The National Extreme Festival returned to the Aldo Scribante Raceway in Gqeberha for Round 4 of the 2024 South African Touring Car Championship (SATC) this past weekend. Spectators were treated to an exhilarating display of motorsport as TGRSA competed fiercely across both the SATC and SupaCup Championships.

South African Touring Cars (SATC) Highlights

The SATC races provided plenty of action, starting with a highly competitive qualifying session. TGRSA’s Saood Variawa put in an impressive performance, securing second place on the grid, just behind Julian Van Der Watt, despite setup problems with the rear diff on his car. Michael van Rooyen qualified in fourth after a mistake that arguably cost him pole position, while Nathi Msimanga rounded out the top five.

Official SATC Qualifying Results

1Julian Van Der Watt1:01.789
2Saood Variawa1:01.851+0.062
3Robert Wolk1:01.859+0.070
4Michael van Rooyen1:01.963+0.174
5Nathi Msimanga1:01.964+0.175
6Anthony Pretorius1:02.260+0.471
7Andrew Schofield1:02.811+1.022

SATC Race 1

Race 1 saw intense competition from the get-go. Saood Variawa, in his SATC GR Corolla, started strong, but ultimately finished third as the differential niggles again held him back. His time was 10:43.838, trailing winner Julian Van Der Watt by 6.402 seconds. Michael van Rooyen also had a strong race, securing second place with a time of 10:38.377, just 0.941 seconds behind the leader. Nathi Msimanga faced some challenges but managed to finish in fifth place, 10.490 seconds behind Van Der Watt.

SATC Race 1 Results

1Julian Van Der Watt10:37.436
2Michael van Rooyen10:38.377+0.941
3Saood Variawa10:43.838+6.402
4Robert Wolk10:44.058+6.622
5Nathi Msimanga10:47.926+10.490
6Anthony Pretorius10:48.559+11.123
7Andrew Schofield10:51.311+13.875

SATC Race 2

Race 2 started with a reverse grid based on the results of Race 1. This added an extra layer of strategy and excitement. Anthony Pretorius capitalised on his strong starting position, taking the win with a time of 12:44.460. Robert Wolk finished second, just 1.126 seconds behind. Michael van Rooyen and Nathi Msimanga both showed resilience, finishing in third and fourth places, 3.757 and 4.036 seconds behind the leader, respectively. Saood Variawa, still struggling to fully control his car due to the setup problem with the rear differential in his car, finished in fifth place, 6.858 seconds behind Pretorius. Van Rooyen commented on the solid preparation of his car by the team for this weekend, as could be seen by his highly competitive performances throughout the event.

SATC Race 2 Results

1Anthony Pretorius12:44.460
2Robert Wolk12:45.586+1.126
3Michael van Rooyen12:48.217+3.757
4Nathi Msimanga12:48.496+4.036
5Saood Variawa12:51.318+6.858
6Julian Van Der Watt12:51.529+7.069
7Andrew Schofield12:54.472+10.012

SupaCup Championship Highlights

The SupaCup races were equally thrilling, with Sa’aad Variawa making his debut in a newly built TGRSA SupaStarlet, taking over driving duties from Bradley Liebenberg, who continues racing in a privately entered Toyota SupaStarlet. Despite facing a series of technical challenges and on-track incidents throughout the weekend, Sa’aad showed resilience and potential in his new role. A deflated tyre bugged his qualifying session, forcing the young driver back to the pits mid-session. This robbed him of valuable qualifying time, which impacted his results for the starting grid.

SupaCup Qualifying Results

1Tate Bishop1:06.025
2Charl Visser1:06.147+0.122
3Jonathan Mogotsi1:06.147+0.122
4Keegan Campos1:06.178+0.153
5Jason Campos1:06.380+0.355
6Jean-Pierre Van Der Walt1:06.502+0.477
7Bradley Liebenberg1:06.677+0.652
8Nicolaos Vostanis1:06.861+0.836
9Sa’aad Variawa1:07.066+1.041
10Dean Venter1:07.244+1.219

SupaCup Race 1

Tate Bishop took pole position and maintained his lead to win Race 1, with Charl Visser and Jonathan Mogotsi completing the podium. Sa’aad Variawa faced difficulties but managed to make up some positions, finishing in ninth place.

SupaCup Race 1 Results

1Tate Bishop10:20.152
2Charl Visser10:21.279+1.127
3Jonathan Mogotsi10:22.457+2.305
4Keegan Campos10:23.773+3.621
5Jason Campos10:25.590+5.438
6Jean-Pierre Van Der Walt10:26.633+6.481
7Bradley Liebenberg10:26.914+6.762
8Nicolaos Vostanis10:28.469+8.317
9Sa’aad Variawa10:29.073+8.921
10Dean Venter10:30.064+9.812

SupaCup Race 2

Race 2 saw Keegan Campos take the win, followed by Jonathan Mogotsi and Bradley Liebenberg, who secured a strong third place finish for his new team. Sa’aad Variawa started from the back and made significant progress before being pushed off track, ultimately finishing in eighth place.

SupaCup Race 2 Results

1Keegan Campos10:22.340
2Jonathan Mogotsi10:23.181+0.841
3Bradley Liebenberg10:24.449+2.109
4Charl Visser10:25.629+3.289
5Tate Bishop10:26.993+4.653
6Jason Campos10:28.272+5.932
7Jean-Pierre Van Der Walt10:29.322+6.982
8Sa’aad Variawa10:30.175+7.835
9Nicolaos Vostanis10:32.085+9.745
10Dean Venter10:32.699+10.359

Sa’aad Variawa reflected on his challenging weekend, noting the issues faced with the car from Thursday through Saturday. Despite the setbacks, he managed to gain valuable experience and is focused on improving the car’s performance for the next race.

Looking Ahead

As the season progresses, TGRSA remains focused on maintaining their competitive edge in both the SATC and SupaCup championships. The team is well-positioned for a strong finish and is determined to continue their successful campaign.

“We are pleased with the performances of our drivers this weekend,” said Riaan Esterhuysen, Senior Manager at TGRSA. “The team showed great resilience and determination, and we look forward to building on this momentum in the upcoming races.” The National Extreme Festival now heads to the East London Grand Prix Circuit for Round 5 of the 2024 SATC Championship. This event, scheduled for the last weekend in July, promises to deliver more thrilling racing action as TGRSA continues to push the limits and aim for the top.


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