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What    Global Touring Cars Kyalami Round 1 & 2023 Season Preview

Where    Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit

When    24-25 February 2023

Community    South Africa National


They say that time flies when you’re having fun. That much is clear by the fact that Global Touring Cars embarks on its seventh season of racing at the Kyalami 9 Hour over the weekend 24-25 February.

If anything, this should be a watershed season for GTC, following two seasons of rebuilding and reconciliation. South Africa’s premier circuit racing formula is moving forward into a thrilling new era. Gone are the brittle early chassis, the dodgy wiring looms and other components that caused so many issues over the first seven years. They make place for a fast and thrilling series that in now poised to march into the future.

Seven cars will be taking the short trip to Kyalami’s season opener from their various Northern Gauteng race shops. The good news is that they will be joined by new machinery as the season progresses. But all Kyalami eyes, and gunsights will be on Robert Wolk’s back. The double champion will set about making it a triple aboard his familiar blue Chemical Logistics Toyota Corolla GTC from Kyalami.

Wolk is one of the drivers expected to switch exciting new machinery during the course of the year. Which means his rivals will be eager to get a foot up while the going is still relatively easy as Robert still races the old girl. Rookie sensation in 2023, championship runner-up Saood Variawa will want to beat Wolk in his Toyota Gazoo Racing Corolla GTC. Gazoo teammate Michael van Rooyen is another who will want to show them all how it’s done at Kyalami.

Wolk’s Chemical Logistics Racing teammate Julian van der Watt continues in his Ford Focus RS. Julian won a couple of races last year and he’s more than intent to build on that in ’23.

Fellow Capetonian Andrew Rackstraw has switched steeds from his trusty Audi to a Sparco RDSA Volkswagen Golf GTI for the first part of 2023. He is another driver eyeing a step to all-new machinery as the season progresses. Like Wolk’s machine, ‘Straw’s car is expected to move into other hands as the season progresses.

Two exciting young rookies will complete the Kyalami GTC grid. 2023 Investchem Formula 1600 champion Josh Le Roux has taken over Rackstraw’s old Chemical Logistics Audi S3 GTC. He cannot wait to learn and grow in GTC in 2023. CompCare Polo Cup graduate Nathi Msimanga has spent the past three seasons at the sharp end of that cauldron of racing and he’s well-groomed to take up the reins of the third Toyota Gazoo Racing Corolla.

GTC practices on Thursday, with qualifying 08h35 on Friday morning 24 February, and race 1 at 13h35 on Friday. Race 2 is 10h40 Saturday morning 25 February before the 9 Hour main race sets off at 13h00. See you at Kyalami!

Issued on behalf of Global Touring Cars

Photography by:  Abri De Bruyn

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