What to do when the South African racing season is over? If you're as keen as siblings Jeffrey and Robyn Kruger, you find somewhere else to race.
The two finished seventh and 11th in this year's single-make Volkswagen Cup series for Polo Vivo race cars so, when the chance came up to compete in the penultimate round of the Volkswagen Polo R Cup India championship on the last weekend in November at the Buddh International Circuit near New Delhi, they grabbed it.
Jeffrey said: “It was a Festival of Speed-type of race meeting. There were many different kinds of racing taking place and there was a very good vibe at the circuit. The main grandstands were full on race day - and spectators paid no entry fee to get in either.”
UP THE SHARP END
The Krugers took part in two practice sessions on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and two races on the Sunday - and Jeffrey was right at the sharp end of the field from the outset, posting the fastest times in each of Friday's two practice sessions. Qualifying on Saturday produced similar results, this time with Jeffrey posting a time 1.5 seconds faster than his nearest rival.
“We raced on Sunday and there was a podium ceremony and press conference afterwards as well,” said Jeffrey. “There was a very professional atmosphere at the circuit, it was very F1 in its approach.”
Sunday's racing saw Jeffrey leading the first race right up until the final lap. With a lead of nearly a lap, a technical gremlin put his Polo into limp mode, robbing him of power, and he had to nurse the car home in second, while Robyn finished 10th.
VERY DIFFERENT CARS
An inverted grid for Race 2 saw Jeffrey start seventh, crossing the line in third by the time the chequered flag dropped; Robyn improved her placing to eighth.
“The cars there are very different to what we race here in South Africa,” explained Jeffrey. “They have anti-lock braking, power steering and dual-clutch transmissions, lots of driver aids - but they aren't much quicker because they understeer quite a lot compared to the local cars. You are also very limited in what changes can be made.”