After being down on pace, Adrian Wood got within a few meters of recording his second GTC2 race win during the 2019 season opener hosted at Dezzi Raceway. He however finds himself in a strong position following the March 1 to 2 race weekend with two second place finishes recorded.
Friday’s practice sessions saw Wood rapidly getting to grips with the new Dezzi Raceway layout in his Kyocera Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa Golf. He found himself severely down on pace, particularly in comparison to his stablemate Brad Liebenberg. Nevertheless the team worked hard into the evening to allow both drivers to be in top form heading in Saturday’s qualifying session.
Saturday morning saw Wood setting the second fastest time in qualifying and crucially closer to Liebenberg’s pace. A post-session technical inspection however saw the duo relegated to the back of the field for exceeding the maximum boost limit.
The day’s first race saw them quickly working their way through the field to move into a running one-two order which they retained throughout the full distance. This of course saw Wood at an advantage with the inverted gird for Race 2; where Liebenberg would start behind him. Again, they rapidly progressed through the field with Wood in the lead. He sustained the pressure from Liebenberg throughout, but the penultimate corner on the final lap saw a crucial mistake seeing him running onto the embankment. This handed the lead and victory to Liebenberg while Wood finished in second place.
“It was a bit of a bittersweet day for us” said Wood after the race day. “We lost the second race due to a mistake. Given that there was not enough time to make a comeback, we had to settle for second place. Of course, we remain focussed on the positives. Given how far back we’ve found ourselves during Friday, we made definite progress heading into Saturday. Both Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa Golfs dominated the races; Compared to our 2018 season when we had to rebuild a car following Round 1, we emerged unscathed through the weekend and will head into Round 2 in second place in the championship. We are therefore in a better position and with the next round taking place at Zwartkops Raceway, we have every reason to be confident. We have also shown that we have the pace to defend at the front.”
Adrian Wood would like to thank his partners Kyocera Document Solutions and Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa for the continued support.
Round 2 of the 2019 GTC2 Championship will see Wood and the Kyocera Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa team competing at Zwartkops Raceway on April 5 to 6.
Story by Reynard Gelderblom – Adrian Wood