Another dose of nailbiting motorsport action is expected as the field continues to slug things out for position on the national standings. While high above sea level, the competitors should find things a touch familiar at Zwartkops Raceway.
It bears similarities to the circuit they have just competed on ï¿½ Aldo Scribante Raceway. Both tracks are relatively short, make good use of corners and offer limited overtaking opportunities (expect for the very brave).
There is much at stake for the youngsters competing in their identically-specced Volkswagen Polo race cars. Proving themselves capable of competition in the national racing series is just one aim for this season.
Another is the opportunity to race in the German version of South Africaï¿½s Engen Volkswagen Cup. Two drivers will make the pilgrimage and enjoy exposure to left-hand drive competition complete with ABS brakes and power steering, two luxuries that are not afforded the local championship.
The big question is, who will the chosen duo be? Drivers will, however, be kept in the dark until the official announcement is made ï¿½ this is important stuff in this series as each driver has only one opportunity to make this journey.
With two rounds of the national series completed, it is Gennaro Bonafede (10) and his Champion / Ferodo entry who lead the field with a total of 50 points. This is a very narrow breathing space of just four points over second-placed Mathew Hodges (7) and his PG Glass Polo.
In Engen Volkswagen Cup terms this is not a real lead. With a full 15 points available for a first-place finish and two races at each national meeting, all a racer needs is one bad day at the track to plunge down the order. That is not even taking the bonus points for the fastest qualifier into account.
This puts tremendous pressure on Bonafede at this point who will certainly want to keep Hodges at bay. Perhaps Bryan Morgan (31) in the Timken entry, currently in third place, could be the answer to Bonafedeï¿½s problem. Morgan might just help Bonafede escape Morganï¿½s clutches by mounting a challenge of his own for second place.
With attentions thus divided, it could be the break that dictates the rest of the race season. Engen Volkswagen Cup racing is not that predictable though and with just 35 points between the top 12 racers, it is not that easily decided.
Miguel Pasqualli (6) and his Engen Xtreme entry is currently in fourth place on the standings. This is certainly not where he wants to be. The Engen team have traditionally dominated this series and Pasqualli will want to continue this form.
Then thereï¿½s fifth-placed Devon Robertson (11) and his Ferodo / Champion / Siris Holdings Polo. Just 10 points behind Pasqualli, Robertsonï¿½s aim is undoubtedly to move up the leaderboard and usurp Pasqualli while heï¿½s at it. The new rules ï¿½ which lower the maximum age of competitors in this single-make series to 27 ï¿½ has seen a number of new, young faces in the mix and they are all keen to show exactly what they are made of.
Spectators should keep an eye out for the likes of Darren Nathan (35) and the Sextrader.co.za car, Jason Thorton (34) in the Global Car Rental entry and Robyn Kruger (13) behind the wheel of the Steamsure Combustion Polo to name just a few. These youngsters have just two race meetings under their belt in the Engen Volkswagen Cup series and show good progress with each race.
The ï¿½olderï¿½ hands in this series are soon to have a real fight on their hands as their experience is eroded during the seasonï¿½s progress. No longer will they be able to rely on past knowledge to carry them to success.
With the threat of having to compete against the newcomers on an equal footing looming, the regular racers will have to gather as many points as they possibly can before the inevitable happens. Perhaps it is already too late and the challenge is waiting for them at Zwartkops Raceway.