Round 2 of the Extreme Festival, which took place on 17 April at Zwartkops, produced fifth and 16th places for the VW Squadra Corse Polo Cup drivers.
Nathi Msimanga in car 28 had a great qualifying session, placing him in 5th position, which put him in the coveted Superpole. “Unfortunately he made a small mistake on his fastest lap and dropped one position to 6th. In race 1 he had a flying start, making his way to 5th place. His race craft was put to the test as he battled it out the entire race with JP van der Walt but he showed his mettle by quickly regaining his position every time he was overtaken,” says Elijah Gumbi, owner and manager of the Squadra Corse team.
“Unfortunately, Reaobaka (Baksi) Komane in car 16 didn’t have the best qualifying. He managed to place the car in 19th, which was nevertheless an improvement from the Friday free practice sessions. Going into turn 1 in Race 1 he spun around, putting him far behind the field, but to his credit he didn’t give up and pushed to catch up to the pack, finishing 18th,” says Gumbi.
In race 2 Msimanga started in 8th position and Komane started in 10th. “Both drivers had a brilliant start. At the end of lap 1, Nathi and Baksi were running 7th and 8th respectively. Nathi put in an all-out effort to catch the front pack, but with the lap times being so close, it was a big ask. Baksi had a challenging race. After making a small mistake on lap two, he dropped back to 14th place but fought to the end and after muscling in the mid pack, managed to move up to 13th place,” says Gumbi.
In race 3 Msimanga started 7th and Komane in 18th. “Nathi took full advantage of the start and wiggled his way to 5th. His consistency paid off and he held his position to the end. Baksi flew from his starting position to a very admirable 12th position. Overall the team had an amazing weekend with our best results to date in the Polo Cup,” says Gumbi.
“I was determined to show my true pace and ability after the disappointing first round at Killarney where I was involved in incidents in both races, putting me in last place. I knew I would need to have a good qualifying to avoid the chaos so I was over the moon when I cracked the top 6 and got into my first Superpole. For the races, I made sure I moved steadily forward. I learned some valuable skills which I will do my best to apply to coming races and hopefully keep moving forward in the rankings,” says Msimanga.