09 March 2012 ~ 1 Comment

2012 Engen Volkswagen Cup gets off to a dramatic start at Zwartkops

2012 Engen Volkswagen Cup, Zwartkops: Devin Robertson

The first round of the South African 2012 Engen Volkswagen Cup almost didn’t get started at all at Zwartkops last weekend (3-4 March). The opening lap of the first race saw the safety car out on the track after a massive accident, with six cars being unable to run once the race had been restarted. Once underway, it was defending champion Devin Robertson who led the rest of the field and took the chequered flag, moving up three places from his fourth-place starting position.

Bryan Morgan in the Franke car came in behind Robertson, while 15 year-old Kelvin van der Linde finished in third. However, a three-place penalty was handed to Robertson after contact with Jordan Pepper’s Polo, so his podium spot was short-lived, with Morgan and van der Linde each moving up a place. There was more joy to come for van der Linde, though, as he clinched victory in race two, and second position overall for the day’s races. Van der Linde was one of two drivers who stayed on the podium at the end of each race. Morgan’s second place in race one was followed by a third in race two – and overall victory for the opening round of the 2012 Engen Volkswagen Cup season.

Brother and sister Jeffrey and Robyn Kruger had reason to celebrate, too, with Robyn taking fourth place in race one, and seventh in race two, putting her in third position overall for the day. Jeffrey meanwhile, took second place in race two, helping to give the pair their best race weekend ever, and a great start for their new sponsor, IndyOil. Normally a magazine journalist for Car, Sudhir Matai started his season well, claiming fourth place in the Masters category, despite spinning his Polo Vivo in the second race. Mark Silverwood and Mandla Madakane both popped their Engen Volkswagen Cup cherries at Zwartkops, bringing their Polo Vivos home ninth and twelfth respectively.

The 2012 Engen Volkswagen Cup series is similar to the other racing VW Polo Cup single-series championships run in China, Europe and India. Just as in those Volkswagen-moderated series, the South African one-make format highlights new driving talent. In the Engen championship, as many as thirty drivers regularly take to the race tracks in technically-identical, 2.0-litre, 234bhp VW Polo Vivo racing cars.

RACE RESULTS
Race 1

1 Devin Robertson (1: Big Boss Auto/Sparco)
2 Bryan Morgan (5: Franke)
3 Kelvin van der Linde (31: Ferodo)

Race 2
1 Kelvin van der Linde (31: Ferodo)
2 Jeffrey Kruger (6: IndyOil)
3 Bryan Morgan (5: Franke)

Overall standings
1 Bryan Morgan (5: Franke)
2 Kelvin van der Linde (31: Ferodo)
3 Robyn Kruger (9: IndyOil)

Masters Championship overall standings
1 Justin Taylor (M3: VW Techniques)
2 Dino Manelis (M13: Big Boss Auto/ GTI)
3 Francois van Tonder (M12)

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