Bikes, cars thrill at Zwartkops
LEADING THE WAY: Veteran Hennie Groenewald dominated in the feature race of the Production Car class, which he led from start to finish. Image: Quickpic
Warm weather and hot racing proved the perfect panacea to spectators emerging from the winter chill to take in the action from the seventh round of the WesBank Super Series at Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria on Saturday, August 28, 2012.
Topping the bill in terms of sheer entertainment and do-or-die racing was, once again, the two-wheeler brigade in the Supersport and Superbike categories.
FULL POINTS FOR GILDENHUYS
Reigning Superbike champion Greg Gildenhuys (BMW) took hard-earned back-to-back victories and a full house of 50 points on his way to putting distance between him and his closest rivals as he seeks a third successive title.
Nicholas Grobler (BMW) was again in top form, robbed of an almost-certain second place in race one by a broken gear selector – he was forced to lean over and change gear by hand for the last two laps and dropped to fourth at the finish behind Chris Leeson (Ducati) and Ryan Ottens (BMW).
He more than made up for it in race two, leading Gildenhuys on laps two and three before hounding the champion to the chequered flag and losing by just one hundredth of a second. Leeson was again third.
Young Brent Harran (Honda) took a maiden win in the opening Supersport race ahead of his veteran team mate Lance Isaacs and Steven Odendaal (Suzuki). Clint Seller (Honda) fell while leading two laps from the finish and Cam Petersen (Honda) crashed out of second place on the last lap while challenging Harran.
Seller made no mistake in race two, leading from Dean Vos (Kawasaki), Odendaal, Harran, Isaacs and Nicholas Kershaw (Kawasaki). Just seven tenths of a second covered second to fourth with five bikes at one stage contesting second place and arriving at some corners four abreast.
PRODUCTION CAR ACTION
The Bridgestone Production Car brigade dished up the usual top-class racing with Hennie Groenewald (Subaru WRX STi) taking a comfortable lights-to-flag victory in the feature race ahead of the Audi S4s of defending champion Michael Stephen and an impressive Tschops Sipuka.
Groenewald did his championship chances no harm with a win in the first of the back-to-back sprint races earlier in the day ahead of Stephen and former champion Anthony Taylor (BMW 335i). Etienne van der Linde (BMW 335i) won the reverse grid second sprint from team mate Taylor and Stephen.
Lee Thompson, who gave the new Mini Cooper its maiden win in the last round at Phakisa Freeway, reinforced the Mini’s potential by winning class T in both the opening sprint race and the feature race.
Championship leader Graeme Nathan (Golf GTi) was second ahead of Gavin Cronje (Mini Cooper) in the feature race and strengthened his championship lead by finishing second in the opening sprint and winning the second sprint. Both Minis ran into cooling problems in race two.
The second combined outing of the V8 Supercars and Shelby Can-Am sports cars saw lots of action in the large field around the confines of the short Zwartkops circuit. In GT1, championship leader Ben Morgenrood (Falcon) scored a win and a third,
FRANTIC POLO CUP
Franco di Matteo (Jaguar) was second in both races and third place in race one went to Larry Wilford (Falcon). GT2 honours in race one went to Ray Wilford (Corvette) from Willie Hepburn (Corvette) and championship leader Patrick Seddon (Lumina), who was involved in a contact with a Shelby Can-Am.
Race two went to Hepburn ahead of Seddon and Ray Wilford.
Alan Eve (Shelby Can-Am) won the opening sports car category from the Can-Ams of Brian Elgar and Craig Shorter. Rui Campos (Can-Am) won race two from Elgar and Ferdi van Niekerk (Can-Am).
The usual frantic VW Polo Cup action saw defending champion Devin Robertson and Kyle Barnes take the wins from young Jordan Pepper in both races.
Championship leader Kelvin van der Linde and Rickie Napier. The 16-year-old Van der Linde saw his championship lead eroded to 35 points when he made a mistake on the opening lap of race two and dropped from fifth to 19th. He did well to recover to finish ninth.
Simon Moss and championship leader Jayde Kruger each scored a first and a second in the two races in a poorly supported Formula Volkswagen category, which only attracted nine entries. Nicholas van Weely was third in each race.
The Midas Formula 1600 category (formerly Formula Ford) was dominated by Werner Scholtz (Mygale), winning the opening race from James Temple (Mygale) and Matthew Merton (Mygale) in race one and from Merton and Jason Campos (Mygale) in race two.