The Citizen geared up for Toyota GR Cup battle at Zwartkops
Mark Jones takes slender lead into Round 3 of the championship between motoring scribes.
The Citizen Road Test Editor Mark Jones is ready to defend his championship lead at Zwartkops. Picture: Toyota
After what seems like forever, it is finally time to go racing again. This weekend sees the Toyota SA GR Cup 2023 tackle the Zwartkops Raceway once again in Round 3 of the of National Extreme Series.
When were last at Zwartkops in Round 1, things did not go quite my way and I found myself at odds with my rear-wheel-drive Toyota GR86. This meant that I ended up fighting in the mid pack and not able to run with the fast kids up front. And as a result, I came away from this race meeting with only seven points to my name.
Cape Town in Round 2 was once crazy ride and while the mayhem broke out behind me, I made the most of the opportunity and was fortunate enough to get away and bag two wins on the day.
Slender Toyota GR Cup lead
With a full house of 14 points earned at Killarney, the Toyota GR Cup championship table has swung around and I now sit at top with 21 points. But this represents a very slender two-point lead over the fast and ever-consistent Setshaba Mashigo.
First round guest driver Thomas Falkiner, sits in third with 14 points, while Chad Lückhoff has moved up to fourth with 10 points, with Brendon Staniforth hot on his heels with nine points. The man who missed the first round, Denis Droppa is in sixth with nine points followed by wild child Reuben van Niekerk on six points.
Do I expect to have an easy run at Zwartkops Raceway? Not a chance.
The track is short and relatively easy to defend on if you want to get your elbows out. That means if somebody gets the jump on you and you are not prepared to put it up the inside and hope nobody turns in on you, you could spend the rest of the race chasing Toyota GR86 tailpipes.
What I am also expecting is that the two race round “rookies”, who are getting more and more to grips with their cars and the craft of racing, will be quicker than before, and even harder to get around. This all should make for a great weekend’s racing.