The Zwartkops Speed Festival, a highlight of the National Extreme Festival, showcased an exhilarating weekend of racing as the 2024 GR Cup delivered intense action and unforgettable moments. Round 3 of the championship featured fierce battles, unexpected twists, and remarkable performances from motoring writers, all competing behind the wheel of the formidable GR Corolla.

Nurse Continues Dominance, But Competition Closes In

Sean Nurse (AutoTrader) extended his championship lead with a commanding performance at Zwartkops. Securing pole position during qualifying, Nurse set the stage for two thrilling races and emerged victorious in both, further solidifying his top standing in the series.

Qualifying Results:

GR Cup Media Challenge:

Sean Nurse (AutoTrader) – 1:11.980

Alex Shahini (CAR) – 1:13.310

Jaco van der Merwe (Citizen) – 1:13.416

Hannes Visser (La’t Wiel) – 1:14.030

Kumbi Mtshakazi (Kumbi-M on Cars) – 1:14.092

Bernie Hellberg (Driven) – 1:15.925

GR Cup Dealer Challenge:

Devon Scott (GR Driving Academy) – 1:12.417

Mario de Sousa (Motus Toyota) – 1:13.132

Theo Brits (NMI Toyota Menlyn) – 1:13.722

Johann Snyman (Rustenburg Toyota) – 1:13.850

Andries de Villiers (Rola Toyota) – 1:13.892

GR86 Development Academy:

Dawie van der Merwe (GR86) – 1:13.107

Setshaba Mashigo (GR86) – 1:13.640

Ryan Naicker (GR86) – 1:13.738

Kent Swartz (GR86) – 1:13.799

Niko Zafiris (GR86) – 1:13.811

Dylan Pragji (GR86) – 1:13.951

Race 1: Nurse Triumphs Amidst Fierce Competition

In Race 1, Sean Nurse (AutoTrader) led from start to finish, maintaining his lead despite significant pressure from Alex Shahini (CAR). Hannes Visser (La’t Wiel) showcased resilience with a strong third-place finish after a challenging previous round. Jaco van der Merwe (Citizen) and Bernie Hellberg (Driven) engaged in a tight battle for fourth and fifth, while Kumbi Mtshakazi (Kumbi-M on Cars) rounded out the media entries.

In the GR Cup Dealer Challenge, Devon Scott (GR Driving Academy) dominated, followed by Mario de Sousa (Motus Toyota) and Theo Brits (NMI Toyota Menlyn). Johann Snyman (Rustenburg Toyota) and Andries de Villiers (Rola Toyota) completed the top five.

The GR86 Development Academy saw Dawie van der Merwe claim victory, with Setshaba Mashigo and Ryan Naicker securing the next positions. Niko Zafiris and Dylan Pragji completed the top five.

Race 1 Results:

GR Cup Media Challenge:

Sean Nurse (AutoTrader) – 10:01.988
Alex Shahini (CAR) – 10:21.997
Jaco van der Merwe (Citizen) – 10:23.546
Hannes Visser (La’t Wiel) – 10:27.118
Kumbi Mtshakazi (Kumbi-M on Cars) – 10:24.909
Bernie Hellberg (Driven) – 10:44.131

GR Cup Dealer Challenge:

Devon Scott (GR Driving Academy) – 10:04.432

Mario de Sousa (Motus Toyota) – 10:12.038

Theo Brits (NMI Toyota Menlyn) – 10:24.127

Johann Snyman (Rustenburg Toyota) – 10:19.980

Andries de Villiers (Rola Toyota) – 10:27.952

GR86 Development Academy:

Dawie van der Merwe (GR86) – 9:53.733

Setshaba Mashigo (GR86) – 9:55.387

Ryan Naicker (GR86) – 9:59.689

Niko Zafiris (GR86) – 10:00.324

Dylan Pragji (GR86) – 10:00.670

Kent Swartz (GR86) – 10:01.016

Race 2: Nurse Secures Another Victory

The second race of the weekend saw another masterclass from Sean Nurse (AutoTrader), who managed to fend off fierce competition to secure his second win of the day. Alex Shahini (CAR) finished a close second, continuing to demonstrate his strong form. Hannes Visser (La’t Wiel) rounded out the podium in third place. Jaco van der Merwe (Citizen) and Bernie Hellberg (Driven) maintained their competitive streaks, finishing fourth and fifth respectively, with Kumbi Mtshakazi (Kumbi-M on Cars) completing the media entries.

In the GR Cup Dealer Challenge, Devon Scott (GR Driving Academy) once again led the pack, followed by Mario de Sousa (Motus Toyota) and Theo Brits (NMI Toyota Menlyn). Johann Snyman (Rustenburg Toyota) and Andries de Villiers (Rola Toyota) rounded out the top five.

The GR86 Development Academy saw Dawie van der Merwe secure another victory, followed by Setshaba Mashigo and Ryan Naicker. Niko Zafiris and Dylan Pragji finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Race 2 Results:

GR Cup Media Challenge:

Sean Nurse (AutoTrader) – 10:06.328

Alex Shahini (CAR) – 10:18.303

Hannes Visser (La’t Wiel) – 10:19.687

Jaco van der Merwe (Citizen) – 10:27.725

Kumbi Mtshakazi (Kumbi-M on Cars) – 10:30.782

Bernie Hellberg (Driven) – 10:31.336

GR Cup Dealer Challenge:

Devon Scott (GR Driving Academy) – 10:05.678

Mario de Sousa (Motus Toyota) – 10:14.795

Theo Brits (NMI Toyota Menlyn) – 10:28.348

Johann Snyman (Rustenburg Toyota) – 10:38.502

Andries de Villiers (Rola Toyota) – 10:30.345

GR86 Development Academy:

Dawie van der Merwe (GR86) – 9:58.062

Setshaba Mashigo (GR86) – 10:00.912

Ryan Naicker (GR86) – 10:04.632

Niko Zafiris (GR86) – 10:04.856

Dylan Pragji (GR86) – 10:05.337

Kent Swartz (GR86) – 10:07.064

Next Up: Aldo Scribante Raceway

The GR Cup now heads to Aldo Scribante Raceway for Round 4, promising more high-speed thrills and intense competition. Fans can stay tuned for updates, race highlights, and exclusive behind-the-scenes content on the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa website and social media channels.