Signature Motorsport enjoyed their most successful weekend of the 2018 Sasol GTC2 Championship when Devin Robertson won the opening race and Brad Liebenberg won the second race at a soaking wet Aldo Scribante raceway in Port Elizabeth.
Liebenberg was in top form in his Ferodo MINI John Cooper Works, adding a runner-up race results to his tally, giving Signature Motorsport their first one-two result of the year.
The weekend started well on the newly re-surfaced racetrack with Liebenberg and Robertson topping the timesheets ion all three of Friday’s free practice sessions which were held in wet conditions.
Neither driver was able to replicate their form in Saturday’s dry official qualifying session, where Liebenberg claimed third place on the starting grid with Robertson two places further back.
Steady rain fell as race one approached, conditions which the team knew suited their cars. Robertson made an electric start to claim second place. He put race leader Charl Smalberger (VW Golf) under pressure and he went off the track. Liebenberg also made a great start, slotting in behind Keagan Masters (VW Golf), who he passed through the sweep. Liebenberg was soon onto his team-mates rear bumper. The MINIs proceeded to give the spectators a great show racing nose-to-tail and side-by-side for eight laps. Liebenberg passed Robertson and held the lead for three laps before Robertson re-took the position.
The second race, from an inverted grid, saw the two MINIs start at the back of the field. Working together, the Ferodo and Champion MINIs carved their way through the field, quickly catching the race leader. Liebenberg kept the pressure on Adrian Wood (VW Golf) who made a mistake and Liebenberg was through.
Robertson had a tough race; he was knocked off the track by Dayne Angel (Honda) while trying to pass and dropped down the order. He was in a tight mid-field battle with Smalberger and Trevor Bland (VW Golf) and once passed, caught the Honda, only to be knocked off the track again
He put his head down and caught the leaders once more, only for Masters to clash with the MINI driver. He crossed the line in third place.
Liebenberg, second in the GTC2 championship standings, reduced the gap to the points leader to 11 points, five ahead of Robertson in third place with four rounds and eight races remaining.
“It was a hard race”, said Liebenberg. “I had great pace in the wet and Devin and I had a great race. I overdrove in the last part of the race and made some mistakes. I also had to avoid Bob Neill who spun in front of me. In the second race, I passed a three-car train going into the kink which put me into second place. Wood made a mistake under pressure and I got through to win. It was a great day.”
“I had an awesome start in race one,” Robertson related. “Brad and I had a great fight in race one. In race two I felt like a ping-pong ball the way I was being knocked around by Angel and Masters. All in all it was an excellent day for the team.”
Signature Motorsport heads to Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria for round six on the 18th August.
Pictures: David Ledbitter