Dunlop's 2023 racing season kicks off at Killarney this weekend

Dunlop Motorsport’s 2023 South African circuit racing season kicks off with a couple of regional races at Killarney in Cape Town and Zwartkops in Pretoria over the next two weeks. The National season then gets going at Kyalami at the end of February.

The big one for Dunlop is as always the National Extreme Festival, and that starts off in superb style in 2023. Running as part of the Kyalami ICGT international GT3 9 Hour over the weekend of 23-25 February, Dunlop Sport Maxx Racing cannot wait to get the new season underway.

But there’s much ado before that too, starting with the opening round of the Dunlop shod Alert Engine Parts WP GTi Challenge at Killarney on Saturday. That’s where Polo Cup pair, champion Clinton Bezuidenhout and reigning GTi champion Jurie Swart square up in front of a swarming pack of Polos, Golfs and Jettas - action is guaranteed!

The focus then switches to Zwartkops two weeks later on 18 February, where the Jozi equivalent Pabar VW Challenge kicks off, alongside three other Dunlop semi-slick shod classes, the Toyota Gazoo Racing Cup, the Lotus Challenge, and Car Care Clinic Superhatch.

The Toyota Gazoo Racing Cup switches to a fleet of new GR86 coupes piloted by a fresh batch of motoring journalists this year. The VW Challenge target will be on champion Rory Atkinson’s back, while the Lotus battle should resume between Tom Falkiner, Jeff Kruger, Mackie Adlem. Always close, the Superhatch action is extreme.

All of the above race on 15-inch Dunlop Direzza semi slicks renowned for durability and consistency across all racing conditions. Perfect for close racing and thrilling action. The Gauteng classes are looked after by the Dunlop Racing Crew working out of their fully equipped mobile race tyre workshop. Which also features at every Extreme Festival racing paddock.

Returning to Kyalami to start the season is one of the highlights of Dunlop Sport Maxx Racing’s national championship year. It’s set to be a huge season, and double Global Touring Car champion Rob Wolk has the biggest job to do. Robbie is expected to start his 2023 season in his familiar Chemical Logistics Corolla, but he has a surprise later in the season.

Rest assured that Saood Variawa and Michael van Rooyen’s Gazoo Corollas, Andrew Rackstraw in a thrilling new car, and some other exciting new metal will be zoning in on Wolk’s Dunlop shod GTC crown.

It’s all change in Dunlop’s other National Championship classes too. Will Jeff Kruger, Arnold Neveling or Keegan and Jason Campos take charge in SupaCup? Or will a fresh Polo Cup graduate do a rookie title double in ‘23? CompCare Polo Cup also has a different look to it this year as SA’s top young guns fight it out for one of SA’s most exclusive racing crowns.

Set to deliver brilliant racing at every racetrack it visits, the Extreme Festival circus travels around the country, while the Regional Festival races mostly in and around Gauteng. Cape Town’s GTi Challenge races exclusively at Killarney.

So, there’s more than good reason for race fans around the country to diarise the dates when the Dunlop-shod National Extreme Festival, Gauteng Regional Festival, and GTi Challenge and Dunlop Sport Maxx are racing at your local track. Diarise it now. And join when the Extreme Festival visits your local racetrack during 2023.

Dunlop Sport Maxx Racing Calendar 2023

2023 National Extreme Festivals

Date / Racetrack

25 February  Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, Johannesburg

18 March Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town

20 May Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria

17 June Aldo Scribante, Gqeberha

22 July East London Grand Prix Circuit

09 September Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town

14 October Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria

2023 Gauteng Regional Festivals

18 February Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria

22 April Red Star, Delmas

27 May Phakisa Freeway, Welkom

24 June Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria

02 September Aldo Scribante, Gqeberha

21 October    Red Star, Delmas

18 November Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria

2023 WP Power Series

04 February Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town

04 March Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town

22 April Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town

27 May Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town

24 June Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town

29 July Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town

30 September Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town

18 November Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town