Tonight’s penultimate round of the TMSA Abarth Cup goes down at the East London Grand Prix Circuit. Perhaps the most historically interesting circuit of them all in South Africa, East London is all about speed and having the you-know-whats for Potters.
Potters is a lot easier in the virtual world of course. Bruised egos are cheaper and less painful than a roll into a ditch in real life. Having said that, the competitors in this Cup are taking it so seriously that the feeling of disappointment wouldn’t be that different.
History meets the future tonight as a full grid of Abarth 500s do battle on a circuit that was originally over 23km long (more than the Nordschleife!) when Grand Prix racing was held in the 1930s. It was shortened to 17.7km in the mid-30s, before a complete change to just 3.9km to host Formula One Grand Prix races in the swinging sixties.
Formula One would later move to Kyalami, but East London would retain a special place in the hearts of motorsport fans in South Africa and abroad, evidenced by the South African Historic Grand Prix Festival in 2018 that brought some of these incredible (and priceless) machines back to East London from all over the world.
History lesson over. Let’s talk TMSA Abarth Cup standings.
Hilton Pieters (Sujean Property Investments), son of Chantal Pieters who is literally the glue keeping the WPMC Karting Club together, recorded his first win in the series in the last outing at Killarney. Sparks flew and so did many cars behind him as the 20+ grid used all of the tarmac and then some. Jurie “Umpie” Swart (G-Energy / G Force Sim), currently leading the championship, was one of the casualties of this virtual racing aerobatics demonstration.
Swart and Troy Dolinschek (Makita / Simrace247) are separated by 8 points at the top of the leaderboard, a gap that Dolinschek will be fully intending to close before the final round of the Cup.
P3 man Kewyn Snyman (Simrace247) will be a firm feature of this race as he battles the leading duo, Pieters and the likes of John-Henri Vaughan (Maps Racing / Simrace247), Ryan van Eden (Speed and Sound Magazine) and Carel van der Merwe (GT Graphics / Kings Customs).
Don’t rule out Polo Cup talents and Universal Healthcare duo Clinton Bezuidenhout (Glenwood Zenex Bosch / Universal Motorsport / Wingfield Motors) and Dario Busi (Universal Motorsport / Team Red Racing) who know exactly how this sport works in the real world, as do so many of the competitors in this excellent series.
As the Abarths jostle for position and the best slip down the straights, Gary Flemming and Frank Heunis will keep you on the edge of your seats with world-class commentary.
Before we take the virtual plunge into Potters, a huge thank you to our sponsors: Carbs and Coffee Media, Southern Cross Wealth, JP Hydraulics and G+A Motorsport. This would not be possible without them.
Qualifying kicks off at 20:00 and the madness starts 15 minutes later. Follow @TMSARacing for updates and the livestream of all races.
Let’s go racing!
TMSA in association with Carbs and Coffee Media