AFTER a two month break in the calendar the Engen Volkswagen Cup championship heads to Port Elizabeth for competition at Aldo Scribante Raceway. The field of racers will contest round three of the 2015 championship on Saturday, June 13, with two races scheduled for the day.
With just two rounds completed the season is already showing some interesting developments. Amongst the top five competitors so far the list includes four teammates – from two teams, two Masters, one of the women racers in the field and two competitors sharing fifth place.
Topping the list is Sheldon van der Linde (1 – Champion) who has four wins out of the five completed races so far. This gives Van der Linde an 11 point lead heading into round three. His biggest rival at this point in the season is Mathew Hodges M1 (Makopano / Phoenix Signs / 959 Panelbeaters).
Hodges holds second place in the championship – and is the leading competitor in the Masters category (for racers older than 27). He is also the only racer other than Van der Linde to have won a race so far this season and also the only racer other than Van der Linde to claim bonus points for pole position qualifying.
In third place Tasmin Pepper (31 – PG Glass) is 16 points (or a sixth place finish) behind Hodges. With two appearances on the podium so far this season, a good qualifying position – and some luck in the top six draw – could see her closing that gap and further cementing her standing in the top five. A good result will also allow her to escape the clutches of Trevor Bland (M2 PG Glass / Alpine Motors) who trails by just a single point.
Bland has been progressing from the first race this year, with his first podium finish at race two during the Killarney race meeting. This has set him up for another strong showing at Scribante if he continues the trend for this season. Bland is the second of the two Masters in the top five list.
Rounding out the leading racers in the Engen Volkswagen Cup is local racing driver Daniel Rowe (2 – Ferodo). Rowe is a Port Elizabeth racer and will be aiming to make his track knowledge work in his favour to produce the best results possible. He will have to keep his eye on the rearview mirror though as he shares fifth overall with Matthew Shorter (11 – Champion).
Shorter finished second in race one at Killarney while Rowe claimed second place in race two. The pair seem very evenly matched, setting the stage for some exciting competition between them as they work to break the deadlock.
In typical Engen Volkswagen Cup fashion, the Scribante round of the 2015 season should prove an action-packed part of the season with lots of door-to-door action on the short, narrow track that will demand absolute commitment from the competitors.