The 2018 Engen Polo Cup travelling show will perform at the Western Cape Killarney circuit for the second time next weekend (September 21 and 22), with the title chase wide open after the season’s first six rounds.
Mathematically, any of the top four drivers on the roster could leave Killarney as the overall points leader after Saturday’s two races.
The four top contestants are Jeffrey Kruger (Universal Health Polo), Jonathan Mogotsi (VW Motorsport Polo), Tasmin Pepper (Electric Life Polo) and Keegan Campos (Campos Transport Polo).
All four have won races this season and could do so again at Killarney. Judging by previous events, various other drivers should also be able to spray champagne at Killarney. They will include Justin Oates (URUP Polo), Clinton Bezuidenhout (Glyco Engine Polo), Delon Thompson (A&L Materials Polo), Darren Oates (Payen Polo), Juan Gerber (DAF Trucks Polo), Jason Campos (Turn 1 Insurance Polo), Daniel Duminy (SMD Group Polo), Paulus Franken (Manitou Group Polo) and Benjamin Habig (Just Tools Polo).
Fighting for places among the top ten finishers will be drivers like Altan Bouw (Ferodo Polo), Shivesh Bissoon (Etch Tech Polo), Raais Asmal (VW Polo), Wouter Roos (Nathans Polo) and Peet Visagie (Nathans Polo).
The 3,2-kilometre Killarney circuit boasts a long back straight, combined with a tight and tricky infield.
This makes car setup a compromise between sheer top speed and handling prowess.
It will also make the use of the two-litre turbocharged Engen Polo Cup discipline’s Push to Pass facility tricky, with drivers having to plan the limited use of the temporary extra power bursts carefully.
This could turn both of Saturday’s races into the equivalent of high speed chess matches, requiring cool heads under high pressure conditions.
“Sheer pace is not enough to ensure Engen Polo Cup success,” said Volkswagen South Africa’s motorsport boss Mike Rowe.
“It is without doubt one of South Africa’s most competitive racing disciplines, and continues to play its role as local motorsport’s most viable ladders of opportunity.
“In the process, Saturday’s Engen Polo Cup races should provide the always enthusiastic Western Cape crowd with superb spectacle,” he concluded.
The Engen Polo Cup brigade will tackle various test sessions on Friday, with their official qualifying session and two ten-lap races on Saturday.