice session on Friday, newly crowned champion Devin Robertson suffered a broken wheel on his Payen Polo which catapulted him into his teammate Matt Shorter (Moog Polo). The impact was severe; Devin was hospitalized with three fractured ribs.
Clinton slotted into sixth spot after missing a gear on his fastest lap. In the superpole shootout, he claimed third spot, while the draw for race two positions saw the youngster draw fifth place.
The team set about repairing Matt’s Polo and he took part in official qualifying setting the tenth best time. Benjamin Habig (Nüral Polo) claimed seventh spot in a field where the top ten were covered by less than one second, having missed the first practice session while writing exams.
In the first race, Clinton had good pace, hanging on to the rear bumper of Jeffrey Kruger in second place. He finished in third spot and on track for the championship runner-up spot.
Benjamin had a spirited race with the factory VW pair of Jonathan Mogotsi and Kuda Vazhure, crossing the line in sixth place as the meat in the factory team sandwich.
Matt had a great started and an exciting fight with Tasmin Pepper and Vazhure as he made up two positions to finish eighth.
In race two, Clinton made a great start and was into second place going into turn one. Selecting second gear as he accelerated out of turn one, the driveshaft broke and his race was run.
Matt had a great start in race two and was into fifth place from eighth on the grid. He ran with the leading quartet in a high speed train of evenly matched cars.
Benjamin had a great race with the factory team and Jano van der Westhuizen, who he beat to eighth place, giving him sixth overall, his best result of the year.
It was not the ending the Signature Motorsport Team had hoped for. Having secured the title with one round to spare, the Signature Motorsport squad can reflect on a season that saw nine victories, seven pole positions and seven fastest laps – a record that marks Signature Motorsport as the team to beat in 2018.