The Bold Marine GTi Challenge once again delivered action and drama of the highest order at Killarney’s very flowery Power Series meeting in Cape Town on Saturday. But when the dust had settled, one man emerged clearly in the limelight as Class C man Bryan Morgan left the circuit with one hand tightly clenching the overall and class 2016 championships.
Bryan Morgan
Bryan Morgan

National Polo Cup veteran Morgan is indeed a Challenge rookie, being one of several top drivers to have joined the Class C ranks during the year and he has held the upper hand there since joining the fray at the second race of the season. On Saturday he once again took class honours to stamp authority on the series and head into the final two races in a clear overall championship lead.

Greatsoft Payroll Golf 1 GTi driver Bryan may have been a little lucky to come way on top on Saturday, when title rival Ebrahim Levy did not start, Class C pole man and reigning Class A champion Marco Busi (Automan Polo) was slowed by a misfire while leading late in race 1, forcing him to slow and a similar fate befell fifteen-year old Giordano Lupini who had slotted the Monroe Golf 1 GTi into a fine third on the grid. 

Lupini’s slowing and stopping caught fourth placed qualifier and another Class A refugee Chris Spongebob Swart out and caused him to spin down the order on lap 2. all of which left Morgan to fend off Greatsoft teammate Jarred Simpson for victory ahead of the Golf 1 GTis of a delighted Gideon Serfontein (Goeie Hoop Onderdele), Gert du Plessis (Cash Cars), a recovering Swart and Dillon Jearey (Lucan Racing).

Busi romped away to win race 2, but he was fortunate to pull it off after his Polo started misfiring again on the last lap and allowed the duelling Morgan and Simpson to close right up. Debutant Jaco Lambert was a fine fourth from du Plessis, Serfontein, Jearey and Francois Erasmus. Swart fell foul to an incident with Jearey to retire and Lupini again stopped early with a misfire, all of which meant Morgan won Class C for the day from Simpson, Serfontein, Jearey, Erasmus and Busi.

That also leaves Morgan almost certain to take the Class C title and looking very good for the overall number 1 plate next year.

Jacques Masters Class B

Class B was all about Jacques Geldenhuys and his white Ferroli Golf 2 on Saturday, although it may have looked a little different from after qualifying, with a delighted Scott Hayes on pole for race 1 in his Jetta 2 from Shane du Toit (Golf 2 GTi) and Geldenhuys. Du Toit took the race 2 pole from Hayes and Geldenhuys.

Sadly for Hayes, his race was run almost before it started when the Jetta lost power to leave Geldenhuys, du Toit and Eden Thompson (Golf 1 GTi) to tussle for the lead and finish in that order. Roelf Tolman (Cheaper Cars Golf 1 GTi) rallied up to fourth from Peet van der Walt (PSW Sport Polo Classic), Herman Lazarus (Cheaper Cars Golf 1 GTi) and a rapidly improving Earl Josephs (Silvermoon Roofing Golf 1 GTi), after dad Norman retired his Polo early on. 

Race 2 was much of the same, with Hayes stopping early and Geldenhuys overcoming du Toit, who was left to tussle with and eventually defeat Thompson as van der Walt took fourth from Tolman, Earl and Norman Josephs, after Lazarus failed to make the start. Jacques Geldenhuys’ double win saw him take overall honours from du Toit, Thompson, van der Watt Tolman and Earl Josephs.

Class A war goes on

The fight for overall and Class A Bold Marine GTi Challenge honours may have thinned out a little of late, but it delivered the usual spectacular action again on Saturday. Nian du Toit put his Cash Cars Jetta on its customary pole position from Mario Roux (Sprayteq Autobody Jetta 2) and Polo Cup star Umpie Swart who made his Challenge debut in his Alpine Autohaus Polo Classic, after frontrunner Jano van der Westhuizen (Kwikfix/Bessie Bester Polo) was slowed by a qualifying misfire.

Van der Westhuizen however sorted the malady in time for the start to take the fight to du Toit, but the race took a dramatic turn when du Toit’s Jetta broke a stub axle, glanced the wall and shed a wheel in Turn 3. The valiant du Toit struggled on in vain only to retire. Roux also slipped down the order to retire to allow Swart onto the second step of the race 1 podium.

Race 2 was hugely exciting, with du Toit initially breaking away from van der Westhuizen and Swart after Roux failed to start, but Nian lost the Jetta in Turn 5 on lap 3, allowing Jano to slip by into a reasonable lead. Du Toit however fought back and the two were together by the penultimate lap, circulating side by side for all of a lap before du Toit finally overcame van der Westhuizen to pip him at the post, with Swart a little distance adrift.

The Bold Marine GTi Challenge now takes a six-week break before returning to Killarney for its penultimate championship round on 15 October and while the overall and Class C titles seem ready to be etched in Bryan Morgan’s name, the Class A and B championships as well as many personal tussles all the way down the order remain to be solved. 

Better you diarise 15 October for Killarney right now…