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Round 6 of the 2022 Global Touring Car (GTC) Championship saw TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA (TGRSA) take on a tough field of competitors, with the factory team recording solid results

Gtc Results Tgrsa Killarney

Round 6 of the 2022 Global Touring Car (GTC) Championship saw TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA (TGRSA) take on a tough field of competitors, with the factory team recording solid results over the course of the weekend. Youngster Saood Variawa was again the pick of the bunch for the three-car Toyota Corolla squad, recording not only the second-fastest time in qualifying, but also his first overall race victory in the series, making him – at 17 years of age – the youngest ever GTC winner.

Killarney International Raceway, where the penultimate GTC round of the season took place, has traditionally been a tough hunting ground for the TGRSA squad. At the opening round of the season, the three-car team failed to score significant points, but the weekend of 17 September saw them change that luck, with Variawa’s win the cherry on top of an exciting and fruitful weekend.

“Things didn’t quite go to plan during qualifying, as I only recorded my best lap after the tyres had started going off. They are usually best during the first three or four laps, but I couldn’t quite capitalise on the fresh rubber, and had to settle for the second-fastest qualifying time in the end,” said Variawa.

Even so, Variawa drove a steady race to finish in second place, just 0.1sec behind race winner, privateer Robert Wolk (Toyota Corolla). Race two brought a reverse grid, which saw Variawa start in fifth place. But the youngster quickly moved to the head of the field, only to be foiled by an on-track incident that caused a red flag.

“At the restart I pulled away in third place, but I managed to get back to the front quickly. I pulled a gap over Robbie (Wolk) and held on for the win that I’ve been hunting for so long,” said an ecstatic Variawa after the race.

TGRSA stalwart, Michael van Rooyen, qualified his GTC Toyota Corolla just 0.3sec behind Variawa to take third place on the grid. Race 1 saw the Rustenburg Rocket retain his starting position to finish on the podium; while Race 2 didn’t quite go to plan – Van Rooyen ceded track position to teammate Mandla Mdakane under duress, finishing in 5th place in the end.

As for Mdakane, the Johannesburg-based driver felt that he missed out on seat-time since the previous round in East London, but continually built on his pace over the course of the weekend. Qualifying saw Mdakane in sixth, with Race 1 a bit of a procession – he finished in sixth place. Next up was Race 2 and its reverse grid, which saw Mdakane start at the head of the field. The on-track incident that caused the red flag saw Mdakane drop to third overall by the end, bagging his second podium in as many race weekends, and adding valuable points to his tally.

The final round of the 2023 GTC season is scheduled for October at the Zwartkops Raceway. This is a home race for TGRSA, and the squad has traditionally recorded good results at the circuit near Pretoria. Young Variawa is still, theoretically, in touch with the title, and will certainly be pushing for good results at the final round.

Breyten Odendaal

Hello! I am a publisher for 3D Car Shows. Besides cars and automotive news, I am also interested in virtual reality, 3D modeling and animation.

Published : Monday September 19, 2022

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