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By Mark Jones

Road Test Editor

The Citizen returns to its happy hunting ground at Killarney

Last time around Mark Jones romped to two Toyota GR Cup race wins in Cape Town.

It’s finally time to go racing again in the Toyota GR Cup and its back to my happy hunting ground at Killarney.

Last time out in Cape Town in the National Extreme Series I came home with the winner’s trophy in hand. And the overall lead of the championship to boot.

But that was a lifetime ago. And I am under no illusion that I will not be gifted two fortuitous race wins courtesy of the demolition derby that took place behind me the last time we visited this iconic old school track.

ALSO READ: The Citizen romps to double wins in GR Cup at Killarney

Clean GR Cup racing

After the seriously hard and clean racing on show at our previous outing in East London, one thing is crystal clear. The 2023 rookies have come a long way and are now veterans with the pace, and race craft, to match.

What has also transpired since our last visit to the Western Cape, is that the GR Cup leader board has moved round. Well, except for series runaway leader, Setshaba Mashigo, who has dominated for most of the year. The young SIM racer is sitting on 59 points and only needs six more points from the next two race meetings to wrap up the Toyota GR Cup title.

For the rest of us mortals, it is game on in the fight for the final two places on the podium. I am sitting second on a distant 36 points and hold a very slender lead over Denis Droppa (32). Denis has charged back into a strong third place despite missing the first round of racing. He is going to be a man on a mission as he goes hunting for his maiden victory.

ALSO READ: WATCH: The Citizen sneaks onto GR Cup podium on dramatic day

Dark horses

The ever-unlucky Chad Lückhoff, who has been so close, yet so far away, is sitting third on 27 points. The surprise GR Cup driver of the year, Brendon Staniforth, is on 25 points. Both these drivers can sneak onto the podium and shuffle the championship table around once again.

Adding to drama is the addition of Toyota SA CEO Andrew Kirby. He is no slouch and as competitive as they come. Just like Toyota GR boss man, Riaan Esterhuysen, who will also be joining us on the grid.

This scene is set for the GR Cup during the penultimate round of the National Extreme Festival at Killarney. This round could be the most exciting one yet and the one that goes a long way towards deciding the overall placings for this year.

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