Round 2 of the Falken Polo Cup will see the Signature Motorsport team aim to consolidate their strong position in the championship on April 5-6 at Zwartkops Raceway
Following their Round 1 performance, Chris Shorter finds himself in second place on the points table; trailing Jeffrey Kruger by one point. Clinton Bezuidenhout and Matt Shorter are in joint-sixth place while Altan Bouw occupies tenth place. The quartet of drivers are looking forward to building on this form at Zwartkops Raceway, the circuit where they conduct all their testing.
Round 2 will also see a change in the race weekend format. The weekend will consist of three races as opposed to the customary two. This format was last utilized during the 2017 season.
Chris Shorter (#33 AE Engine Expertise Volkswagen Polo) heads into the weekend confident about the team’s preparation, yet aware that the races at Zwartkops Raceway won’t be easy. “Our test day yielded positive results, but the preparation does not just stop there. It’s not going to be easy to replicate the results from Dezzi Raceway. Qualifying will be extremely important, there are opportunities to pass at Zwartkops Raceway, but it is also easy for the driver in front of you to defend. It will be important to ensure that we make it into the top-six and then push even harder during the Superpole Shootout. As we’ve seen already, we have a very strong field of drivers. Given the level of competition and track distance, it won’t be surprising if the top-six should be split by a margin as narrow as 0.1 of a second.”
Shorter continues regarding his strategy: “We have three races and we’re aiming to take forward the maximum amount of points from them. In a certain sense we’ll have to race clever instead of racing hard. A risk you take in Race 1 to make up a single point may well put you out of contention for the rest of the day. Currently, Jeffrey (Kruger) is leading me by one point; a position that I’m comfortable with. I won my 2016 title from an underdog position, so we’ll aim to consolidate through the first half of 2019 prior to implementing a more aggressive approach.”
Clinton Bezuidenhout (#38 Glyco Engine Expertise Volkswagen Polo) is also feeling confident ahead of the weekend at Zwartkops Raceway: “We’ve had a good testing day. We have every reason to feel confident about our pace at Zwartkops Raceway and we’ll aim to compete at the front of the field. We have the numerical advantage with a four-car team. So if we can make this count in our favour by having a strong presence at the front of the pack, then we can easily control the day from there.”
Matt Shorter (#22 Monroe Volkswagen Polo) had a busy break between rounds. The younger of the Shorter brothers was the first to admit that he made a few mistakes during the season opener. Following an analytical review of available footage and data, Shorter feels better prepared heading into the second round: “We have addressed a host of key areas during our test session in order to eliminate mistakes and be more competitive during Round 2. Our race pace at Dezzi Raceway was quite good, but we realise that strong form in qualifying is a vital component of a successful strategy in this season’s Falken Polo Cup. I would in fact like to improve my overall form at Zwartkops Raceway and I’m confident that I am getting closer to where I know I can be.”
Altan Bouw (#11 Champion / Ferodo Volkswagen Polo) showed good pace during the test session. The youngest driver in the quartet will aim to carry this momentum forward into the race weekend. “Throughout our test day, I’ve been about 0.2, 0.3 off Chris’ time. If I can carry this pace into the race weekend, we will be in a strong position at Zwarkops Raceway. I’m feeling confident ahead of Round 2 and I would really like to record a host of strong finishes.”
Friday, April 5 will see the team competing in three practice sessions. Saturday, April 6 will see the them participating in the following points paying sessions:
10:05 – Qualifying and Superpole Shootout
12:40 – Race 1 (8 Laps)
15:15 – Race 2 (8 Laps)
16:45 – Race 3 (8 Laps)
Tickets for Saturday can be purchased from the venue or via www.iTickets.co.za at: R120.00 per adult, R90.00 per student and with children under the age of 12 years entering for free. Fans are also invited to follow the team’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/SignatureMotorsport for updates and results throughout the weekend. In addition, the team will also provide a behind-the-scenes look of their operation on their Instagram account www.instagram.com/signature_motorsport. As with Round 1 this will be from a driver’s perspective, a further announcement regarding this will be made on Thursday, April 4.
Story by Reynard Gelderblom – Signature Motorsport