TGRSA’s GR Cup delivers in inaugural season
  • Ashley Oldfied crowned as GR Cup winner
  • Pole position for Thomas Falkiner
  • Double race victory for Sean Nurse

The final round of the inaugural TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA (TGRSA) GR Cup took place at the Zwartkops Raceway near Tshwane in Gauteng this weekend, and despite the newly crowned cup winner – Ashley Oldfield – not taking part, there was plenty of on-track action. Oldfield, for his part, raced in the Global Touring Car (GTC) championship, driving TGRSA’s third GTC Toyota Corolla. This opened the door for some of his former competitors to make their mark on this year’s GR Cup.

TGRSA’s GR Cup features six standard Toyota GR Yaris cars, each fitted with basic safety equipment as required by Motorsport South Africa (MSA). Six of the country’s foremost motoring writers battled it out during the inaugural GR Cup, with a variety of guest drivers joining them on-track.

The final race event of the season saw Sunday Times writer Thomas Falkiner put his GR Yaris on pole position, after dominating the Friday practice sessions. But there was disappointment for Falkiner when the lights went out on the first race heat, as he was bogged down on the starting grid.

“I went from first to last in the space of just a couple of metres, but I managed to claw my way back into third place by the time the chequered flag was waved,” said a disappointed Falkiner after the race.

This gave Sean Nurse the opportunity to record a good result, and that’s exactly what he did – winning the first heat, and besting second-placed man, Mark Jones, by 4.1 seconds. Falkiner completed the podium, with the president and CEO of Toyota SA Motors, Andrew Kirby, coming home in fourth place – a credible position for the GR Cup debutant.

The second heat saw Nurse make the most of his starting position. A second win for the weekend ensured a strong finish for his season, despite having missed the opening round of the season in Killarney, when he attended his brother’s wedding. Falkiner improved somewhat on his results from the first heat, finishing in second place; while Jeanette Kok-Kritzinger recorded her best result of the season to finish third.

Despite Nurse’s victories in the final round, he had to settle for third place in the inaugural GR Cup, with Falkiner holding onto second place. Oldfield, for his part, recorded a successful GTC debut, and will be hoping for a regular seat in the championship for 2023.