Campos takes double opening GTC SupaCup win

The opening round of the 2023 all-Volkswagen Polo GTC SupaCup thrilled the Kyalami 9 Hour crowd with great racing over the weekend.

A delighted Keegan Campos opened his SupaCup season in perfect style when he claimed pole position and went on to win both races, both times over a combative Volkswagen Motorsport driver Jonathan Mogotsi.

Campos opened his GTC SupaCup season in perfect style when he claimed pole position aboard his Carello Auto SupaPolo. Mogotsi lined up alongside him on the front row ahead of the returning Brad Liebenberg’s Hype Energy Drinks car and an on form Dominic Dias’ Chemi Liquid Energy machine. Cape Town rookie Tate Bishop was an impressive fifth on the grid aboard his Angri Racing car on his SupaCup debut, with Tato Carello sixth in his Carello Auto SupaPolo.

Volkswagen Motorsport driver Keagan Masters was drafted into Damien Hammond’s car at the last minute but still qualified seventh despite no time to set the car to his liking. He started alongside Calvin Dias’ second Chemi Liquid Energy car as Nathan Hammond, Platinum Wheels man JP dan der Walt and Masters driver Stefan Snyders rounded off the grid.

Keegan Campos made no mistakes to jump onto the lead off pole position in the searing Friday Kyalami midday heat, but Jonathan Mogotsi was never going to let him get away. The Volkswagen Motorsport driver kept the Carello Auto man on his toes throughout to come home only 0.446 seconds adrift. Mogotsi’s efforts however earned him a bonus point for the fastest lap of the day.

Behind them, Bradley Liebenberg never quite had the pace to stay with the leaders, but he certainly had enough to stave off the enthusiastic Dominic Dias and feisty rookie Tate Bishop. Liebenberg and Dias were however penalised for using push to pass on the first lap to drop them down behind Bishop and Tato Carello in fifth and sixth, followed fifth Calvin Dias and the struggling Keagan Masters, Nathan Hammond, and Masters winner Stefan Snyders and JP dan der Walt, who struggled with mechanical issues all day long.

Just as hot, Saturday’s second GTC SupaCup race started with a bang. Well, several of them, actually. Brad Liebenberg had made a splendid start to snatch the lead, when first Calvin Dias and Nathan Hammond, and then Dominic Dias and Tate Bishop made contact in the run out of Jukskei Sweep. Calvin and Nathan were eliminated on the spot.

Bishop somehow kept his car out of the wall but ended up stranded in the Sunset corner gravel trap. That caused the safety car to be dispatched and somehow he managed to escape seconds before the field approached to lap him behind the safety car. Then a frustrated Brad Liebenberg ground to a halt, needing another lap to drag his car to shelter.

Keegan Campos had none of it when the safety car pulled in as he went on to dominate with Jonathan Mogotsi, Dominic Dias, Tato Carello, Keagan Masters, Stefan Snyders, JP Van Der Walt, and Tate Bishop in chase. Dias then topped too, leaving Bishop’s pursuit to become the highlight of the race. He came from way back to close down and pass both Snyders and van der Walt. Keagan Masters however proved a tougher nut to crack as he stemmed the Bishop tide to keep the rookie in check.

So Campos romped to race 2 victory from Mogotsi, Carello, Masters, Bishop, van der Walt and Masters winner Snyders. Keegan Campos also took the overall win from Jonathan Mogotsi, Tato Carello, best rookie Tate Bishop, Keagan Masters, JP van der Walt and Stefan Snyders. The all-Volkswagen Polo GTC SupaCup now focuses on round 2 at Killarney’s 18 March Cape Town Extreme Festival, where the target will clearly be on an ecstatic Keegan Campos’ back.