Alpine Volkswagen Pinetown

Engen Volkswagen Cup championship goes the long way round.


ZWARTKOPS Raceway hosts round five of the Engen Volkswagen Cup championship on Saturday, August 8, with the battle for the lead in full cry between Sheldon van der Linde (1 - Champion) and Mathew Hodges (M1 - Makopano / Phoenix Signs / 959 Panelbeaters). Just one point between the pair after the first four rounds sets the tone for the start of the second half of the season.

"At round five we will be doing something different for the Engen Volkswagen Cup racing," says Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport. "For this event there will be an eight lap race to start and this will be followed by a 25 lap race, which should keep the competitors very busy - and having to consider all the factors to finish successfully."

Engen Volkswagen Cup races vary between eight and 12 laps usually, depending on the circuit length. Running at double the usual race distance, the longer race is going to test the drivers in terms of fitness, strategy and how to conserve their resources on track to win - or to finish at all.

"The Engen Volkswagen Cup series has always been challenging," says Rowe. "We are mixing things up a bit this year to maintain that edge of encouraging new talent. The 2015 season started with a three-race format and to mark the start of the second half of the season, we are using a short and long race setup."

The longer race could play a factor in the overall outcome of the championship and the duel between Van der Linde and Hodges will be carefully watched from the sidelines.

This isn't the only place there is action happening though. The fight for third continues between Daniel Rowe (2 - Ferodo), Trevor Bland (M2 - PG Glass) and Matthew Shorter (11 - Champion) - with his brother Christopher Shorter (33 - Hollard) not far off the pace and keen for his chance at an overall season podium.

In the Masters, with Hodges fighting for overall first place, he is also a comfortable leader in the Masters category while Bland holds firmly on to second. Juan Gerber (M8) is currently third in this category, but will have to keep an eye on his rearview mirror as John Johnstone (M5 - Circle Group) will be working on the 13 point gap between them - looking to chisel away a point or two at a time during the remainder of the season.

The mix of racing through the field as the drivers battle for position - all of the positions - keeps the Engen Volkswagen Cup championship exciting and the race fans coming back for more as the door-to-door competition never stops. Zwartkops will bring the Engen Volkswagen Cup racing action to the public at the start of August, in a motorsport celebration that will help to mark the end of the winter season and hopefully encourage spring to arrive that little bit earlier.
iX Online Motoring