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Volkswagen returns to Zwartkops for Round 2 of the 2022 season

  • Tough battle expected between Volkswagen and Toyota rivals in GTC contest
  • Daniel Rowe, second in the GTC standings eager to close the gap
  • Learning curve continues for talented Jonathan Mogotsi
  • Pressure on Cape Town’s Jurie Swart to maintain Compcare Polo Cup points lead

Kariega – Volkswagen Motorsport will head to the Zwartkops Raceway, to the west of Pretoria to tackle Round 2 of the 2022 Extreme Festival on 22 and 23 April.

“We had a challenging first outing in Cape Town just over a month ago,” commented Mike Rowe, head of the Volkswagen Motorsport. “But the team has put in a lot of effort since then and we are confident that we will be in a position to fight for race wins and move closer to the top of the championship points table in the process.”

The team’s pair of new Golf 8 GTi race cars were hampered by brake problems in Cape Town, but a successful test session earlier this month at Zwartkops seemed to have solved the issues. Despite the challenges, team driver Daniel Rowe still occupies the second spot on the prestigious GTC championship points table, a position that he will be very eager to improve on this weekend.

“I expect that times will be very close, but in the Golf we have a great car, we have a great team that worked hard and I am confident that we will be at or near the front when the flag is waved on Saturday,” said Daniel Rowe.

Teammate Mogotsi is also chomping at the bit to make his mark in South Africa’s premier circuit racing formula. His rise to the top over the past few years has been quite remarkable and the former Polo Cup and SupaCup driver is excited about the new challenge he now faces in the GTC series.

“Driving a rear-wheel drive car is very different to what I’m used to, but I’m enjoying every moment. The pace is already there and with a little luck I’m sure that Daniel and I will be a force to be reckoned with this weekend,” said Mogotsi.

Exciting news is that there will be a third Golf 8 GTI lining up on the grid at Round 2 of the GTC Championships in the hands of Bradley Liebenberg. “The entry supported by Hype Energy Drinks, Sparco and run by Universal Motorsport is great news for us, as it another car scoring in the manufacturers championships. Bradley has also been racing Volkswagen’s for a while and it is great to have been back in the brand,” commented Rowe.

Besides the battles in the GTC category, race fans will be treated to the usual spectacle that only the CompCare Polo Cup can provide. There will once again be around 20 identical Volkswagen Polo GTi’s driven by some of the country’s youngest talents, a recipe that has provided top-class racing action for more than a quarter century. After a fierce fight in Cape Town for Round 1, the man with a target on his back is 2021 runner-up Jurie Swart.

“It was great to win in front of my home crowd, but now we go to Zwartkops and it is one of the hardest places in the country to win at,” said Swart shortly before departing for Gauteng. “Fortunately, I managed to pull off a victory at Zwartkops in 2021, so I know what it takes and hope to repeat that performance this time around.”

Swart will be ably assisted by teammate Giordano Lupini who showed great pace in Cape Town. Tate Bishop is currently second on the points log and will hope to rain on Swart’s parade no doubt.

“We are blessed that we have so many young and talented drivers in this country,” continued Rowe. “Besides the ones mentioned, also keep an eye out for the likes of Clinton Bezuidenhout, Dawie van der Merwe and Charl Visser. We would also like to welcome a few newcomers like Jason Loosemore and Mohammed Karodia who will make their respective CompCare Polo Cup debuts at Zwartkops this weekend.

Volkswagen thanks its partners CompCare Medical Scheme, Dunlop, Sonax, Motul and VW Genuine Parts.