EASY WIN: Thomas Rieb took the honours in Saturday's African Endurance 90 Minutes of the Free State. (July 5 2015) Image: Supplied
WELKOM, Free State - Shelby Can Am regular Thomas Rieb came, saw and conquered the African Endurance Series regulars when he took his Shelby Can Am to victory through the Welkom dusk in the 90 Minutes of the Free State on Saturday (July 4) 2015.
Danish citizen Reib finished 1min10 ahead of Peter Jenkins’ Chevron B19 which was in turn 22sec clear of James Forbes’ DS Aer MC3.
Michael Jensen was fourth and a lap down in his black Shelby Can Am prototype with Jeff Gable and Sean Hewitt’s battling Birkin Sevens, Eric Salomon’s pretty Elf S06 and Etienne Strydom in another Birkin Seven a further two laps back.
Despite stopping twice to swop drivers, Martin Botha, Theo van Vuuren and Bradley Scorer drove the leading tin-top works Alfa Romeo GT home ahead of all the GT competitors in ninth overall to consolidate Botha’s strong championship position, while a perhaps even more impressive giant-killing act was that of 10th-placed Dewald Brummer and Bevan Williams’ VW Golf 1.
Graham and Tanya du Toit were in the leading GT car home (Porsche 996, 13th overall) ahead of Stefan Puschavez’ Porsche 911 RSR after many of the more fancied entries hit trouble.
Among them was double 2015 African Endurance winner in 2015 Francis Carruthers’ Juno which still managed to come home 15th out of 27 finishers and take a class win, while title hopeful Mike Verrier and Andrea Bate’s Shelbys, Collin Ellison’s Chevron, Craig Harper’s Harper and Willem van der Westhuizen’s Ferrari F430 were among the retirements from the 37-car grid.
The next race and final round of the 2015 African Endurance series will be at the rejuvenated Kyalami 9-Hour mid-November pending the completion of the Midrand circuit’s complete overhaul.