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ACTION AND DRAMA THE ORDER OF THE DAY - ENGEN VOLKSWAGEN CUP
08 Nov 2017
Volkswagen South Africa
Volkswagen South Africa
Action-packed season draws to a close
Champion Devin Robertson misses out on final weekend
Juan Gerber claims Masters title and second on the overall points ladder
Darren Oates takes maiden victory in race two
Volkswagen's Mogotsi and Vazhure end season on a high
Close racing that keep spectators on the edge of their seats has become the norm in South Africa's most successful and one-make series, the Engen Volkswagen Cup. And for the last time in 2017, the Volkswagen Cup did not disappoint, dishing up a mixture of action and drama in the process. The drama started early when newly-crowned champion Devin Robertson was taken to hospital following a practise session accident that left him with a few injuries, but he is already recovering well.
With Robertson removed from the weekend's action, the way was clear for a number of talented drivers to try and finish the 2017 season on a high. All eyes were on the battle for second place on the championship points ladder between Jeffrey Kruger, Clinton Bezuidenhout and Juan Gerber. Kruger had a slight points lead over his two rivals going into the Kyalami round, but it was Gerber who drew first blood by setting the fastest time in qualifying. The Masters driver kept his head down to take a comfortable flag to flag victory in race one with Kruger and Bezuidenhout in hot pursuit. Darren Oates was the fourth driver across the line with Volkswagen Motorsport's own Jonathan Mogotsi finishing fifth.
Second place in the championship was still up for grabs and it all came down to the wire in the last race of the season. Gerber would once again start from pole position, but it was Mogotsi who managed to slide past and into the lead. The youngster and winner of the 2016 Volkswagen Driver Search held on for a few laps, but the pressure was immense. He had no choice but to surrender his lead on lap three, a position that was now taken up by Darren Oates followed by the usual suspects Gerber and Kruger. This time, young Oates managed to hold on until the flag was waved, claiming his first victory of the season. But when the overall times were added, it was the name of Juan Gerber who emerged as not only the winner of the day, but also the coveted second position on the overall points ladder ahead of rival Jeffrey Kruger. Gerber's victory was also enough to earn him the Masters title. "It was a very good day for us. We had to fight hard and although we didn't quite win the second race, our overall win was enough to accomplish our goals," said Gerber.
Behind Gerber, Kruger and Oates, it was the name of Jonathan Mogotsi who ended the day in fourth, just ahead of lady-driver Tasmin Pepper and Benjamin Habig with Volkswagen Motorsport's Kuda Vazhure rounding out the top seven.
"We are very pleased with the way this championship has turned out," commented Mr. Mike Rowe, head of Volkswagen Motorsport. "The Engen Volkswagen Cup is a highlight on the race programme at each event, and racing throughout the season was top-class. We're glad that Devin Robertson's injuries aren't too serious and would like to congratulate him once again on winning the championship. Also well done to Juan and Jeffrey for taking it down to the wire" Rowe added that Volkswagen Motorsport's own programme also proved to be very successful in 2017. "Both Jonathan and Kuda have developed throughout the season. They have both established themselves as tough competitors and Jonathan showed that he's a race winner. Our programme is clearly working and we as a company will continue to invest in the country's future as well as in the future of motorsport."
Volkswagen Motorsport is currently in the process of building 25 brand new Polo GTi's for the 2018 season which will see the series continue to provide such a good spectacle in seasons to come.
Volkswagen Motorsport acknowledges all of its sponsors and partners:
Engen, Ferodo, Champion, Dunlop, MyGlass, Schaeffler, C Track