TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA’s Michael van Rooyen and Mandla Mdakane are primed for action in this weekend’s Extreme Festival at the East London Grand Prix Circuit. The pair will be putting their GTC Toyota Corollas through their paces from Friday, starting with a practice session. Qualifying and two races follow on Saturday, 28 August 2021.
Van Rooyen was the last winner of a GTC race, when he powered to victory in the second race in Port Elizabeth, but that was back in May, before an increase in the country’s COVID-19 lockdown level brought the series to a halt.
“I’m excited to be back in the car, and am looking forward to picking up where we left off in May,” says the Rustenburg businessman. “We’ve done some testing since our last race, and I always enjoy the challenge of East London’s fast corners, so I’m really looking forward to the weekend.”
Teammate Mdakane has shown his value earlier in the season, fighting off strong challenges from the rest of the field. But bad luck has plagued the Johannesburger, and he will be hoping for a clean run in East London.
“Yes, we’ve had a run of bad luck lately, but that is bound to change at some point. To make matters even more interesting, the weather prediction for this weekend promised cold and rainy weather, which I relish,” says Mdakane.
The East London Grand Prix Circuit is known for its fast sweeps, and Potter’s Pass is regarded as one of the trickiest and fastest corners in South African racing. The addition of wet weather could see some exciting action as South Africa’s top circuit racers take to the track.
In terms of the title fight, Van Rooyen is in second place, just 7 points behind fellow Corolla driver, Robert Wolk. The pair have been trading blows throughout the season, and the TGRSA driver will be looking to take the lead in the title fight this weekend. Mdakane’s poor luck sees him in sixth place at present, but well within reach of the drivers ahead of him, so a good result in East London may well see him improve his position in the standings.