The 2022 Global Touring Cars (GTC) Championship is set to hot up at Round 5 this weekend, which takes place at the iconic East London Grand Prix Circuit in the Eastern Cape this weekend. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA will again field its three Toyota Corolla GTCs with young Saood Variawa, currently in second place on the points log, leading the charge for the team.

“Our Red Star outing brought mixed results for the team,” says Michael van Rooyen, driver for TGRSA. “Saood went really well, despite some niggles in the car. We’ve spent the last few weeks sorting out those problems, and hope to see him do well again this weekend.”

Van Rooyen and Mandla Mdakane both struggled to score meaningful points at the Red Star Raceway, which constituted Round 4 of the 2022 championship. With that said, they’ll be aiming for better results at the upcoming event.

“East London has traditionally been good to us, so we’re looking forward to the weekend,” continues Van Rooyen. “Furthermore, I have to support Saood in his quest for the title, so it promises to be an interesting weekend all round.”

Variawa is just six points behind championship leader, Robert Wolk, who campaigns a privately entered Toyota Corolla in the GTC championship. Van Rooyen is in 5th on the points log, 40 points off the lead. As such, his focus is shifting to a support role for Variawa, rather than fighting for outright wins at this point.

Mdakane finds himself in 7th place in the standings, and will be aiming to secure more points in East London this weekend. The Johannesburg-based driver has struggled with a variety of small issues in his car over the season to date, but a clean run this weekend is sure to see him fight for good results.

This weekend’s weather in East London is predicted to be dry on Friday and Saturday, with a cold front that should arrive on Sunday. However, if the front moves faster than predicted, the drivers may have to contend with wet conditions, which could make things interesting on a circuit that is home to two of South Africa’s fastest corners – Potter’s Pass and Rifle Bend.

The action gets under way with free practice on Friday, and will be followed by a qualifying session and two races on Saturday. As has been the GTC tradition since its inception, the second race will feature a reverse grid – which means the winner of Race 1 will start in last place, making for exciting racing.