MOTORSPORT

Toyota GR Cup Round 5: A Maiden Win for Brendon Staniforth

Mashigo kept his title hopes alive by clinching both the top spot and the win in the weekend's second race.

Ntsako Mthethwa
July 24, 2023
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Toyota GR Cup Round 5: A Maiden Win for Brendon Staniforth

It was a neck-and-neck situation at the legendary East London Grand Prix Circuit over the past weekend during Round 5 of this year's GR Cup.

The first GR Cup race of the day gave Brendon Staniforth from Maroela Media a taste of a maiden race win following a damp start due to the wet weather conditions. 

During the second race, the ever-fast Setshaba Mashigo marched to the title by taking both pole position and victory. 

However, things turned slightly sour at the back when Reuben van Niekerk rear-ended guest driver Mario De Sousa. This collision resulted in van Niekerk being sidelined for both races, while De Sousa returned to action later in the day.

With van Niekerk out, only six motoring scribes were left to compete. Mashigo posted the fastest time of the season during the qualifying session. Staniforth pipped to the post, and Chad Luckoff from AutoTrader settled for the third position. 

Denis Droppa (TimesLive), Mark Jones (The Citizen) and De Sousa finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. 

During the first race of the day, Mashigo was surprised to find Staniforth pulling ahead, only to find out he had his aircon switched on. 

"I switched the AC off and immediately saw my top speeds increase," said Mashigo after the event. "I tried to close the gap to Brendon, but it was too little, too late. I had to settle for second place, but I won't be making that mistake again!"

As for the rest of the pack, Droppa finished third, while Jones and De Sousa made the most of an opportunity to pass Luckhoff.

The last race of the day gave Mashigo a well-deserved victory, with Staniforth coming home in second position while he still triumphed over the weekend on aggregate times. 

"This was a fantastic weekend for me," said Staniforth. "I've been fairly decent in qualifying all year but struggled to translate that into race pace. This weekend everything clicked, and I was competitive from start to finish."

For the rest of the pack, Droppa remained in third place, Luckoff in fourth, De Sousa in fifth and Jones in sixth. 

The GR Cup drivers will head to the Killarney Race Circuit in Cape Town early in September for the next round. 

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