GR Cup

GR Cup

In order to celebrate the overflowing hype and admiration for the GR Yaris, Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa has launched the GR Cup driven by Netstar. This racing series will  tag onto the GTC calendar and will see 6 journalists from the motoring press, of varying backgrounds and racing experience, take to the track and compete against each other in 7 calendar races, highlight the incredible performance of this GR vehicle.

The racing series is registered with Motorsport South Africa and the vehicles have been modified to ensure the safety of all participants. Whilst all safety precautions have been taken care of, there has been no performance enhancement to any of the vehicles. This means our fans will be able to witness the GR Yaris in all its original glory.


	
	
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LERATO MATEBESE

Driver #3
GR cup
A dyed-in-the-wool, self-confessed and unabashed petrolhead, Lerato’s obsession with cars goes back into the 80s when his dad bought a pre-loved Ford Escort 1600 Sport - white with the requisite black stripes. From then on, the automotive bug had truly and properly bitten.   A firm lover of normally aspirated high-performance cars, preferably in manual and rear-wheel driven, he loves cars the old-school way. When not reviewing cars, chatting to automotive figure heads, and banging at his keyboard to churn out motoring content, he spends a great deal of time with his wife and young family, enjoys the outdoors and fine wine.   His motoring career began in 2006 when he was awarded the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists’ bursary. In that year, he interned at the motoring desks of national Newspapers and magazines such as The Sowetan; City Press; The Business Day; TopCar and Cars in Action to name a few. He subsequently spent 11 years as deputy motoring editor at The Business Day Newspaper before editing the glossy motoring magazine, DRIVEN. He’s currently publishing editor of TopGear SA Magazine and director of Clipping Point Publishing.

	
	
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MARK JONES

Driver #23
GR cup
I am a born and bred Durban, KZN boy, and when I came along, my parents were already well into all sorts of amateur racing in the 60’s and 70’s, from the streets to the tracks. I also spent many of my formative years lying under a car in the workshop with my father learning new words I was never allowed to repeat in front of my mother. I am a professional enthusiast, and a true amateur racer that is always keen to learn. Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks after all. It’s this enthusiasm over the years that has seen me racing anything from a BMX to Chinese bakkies, right down to a Snowmobile, with a few bikes and cars thrown in between. My time now is spent racing wild real wheel drive BMWs in the Regional Tour, where I have managed to do okay and pick up the odd win and an overall championship along the way. I started out in the corporate world chasing money, but back in 2000, I decided I wanted to chase my passion rather and got involved with various publications in roles from Car Cleaner to Managing Editor. These days I am living out my life as a specialised High Performance Road Tester. Growing up on the tracks. The excitement, the drama, the sounds, and the smells of race day are amplified ten-fold when you are in the pits and have a car in the race. My fellow competitors are no mugs, and I am sure all the love will vanish the moment the visor comes down, so I think that if I can finish in one of the podium positions at the end of the season, I would have done myself and my publication, the Citizen Motoring, proud. But seriously, I believe that if we have fun, and the GR brand is showcased, and all the cars come home in one piece, then everybody involved in this initiative will be a winner.

	
	
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ASHLEY OLDFIELD

Driver #32
GR cup
Ash has been involved in some form of motorsport or automotive endeavour since he first sat on a PW50 at the age of 4. Most of his formative years were spent crashing motocross bikes, before he transitioned to the relative safety of karts. He raced against some of the best-known names in SA motorsport for a while, before he reluctantly gave up racing to study journalism. Ash has worked for and contributed to magazines, newspapers and online publications during his 13-year career as a motoring journalist. Although he is currently the manager of the content department at Cars.co.za, he still dreams of becoming a fully-fledged racing driver one day.  Ash also won the 2013 version of GT Academy, a competition in which SA’s fastest sim racers competed against each other for a seat in an overseas track-racing series. He raced GT4 and GT3 spec race cars in Europe before coming back to South Africa to join the Cars.co.za team. He is eagerly looking forward to shedding some of that racing rust in the Yaris GR Cup series. The chance to go racing again will sharpen that competitive edge that all racing drivers crave and going up against colleagues will certainly add a little extra niggle and banter to race days.

	
	
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SEAN NURSE

Driver #33
GR cup
Sean grew up in the East Rand just outside of Johannesburg and from a young age he developed a passion for cars and motorsport in particular, thanks to his father. Ayrton Senna was another catalyst for Sean’s passion and remains his favorite ever racing driver. Since his dreams of racing for a living did not materialize, he pursued a degree in Journalism and subsequently received a bursary from the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists before going on to be a motoring journalist and then editor of a motoring newspaper for six years before making the transition to digital media, where he has spent the past two years. While not the most experienced racing driver, he has a few seasons of competitive karting under his belt. His goals for the season are to improve his driving ability, hones his race craft and more importantly, enjoy his first season in a pukka racing series.

	
	
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THOMAS FALKINER

Driver #111
GR cup
Thomas Falkiner is a well-seasoned motoring scribe who’s been in the game since 2008. Reasonably well known for his irreverent car reviews in the Sunday Times Lifestyle supplement, the 39-year-old now specialises in digital content creation and administration for TimesLIVE Motoring. Although having a face for podcasts he also makes the odd appearance on Ignition TV. A longtime motorsport fan whose fire was first ignited at the tender age of two when his late father took him to watch a practice session for the 1985 Formula 1 Grand Prix, Falkiner made his amature racing debut at the Kyalami round of the 2009 Springbok Revival behind the wheel of a 1965 Ford Mustang GT-350R replica. After securing Sunday Times sponsorship he went on to campaign this 450hp pony car in various classes of the Historic Tour where he won his class championship on two occasions. In 2016 Falkiner switched over to the vastly more competitive realms of the local Lotus Challenge race series where he pilots a battleship grey Taylon 7 against the likes of Jeffery Kruger and Mackie Adlem. Although yet to win the championship he has finished runner-up three times. Notorious for choking during competitive media challenges, Falkiner’s sole goal for the 2022 GR Cup Yaris Challenge​ is to not finish stone last in the final season rankings. Although he generally views social media with disdain, you can follow him through the following channels.

	
	
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JEANETTE KOK-KRITZINGER

Driver #142
GR cup
Jeanette has petrol in her veins and was born with a steering wheel in her hands. Her parents were involved in rally racing and her mother was still navigating for her father, unaware of the fact that she was three months pregnant. They always said that this little boy or girl will be born with a steering wheel in his or her hands and yes, that is why Jeanette’s got a passion for motorsport and anything wheels related. She started car circuit racing during 1995 in the WC Regional Clubmans. She then progressed to WC Regional GTi Challenge, National Group N Production Cars Series and National Polo Cup. She is currently still the ‘Fastest Lady in South Africa’ after setting a landspeed benchmark for women in 1999, with a Ford Mustang. As a motoring journalist, Jeanette has 23 years’ experience as a radio presenter and won the SAGMJ Motoring Journalist of the Year for the Category Radio Motoring and Radio Motorcycles a few times. She is currently the presenter for the radio motoring show, Wiele2Wiele with her husband, Carl, a fellow petrolhead. She is also a mother of two boys, Zian (14 years) and Xander (12 years). What makes racing in the GR Cup extra-special for her, is the fact that she raced for Toyota South Africa in Group N Production Cars with a Toyota Tazz, more than 20 years ago. Going full circle and now racing for Toyota Gazoo Racing SA, her aim is to enjoy every moment and inspire others with a life lesson: You are never too old - never stop dreaming and never say never!

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