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Nian, Eden, Brian win in wild GTi

Saturday morning dawned damp and greasy at Killarney before it all cleared up to present Cape racers and fans a perfect day for racing and the opportunity for the Bold Marine GTi Challenge to star as usual at the Woman’s Day Power Series.

Dodgem

Those slippery early conditions however contrived to spice things up with qualifying dishing up an unusual Challenge starting grid order to ensure fireworks in the first heat and an action packed second race that saw Nian du Toit, Eden Thompson and Bryan Morgan emerging the overall class winners on the day.

The track had dried by the time the first heat started, so with some Class C cars further up the grid and some quicker cars further back, a little wild action was inevitable and the sparks flew at the start of the second lap when a glut of mid-pack cars arrived in Turn 1 together only to leave the corner two competitors fewer as the ever-improving Dillon Jearey (Lucan Racing Golf 1 GTi) and Class A refugee Chris Swart (Spongebob Racing Golf 1 GTi) were rendered hors de combat and Swart’s car precariously perched on the inside of the Turn 1 exit.

Things appeared to settle down after that, with pole man Nian du Toit (Cash Cars Jetta) leading Jano P van der Westhuizen (Kwikfix/Bessie Bester Polo) and Mario Roux (Sprayteq Autobody Polo Classic) up front, and Shane du Toit’s Lekka Braai Golf 2 GTi leading Eden Thomson  (Golf 1 GTi) and Damien Lopez (Cape Refractory & Servco Polo Classic) in Class B.

Bryan Morgan (Greatsoft Payroll GTi 1) and Marco Busi (Automan Polo) made a break from the dicing Golf 1 GTi quartet of Jarred Simpson (Greatsoft), Gideon Serfontein (Goeie Hoop Onderdele), Giordano Lupini (Monroe/Bakkie & Car) and Ebrahim Levy (Jive/Ebrahim Levy), when young Lupini’s Golf suffered a mechanical failure and speared off to slam into the Turn 2 tyre wall. The 15-year old emerged unscathed but his car was out for the day.

Things settled down from there, as Nian du Toit sped to a dominant 10-second victory over van der Westhuizen and Roux. Shane du Toit took an untroubled Class B win from Thompson and Lopez, with Scotty Hayes’s Jetta 2 fourth in class from Cash Cars Golf 1 GTi duo Herman Lazarus and Roelof Tolman, who surviver that Turn 1 melee and Silvermoon racing duo rookies Earl Josephs and Wayne Field dicing further back after regular frontrunner Jacques Geldenhuys’s Ferroli Golf 2 GTi retired early in the race.

Morgan stormed to a dominant Class C win over Busi and the rest of the survivors of the wrought behind as Simpson led Levy, Serfontein, Dillon Joubert (Powder Coating World/TAC Steel Golf 1 GTi) and the delayed Gert du Plessis (Cash Cars Golf 1 GTi) home.

Race 2 was a far more straightforward affair as Nian du Toit led a closing van der Westhuizen home and Bester nursed his ailing car to the finish, but not without its controversy as trouble flared up in Class B. Shane du Toit led the early action, but he slowed with a misfire to deliver the class lead to Jacques Geldenhuys a close head in front of Damien Lopez. Those two then came into contact on the last lap, dropping Geldenhuys to fourth and leaving Lopez to cross the line first.

Race officials later slapped Lopez, who was driving under a yellow card following a previous incident, with a red card for the race to promote Eden Thompson to the win from Scott Hayes, and Geldenhuys; Herman Lazarus was next up from a spluttering du Toit, who made it home in fifth, with Tolman, Josephs and Field behind.

Bryan Morgan once again made no mistakes as he romped home to a dominant Class C win to end off a perfect day and consolidate his overall Bold Marine GTi Challenge championship lead, with Marco Busi second and Chris Swart in a fine third after repairing his stricken car between races and picking off his rivals one by one. Ebrahim Levy was fourth again from Gert du Plessis, Gideon Serfontein and Dillon Joubert after Jarred Simpson retired with a broken engine.

Overall for the day, Nian du Toit took Class A from van der Westhuizen and Roux, Eden Thompson won Class B from Hayes and Shane du Toit and Bryan Morgan dominated Class C from Busi and Levy. Some teams have a little work to do before the next Bold Marine GTi Challenge meeting at Killarney on 3 September, but expect the racing to be fierce as usual. Diarise it now!