The city of Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) will host the third round of the 2021 Global Touring Cars (GTC) championship this weekend, at the Aldo Scribante Race Circuit. This will offer Michael van Rooyen the opportunity to extend his lead at the top of the championship standings.

“We head to Aldo with a lead of only one point over Robert Wolk (Toyota Corolla), so there’s a tight battle on at the moment,” says Van Rooyen. The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA Corolla driver has been embroiled in a chase for the title with Wolk since the opening race of the season, and the ding-dong battle is clearly set to continue in Gqeberha.

“We’ve done some more testing, and refined our car even further,” continues the Rustenburg Rocket, as Van Rooyen is also known. “To make things even more interesting, this weekend’s second race will be contested over a period of 30 minutes, which is always interesting.”

At the same time, Van Rooyen’s teammate, Mandla Mdakane, is looking forward to the weekend from a different perspective: “We’ve been getting to grips with the new car as well as GTC racing in general, but I’ve gained a lot of confidence since the start of the season. I know the Aldo Scribante layout well, and I’m hoping for a strong result this weekend.”

Mdakane is currently in 5th place in the title chase, but with only 16 points separating him from the lead, and a gap of only four points to 4th place, the Johannesburg-based driver will be on the hunt for valuable points in Gqeberha.

This weekend’s race starts with practice sessions on Friday, before qualifying and both races on Saturday. The weekend’s Extreme Festival is run under strict COVID-19 protocols, and as such, no spectators will be allowed at the circuit.