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Engen Volkswagen Cup championship goes the long way round.


IN perhaps the greatest display of bad luck experienced by one racer in Engen Volkswagen Cup racing, Shaun La Reservée (9 - Alpine Motors / Compendium) started two races - but was unable to finish a single lap on race day. In contrast to this, the championship leader Sheldon van der Linde (1 - Champion) was at the top of the results sheets the whole weekend, fastest in qualifying, winner of race one and two and first overall for the day.

These two very different results highlight just how competitive the series for Volkswagen Polo Vivo GT race cars is.

While Van der Linde ran away with the results for the day, La Reservée was pushed off in the first corner of the first lap in race one and then was eliminated from race two in the second-last corner while taking avoiding action in an incident involving other competitors. The race one incident saw the race red-flagged after the first lap and then restarted while the second one had the competitors running under the Safety Car while the track was cleared.

With Van der Linde at the top of the timesheets, it was Christopher Shorter (33 - Hollard) and Trevor Bland (M2 - PG Glass) who rounded out the top three in the qualifying session. This was qualifying with the fastest 12 competitors across the start/finish line with just a second separating them.

In the top six draw, it was Tasmin Pepper (31 - PG Glass) who drew pole for race one. Next to her on the grid was Van der Linde and the championship leader made short work of taking the race lead. Pepper was not, however, going to be pushed around and did an excellent job of hanging on to second place, fending off all challengers. It was Daniel Rowe (2 - Ferodo) who moved up a place from fourth to pass Chris Shorter and take third in that first race.

Race two saw Masters championship leader Mathew Hodges (M1 - Makopano / Phoenix Signs / 959 Panelbeaters) the car to lead the grid off the start, again with Van der Linde in second and Pepper this time taking the third grid slot.

With the Safety Car deployed in the first lap while the track was being cleaned after the incident that eliminated La Reservée from the race - and saw Pepper go from her third place start to showing up second-last on the results when she failed to finish due to a gearbox problem (likely caused by the incident earlier in the race) - it didn't seem to faze Van der Linde who again grabbed the lead and charged for the finish line, followed by Hodges and Rowe, claiming another podium result for the day.

This second race of the day was the longer 20 lap race, a real contrast to the eight lap race held to open the day for the Engen Volkswagen Cup competitors. It proved a taxing outing for the field, but added an extra dimension to the national championship.
For his efforts behind the wheel on race day, Justin Oates (44 - Glasfit) was awarded the title of Driver of the Day. Oates finished 16th and 12th to claim 12th overall for the day in his Engen Volkswagen Cup debut.

The Engen Volkswagen Cup field will head to Dezzi's Raceway in Port Shepstone on Saturday, August 29, for round six of the 2015 championship - and the field will tackle a race track that has never seen Engen Volkswagen Cup competition before.


1. Sheldon van der Linde - 1 (Champion)
2. Tasmin Pepper (31 - PG Glass)
3. Daniel Rowe - 2 (Ferodo)

1. Sheldon van der Linde - 1 (Champion)
2. Mathew Hodges - M1 (Makopano / Phoenix Signs / 959 Panelbeaters)
3. Daniel Rowe - 2 (Ferodo)

1. Sheldon van der Linde - 1 (Champion)
2. Daniel Rowe - 2 (Ferodo)
3. Mathew Hodges - M1 (Makopano / Phoenix Signs / 959 Panelbeaters)

1. Mathew Hodges - M1 (Makopano / Phoenix Signs / 959 Panelbeaters
2. Juan Gerber (M8)
3. Trevor Bland - M2 (PG Glass / Alpine Motors)

1. Sheldon van der Linde - 252
2. Mathew Hodges - 235
3. Daniel Rowe - 212
4. Trevor Bland - 197
5. 5. Matt Shorter - 184


3 August 2015

Engen Volkswagen Cup championship goes the long way round.

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20 March 2015 

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