The Global Touring Car Championship is set to continue with Round 3 at Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria, and Andrew Rackstraw is eagerly looking forward to getting back behind the wheel.
After winning his first race in GTC at the previous round, Rackstraw is full of confidence and eager to show what he can do at the team’s home circuit.
Lee Thompson Racing will be hoping to see their car win again at Zwartkops Raceway, which is also the home of Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa. As a driver in the Golf 8 GTI, Rackstraw will undoubtedly be looking to put on a show and demonstrate the car’s capabilities on the track.
Speaking ahead of the race, Rackstraw said, “I can’t wait to get back in the car and start racing again. Winning my first race in the GTC was an incredible feeling, and I’m looking forward to building on that success at Zwartkops Raceway. It’s the team’s home circuit, and I’ll be doing everything I can to secure another win for Lee Thompson Racing and our sponsors.”
The 2.5km circuit can be categorized as short but furious, with three of its eight corners being fast and challenging. There are also some very slow and technical sections including Turn 2 which is a very tricky 180-degree hairpin. Overall overtaking opportunities look good with three corners offering possibilities under braking. However, the tight and narrow nature of the circuit makes it difficult to overtake if the driver ahead defends on the inside. As we saw with GTC in 2022, racing at Zwartkops is always super tight, with only fine margins splitting the drivers. It is also only 1 of 2 tracks that get visited twice on the racing calendar in the GTC championship. This is the first visit in the 2023 season for the Extreme Festival.
Now having etched his name amongst the star-studded list of GTC winners, Rackstraw will be keen to push on and add more wins to his name. He still has ambitions to win the championship, so he will undoubtedly give his best effort at every opportunity he gets. As a National Champion himself, he boasts a decent record at Zwartkops and he knows how to win around this amphitheatre of a circuit. He was very unfortunate the last time out at Zwartkops after starting on the front row, he managed to get to the front from where he parked his car in all the right places to hold onto the lead. However right at the end, there was contact made and he was pushed wide, costing him the positions and the race lead.
The 2-month break we’ve had since Round 2 has given the team an unusual amount of time during the racing season to work on the car. Nevertheless, it is time that Lee Thompson Racing used wisely and they are confident that the car will run well during the weekend.
Being in his final year of studies, Rackstraw often finds it hard to balance his racing with his heavy workload and this week is no different. Having had tests all week can be draining especially just before you have to travel away for racing but that has not dampened his spirits.
“Going into Zwartkops we as a team (RDSA and LTR) are very excited and confident that we will have the pace and to be able to fight for race wins again.
The team was able to sort out the braking issues that we struggled with in Cape Town, so we are confident in the car and that it will be competitive.
After a long break, everyone is excited to get back to racing. We are super excited to see everyone there and can’t wait for another awesome race day in Johannesburg.”
Catch all the action live on Saturday as the drivers go to battle for the GTC honours. It’s still early days in the championship and with Rackstraw sitting in third, he has every chance to close the gap on the front two.
Come enjoy the racing and if you are going to be there, be sure to come visit the Golf 8 GTI and the team.
Let’s go racing.
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