Volkswagen and Toyota sets out 2021 motorsport plans
Motorsport still very much part of two of South Africa's biggest manufacturers.
The two Golf GTI GTC cars will mainly tackle endurance race meetings this year. Picture: Dave Ledbitter
Two local motor manufacturers have announced their motorsport programmes for this year.
Volkswagen, long the biggest car-maker in local circuit racing, will continue to administrate and run the Polo Cup championship this season.
The Polo Cup category has, over the years, produced more subsequent South African circuit racing champions than any other local racing categories.
It will continue to provide a ladder of opportunity for young drivers this year, with 22 cars entered for the season-opening Extreme Festival round at the Western Cape Killarney circuit this weekend.
For the new season, all Polo GTI’s will be shod with Dunlop’s Direzza DZ03G semi-slick racing tyres. Volkswagen will continue to provide support to the 15 contenders in this year’s SupaPolo championship.
The SupaPolo category last year saved local Global Touring car racing from extinction by filling out the grids, and should continue to provide close and exciting competition this year.
Volkswagen will use the two Golf GTI GTC cars they built last year to market the impending South African arrival of the new Golf 8 GTI. To that end, the two cars will be run in selected rounds of the South African Endurance series , plus other prestigious motoring events like the Knysna Hillclimb.
Toyota Gazoo Racing South will contest three South African motorsport title chases this season. The team will aim to defend its titles in the South African Cross-Country Series and the South African National Rally Championship; while also mounting a challenge in the Global Touring Car Championship.
The programme will be headed up by a three-vehicle team in this year’s off-road championship. Gazoo Toyota Hilux bakkies will be in the hands of reigning SA champions Hein Lategan/ Brett Cummings, Giniel de Villiers/ Dennis Murphy and Shameer Variawa/ TBA.
The first race of the 2021 SACCS will be the Mpumalanga 400, which takes place in the area around the town of Dullstroom on the weekend of 26-27 March.
The South African Rally Championship will be contested by defending champions Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy-Lyle, behind the wheel of a locally built Class R4N Toyota Starlet.
The pair will also compete in several rounds of the African Rally Championship. This year’s NRC will consist of 12 rounds, with each race weekend hosting two rounds of the championship.
Leading Toyota’s Global Touring Car onslaught will be Michael van Rooyen in a Gazoo Toyota Corolla GTC, backed by the identical entry of Mandla Mdakane. The season starts at Killarney in the Western Cape on 20 March.