The Burly Pro GTi Challenge defied chilly, dark winter conditions as the rain held off just long enough to ensure racing of the highest order to delight the Killarney faithful on Saturday. Things ran pretty much to plan up front as Class A and B title leaders Nian du Toit and Eden Thompson rolled off double wins, but Class C proved tumultuous when overall championship leader Giordano Lupini was denied his first race win to a yellow flag infringement, before bouncing back to even beat the Class B pack home in race 2, as Brett Roach took the overall Class C win.
Du Toit turned in a stunning lap to put his Allied Fibreglass Jetta 3 onto a solid pole position over Colin Nicholas Meder (International Tube Tech Polo 6R) and Jano van der Westhuizen (Wingfield Motors Polo 3). Gideon Serfontein (Goeie Hoop Golf 2 GTi) upset the Class B applecart by putting one over Eden Thompson (Jetta 2), who just held off Class C Golf GTi trio Lupini (CiR/La Vie de Luc/Accelerate), Roach (Mutual Valet) and Dillon Joubert (Powder Coating World/TAC Steel).
The first race proved dramatic as Class B runners Serfontein and Ashley van Niekerk (Ashrome Polo) made contact and exited stage right in Turn 1 with the Killarney marshals quickly clearing the wreckage to allow the race to run. Du Toit stamped authority up front over Meder, van der Westhuizen, Chris Swart (Village Paint & Hardware Jetta 2), Chris Roberts (BMT Polo 6R) and Mark Fontini (Medine Polo Classic).
Meder however stopped, Roberts slowed and Swart went off to leave Class B leader Thompson with his mirrors full of a brilliant Class C lead fight — Roach had made the best of the first corner drama to grab lead as Lupini was slowed, but the youngster fought back to overcome his robust rival for the all-Golf 1 GTi Class C lead and drove away. But Lupini was penalised for passing under yellow flags, handing the class win to Roach from Jarred Simpson (Greenz Plumbing/Cape Refractory CD), Kyle Wiltshire (Suicide Pistons) and Alfie van Zyl (GT Graphics).
Class B second man Emile Assure (Burly Pro Suspensions Polo 6R) was next up from the slowed Roberts, Class B runner Zaki Hendricks (Wheelworx Polo Classic), Class B lads Patrick Walton and Daniel Munna (Ivor Smith Electric), B man Wayne Field (Coetzee Coachworks), Joubert, the penalised Lupini and Class B driver Marc Thompson (Polo). Class C duo Paul Winter and Ian Kapp (Hydracor) meanwhile joined Swart, Meder, Serfontein and van Niekerk in the early shower queue.
Du Toit made off to another easy back to-back win in race 2 as Meder initially diced van der Westhuizen up front, with Fontini next up ahead of Swart, but there was a surprise next up as Lupini made a great start to slot his Class C Golf into sixth and chase the Class A cars home, maintaining a steady gap to chasing Class B frontrunners Thompson and Assure, with those three moving up to fifth, sixth and seventh after van der Westhuizen stopped.
Roach shadowed Assure home in ninth overall and second in C behind the flying Lupini, with the dicing Simpson, Wiltshire and van Zyl not far behind. Joubert kept Walton behind a little further back, ahead of Class B third man Marc Thompson, Kapp and Munna. Class B runner van Niekerk had diced with Simpson, Wiltshire and van Zyl before joining Class B runners Hendricks and Field Class A lad Winter and Field in retirement.
Overall, du Toit took the day and Class A from Fontini, Eden Thompson beat Assure and dad Marc Thompson to Class B and Roach beat Simpson, Wiltshire, van Zyl and Lupini to Class C. In the championship race, subject to official ratification, Class C lad Lupini still leads the overall title race albeit by a reduced margin of 9 points over Class B driver Eden Thomson and Class A man Nian du Toit in joint second with Class C driver Jarred Simpson a further 16 points behind.
The sixth round Burly Pro GTi Challenge will be back to thrill the Killarney Wingfield Power Series crowd Saturday 10 August.