Both Justin and Darren Oates showed good pace throughout the 14-15 June weekend in the closely-contested championship. This performance came despite a host of difficulties which included a Friday afternoon engine replacement for Darren.
Saturday’s Qualifying was a tightly contested session with half-a-second covering positions two through to fifteen. Justin, who was 0.171 seconds off second position, managed to qualify in eighth and Darren, a further 0.194 seconds adrift, qualified in P13.
In Race 1, Justin did not employ his Push-to-Pass at the start; a decision which resulted in him losing vital positions through Turn 1. He would eventually finish in P12, one position ahead of brother, Darren. In the second race, both Justin and Darren were able to make up positions and finished in P7 and P15, respectively. The final race saw the team start in their highest grid positions, with Justin in P7 and Darren in P13. The opening lap saw Justin make up two positions. He was, however, involved in an incident that forced him off the track but able to recover, albeit 17 seconds behind the last-placed car. Justin put in some of his personal quickest laps of the weekend to eventually catch the car ahead on the last lap. Darren finished in tenth place.
Justin Oates (#44 Total Excellium Volkswagen Polo)
“While the results might be disappointing, the team has drawn many positives from the weekend. Motorsport can be very unpredictable and both Darren and I are aware that we will encounter challenging weekends like these. It’s part of the sport and we need to accept it, learn from it and implement the positives.” explained Justin.
Darren Oates (#13 Total Excellium Volkswagen Polo)
“I must agree with Justin. It isn’t the result we were hoping for but we need to move on and focus on the next round. A huge thank you to our team for their hard work, as well as our sponsors; Total Excellium, Sika South Africa and Cross Country Insurance Consultants. Thanks also to our family and friends for their loyal support,” added Darren.
Round 5 of the 2019 Falken Polo Cup Championship heads back north to the Zwartkops Raceway over 26-27 July.
Story by Raymond Cornwell on behalf of Total Excellium Racing