Fast, frantic and exciting race day for Engen Volkswagen Cup in East London

 

Round four of the Engen Volkswagen Cup championship took place in East London on Saturday. While the race day is complete, the echoes of this event might still haunt the championship later in the season.

Typical of this circuit, the racing was high-speed, exciting and not without incident.

 

Things started out in pretty standard fashion with Keagan Masters (18 - Champion) posting the fastest lap times during qualifying - but at the fastest track in South Africa for this national championship, he was just 0.024 of a second ahead of rival Matt Shorter (18 - Champion). There was also just one second between the fastest 12 cars in qualifying.

With the fastest six qualifiers entered into a draw for grid positions, Masters went to sixth on the start line, with Tasmin Pepper (15 - SMD Group) the big winner moving to a pole position start. Between Pepper and Masters was Matt Shorter, Shaun La Reserveé (M3 - Alpine Motors / Compendium Insurance), Trevor Bland (M2 - Universal Health Care/Phoenix) and Bradley Liebenberg (12 - Ferodo).

 

Pepper, a previous regular in Engen Volkswagen Cup championship made a guest appearance in East London to drive for Daniel Duminy who was competing in a kart national on the same day.

 

The action started right off the line in that first race. Pepper's start was hampered by wheelspin, then she and Bland made contact which resulted in an off-track excursion into Potter's Pass. This saw Pepper quickly fall down the order while La Reserveé capitalised to take the race lead.

 

With much jostling and shoving during the 10 lap race, but La Reserveé was not giving up his lead to anyone. He claimed the first win of the day, with Matt Shorter in second and Liebenberg rounding out the podium. Winning race one overall also made La Reserveé the first Master home with Bland second in this category and Gary van Heerden (M4 - (M4 - Nutritech/Motul) third.

 

For race two the starting grid for the top six saw Liebenberg starting from pole position with La Reserveé in second, Pepper third, with Bland, Matt Shorter and Masters pulling away in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

 

The leading five in this race formed an Engen Volkswagen Cup train as they chased each other around the circuit in East London. For Masters, however, a fifth place start ended as a 10th place finish which impacts his championship lead significantly.

Round five of the Engen Volkswagen Cup championship will see a return to Zwartkops Raceway on Tuesday, August 9, when a public holiday early in the week provides an opportunity to race at a different slot to the usual Saturday event.

 

RACE ONE

Shaun La Reservee (M3 - Alpine Motors / Compendium Insurance)
Matt Shorter (18 - Champion)
Bradley Liebenberg (12 - Ferodo)


RACE TWO

Bradley Liebenberg (12 - Ferodo)
Shaun La Reservee (M3 - Alpine Motors / Compendium Insurance)
Tasmin Pepper (15 - SMD Group)


OVERALL

Bradley Liebenberg (12 - Ferodo)
Shaun La Reservee (M3 - Alpine Motors / Compendium Insurance)
Matt Shorter (18 - )


MASTERS OVERALL

Shaun La Reservee (M3 - Alpine Motors / Compendium Insurance)
Trevor Bland (M2 - Universal Health Care/Phoenix)
Gary van Heerden (M4 - Nutritech/Motul)


CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

Keagan Masters (18 - Champion) - 115
Chris Shorter (33 - Payen/Hollard/Turn1) - 98
Shaun La Reservee (M3 - Alpine Motors / Compendium Insurance) - 91
Trevor Bland (M2 - Universal Health Care/Phoenix) - 85
Bradley Liebenberg (12 - Ferodo) - 82