The third round of the Global Touring Car Championship at Zwartkops Raceway proved to be a challenging weekend for Andrew Rackstraw and his team.

Unfortunately, their hopes of securing another victory were dashed prematurely due to engine failures, leaving them unable to compete in Saturday’s races.

The difficulties began at the end of Friday’s practice session when Rackstraw experienced an unexpected engine issue. A valve in the engine dropped, causing significant damage and forcing the team to replace it overnight. The setback was a blow to Rackstraw’s confidence, but he remained optimistic about his chances for the weekend.

The team worked tirelessly to replace the damaged engine and ensure that the car was ready for qualifying. However, misfortune struck again during the qualifying session when Rackstraw suffered another engine failure. This time, the engine gave way completely, leaving him unable to set a competitive lap time and ending his chances of participating in the race.

“It was an incredibly tough weekend for us,” said Rackstraw. “To have two engine failures in one weekend is incredibly unfortunate. We put in a lot of hard work to prepare for this race, and it’s disheartening to have our efforts cut short by factors beyond our control.”

Despite the disappointment, Rackstraw remained positive and focused on the future. He acknowledged the challenges faced by himself and the team but emphasized their determination to bounce back stronger in the upcoming round in Port Elizabeth on the 17th of June.

“This is a setback, but it’s not the end,” Rackstraw stated. “We have a resilient team, and we’ll regroup, analyze what went wrong, and come back even stronger for the next race. Racing can be unpredictable, and engine failures are part of the sport. We’ll learn from this experience and use it as motivation for Round 4.”

The engine failures highlighted the importance of reliability in motorsport, as even the most meticulously prepared cars can encounter unforeseen issues. Rackstraw’s team, along with their sponsors RDSA, Sparco, Ravenol, SimGrid, and Investchem, will undoubtedly review their procedures and work towards preventing similar issues in the future.

While Rackstraw’s disappointing weekend at Zwartkops Raceway hindered his progress in the championship standings, he remains optimistic about his overall prospects. With several races remaining in the Global Touring Car Championship, there is ample opportunity to regain lost ground and challenge for the top positions.

“The championship is far from over,” Rackstraw emphasized. “We’ve shown our potential with the previous race win, and I have full faith in my team’s ability to address these setbacks. We’ll approach Round 4 in Port Elizabeth with renewed determination, aiming to make up for lost ground and prove our true capabilities.”

The upcoming race in Port Elizabeth will present a fresh opportunity for Rackstraw and his team to showcase their skills and demonstrate their resilience. The focus will be on regrouping, analyzing the issues faced at Zwartkops, and making the necessary adjustments to ensure a competitive showing in the next round.

As Rackstraw and his team work diligently to rectify the engine issues and prepare for Round 4, their determination and dedication will undoubtedly serve as the driving force behind their comeback. The setbacks faced at Zwartkops Raceway will only fuel their motivation to overcome adversity and strive for success in the remaining races of the Global Touring Car Championship.

Motorsport can be really cruel sometimes but it’s how you face the adversity that defines you as a driver. Rackstraw is determined now more than ever to have the Golf 8 GTI racing at the front end again. 

“It was just one of those weekends. I think at times like these it’s imperative that we keep a positive mindset and use this disappointment to fuel hunger and drive to come back even stronger in the next race.

Thank you to all my sponsors RDSA, SimGrid, Sparco, Ravenol, Investchem and RaceBook Media. Your support goes a long way especially when the going gets tough.

Thank you to Lee Thompson Racing for moving mountains and trying absolutely everything possible to get us out and racing. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t meant to be. It’s a pity we couldn’t give Volkswagen the show they deserved in front of their amazing state-of-the-art Advanced Driver Training Facility at Zwartkops. 

Lastly, I just want to thank all the supporters for coming out. The atmosphere was absolutely buzzing around the track on Saturday. Hopefully, we can put on a show for you next time out. I will see you all at the next race.”

All eyes now point to the next round in PE.

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