The dominance Tschops Sipuka has been enjoying in the Polo Cup series over the past few seasons could be seriously challenged this year as Robert Briggs finds his form early in the season.

The dominance Tschops Sipuka has been enjoying in the Polo Cup series over the past few seasons could be seriously challenged this year as Robert Briggs finds his form early in the season.

Currently holding second place overall after Round One at AA Kyalami in February, Briggs performed consistently last year and achieved some podium spots as well. His early performance would suggest that he would be the one to watch this season.

Briggs said the Engen Volkswagen Cup was not easy since the drivers were all very competitive. He did say that the car had felt "great" at Kyalami and is hoping that Cape Town will be the same.

"Beating the likes of Tschops, Derek Irving and Iain Pepper is extremely difficult so I expect 2004 to be a very hard season for me," Briggs said. Luckily I am the underdog and the pressure is not as much as it probably is for the guys who have won the championship before. "

The current leader, Sipuka is sitting with 32 points after winning both heats at Kyalami after starting from pole position. With two championships under his belt already Sipuka is looking forward to racing in Cape Town and dealing with the city's unpredictable weather.

"It is not unheard of to start off in dry weather and finish the race in heavy rain. I hope that won't happen although rain does not faze me. I feel just as comfortable in the wet as I do on hot tar," Sipuka said.

Briggs is also another thorny issue for the driver.

"Robert Briggs has been coming up strongly in the last few races, so I am looking forward to the additional challenge," Sipuka said.

After taking a year's break Sipuka's old competition, Derek Irving, is back. Currently lying in sixth position, but with Pepper and Stephen to contend with, the competition at the front of the pack is bound to be stiff.

Sipuka's teammate, Michael Stephen is lying in fourth place with 18 points after the first round, a position he's likely to improve upon as the season progresses.

Curt Alchin of Port Elizabeth, a multi-discipline racer who had been fairing very well in the past year, will fill the wild-card slot. In peak form he has the capability to beat the best in the competition, the same of which applies to Neil Stephen of East London. Another experienced racer, he has been quite quiet recently, but has the firepower to cause a few upsets.

Original article from Car