Titles won, some dangle, in Cape
PARALLEL UNIVERSE:Terry Wilford and Ben Morgenrood head side-by-side into Turn 1 at Killarney. Image: TONY ALVES
Cape Town – Championships were settled, others left dangling, after a dramatic eighth and penultimate round of the WesBank Super Series at Killarney on Saturday (Sept 22, 2012).
Both motorcycle championships on offer, both Bridgestone Production Car titles and the Formula VW championship were settled before the series ends at Kyalami in November. Two other title races – the Engen VW Cup and Shelby CanAm – will go all the way to the wire at the Midrand circuit.
Two wins gave Greg Gildenhuys (BMW) his third South African Superbike championship for the third year in a row. With closest challenger Dave McFadden (Kawasaki) on overseas duty for the last two rounds, Gildenhuys had a comfortable run in to the title.
After winning the first heat from Nicolas Grobler (BMW) and Chris Leeson (Ducati), the task for Gildenhuys was made a little easier in race two when Grobler was penalised for a jump start. That dropped him down to seventh and Gildenhuys, finishing ahead of Leeson and Ronald Slamet (BMW), was home and dry and the first rider to win the Superbike title three years in succession.
The SA Supersport championship went the way of Clint Seller (Honda) but the title chase had an unfortunate ending. Seller only had to finish ahead of veteran team mate Lance Isaacs in both heats to make sure of the title. Seller duly won the first heat from local favourite Isaacs and teenager Brent Harran on a third Honda. Isaacs then crashed heavily early in the second heat. The race was red flagged and the championship done and dusted.
After the restart Seller put the finishing touches to the championship by coming home ahead of Steven Odendaal (Suzuki) who has been racing in the Spanish championship and was making a rare local appearance. Third was Harran to complete a day of mixed fortunes, given the Isaacs accident, for the Honda squad.
Two second places and a win sealed back to back Class A championships for Michael Stephen (Audi S4) in the Bridgestone Production Car series. Stephen overcame a workshop injury during the week, which resulted in severe facial burns, to continue the consistent form he has shown throughout the season.
Stephen’s job was made a little easier by two non-finishes for closest rival Hennie Groenewald (Subaru) and a disappointing day for Anthony Taylor in the Afrox BMWF30. A third place in the 12 lap feature race was the BMW team’s only reward.
Groenewald and Melvill Priest (Audi S4) took wins in the two eight lap back to back sprint races that are part of the Bridgestone format. Stephen then romped away with the feature event ahead of Priest and Taylor.
A win, a second and a third also settled the Class T championship in favour of Graeme Nathan (Golf6) ahead of arch rival Gary Formato in the Castrol Ford Focus. Formato took two wins but unofficial scoring left him one point shy of having a mathematical chance of sneaking in the back door at Kyalami.
Veteran Ben Morgenrood (Falcon) moved a step closer to the GT1 championship in the V8 Supercar championship with a win and a third. Morgenrood came in ahead of Larry Wilford (Fuchs Ford Falcon) and closest challenger Franco di Matteo in theatre Batteries Jaguar.
RED FLAG OUT
Di Matteo then dropped out of the second heat to all but scupper his title hopes. Terry Wilford, in a second Fuchs Ford Falcon, then led home father Larry in a race that was red-flagged after eight laps.
The WesBanks run in conjunction with the Shelby CanAm category and an off road excursion by Andrew Strike, in the Strike 1 Racing CanAm, brought out the red flag. After the restart reigning champion Rui Campos (CanAm) put the finishing touches to a second win on the day – which left the championship on a knife edge.
Campos closed to within three points of Brian Algar (CanAm), who had to fight hard for two second places, with the pair set for a Kylami showdown. Third places went to Sean Greve (CanAm) and Hanno Pengilly in the Azura retreats CanAm.
The GT2 category in the V8 Supercar series saw Patrick Seddon (Lumina) take two wins that also settled the championship issue. Closest rival Des Gutzeit (Falcon) missed this meeting and his brace of wins left Seddon home and dry.
A miserable day for championship leader Kelvin van der Linde (VW Polo) also left the Engen VW Cup championship poised on a knife edge. Van der Linde arrived at Killarney with a 35 point lead in the championship – and went home with his lead over reigning champion Devon Robertson, in the Big Boss Auto VW Polo, slashed to seven points.
MAIDEN WIN FOR JORDAN
A mechanical malady and a tangle with Kyle Barnes (VW Polo) saw van der Linde register two non finishes. A fifth and a third brought Robertson within sniffing distance of back to back titles.
Race one produced a maiden win for Jordan Pepper (VW Polo) ahead of local hero Kosie Weeyers (VW Polo) and Shaun la Reservee in the Alpine Motors VW Polo. Weyers then turned the tables on Pepper in race two with Robertson completing the podium.
Two wins for the ever consistent Jayde Kruger (FVW) clinched the Formula VW championship – with Simon Moss (FVW) one point shy of taking the championship to the wire at Kyalami. Kruger comfortably won both heats ahead of Moss with teenager Ernie van der Walt (FVW) having his best day of the season with two thirds.
The Midas Formula 1600 championship will also be settled at Kyalami after Werner Scholtz (Mygale) and reigning champion Matthew Merton (Mygale) had disappointing days. Scholtz led Merton by three points at the start of the day but was hit by a gearbox problem in race one with Merton third behind Jason Campos (Mygale) and James Temple in the GWM Mygale.
Race two produced another win for Jason Campos with Scholtz second ahead of Keegan Campos, in the second Mygale, and Merton. That left the championship issue unresolved with Scholtz and Merton also headed for a Kyalami shootout.
Bridgestone Production Cars
Race 1 – Class A: 1 H Groenewald (Subaru); 2 M Stephen (Audi S4); 3 M Priest (Audi S4)
Class T: 1 G Formato (Ford Focus); 2 D Robertson (RenaultMegane); 3 G Nathan (VW Golf6).
Race 2 – Class A: 1 M Priest (Audi S4); 2 M Stephen(Audi S4); 3 T Sipuka (Audi S4)
Class T: 1 G Nathan (VW Golf6); 2 S Duminy (Ford Focus);3 G Formato (Ford Focus)
Race 3 – Class A: 1 M Stephen (Audi S4); 2 M Priest (Audi S4); 3 A Taylor (BMW F30)
Class T: 1 G Formato (Ford Focus); 3 L Thompson (Mini).
GT1: 1 B Morgenrood (Ford Falcon); 2 L Wilford (Ford Falcon); 3 F di Matteo (Jaguar)
GT2: 1 P Seddon (Lumina)
GT1: 1 T Wilford (Ford falcon); 2 L Wilford (Ford Falcon); 3 B Morgenrood (Ford Falcon)
GT2: 1 P Seddon (Lumina)
Race 1 – 1 R Campos; 2 B Algar; 3 S Greve
Race 2 – 1 R Campos; B Algar; 3H Pengilly
Engen VW Polo Cup
Race 1 – 1 J Pepper; 2 K Weyers; 3 S la Reservee
Race 2 – 1 K Weyers; 2 J Pepper; 3 D Robertson
Race 1 – 1 J Kruger; 2 S Moss; 3 E van der Walt
Race 2– 1 J Kruger; 2 S Moss; 3 E van der Walt
Midas Formula 1600
Race 1 – 1 J Campos (Mygale); 2 J Temple (Mygale); 3 M Merton(Mygale)
Race 2 – 1 J Campos (Mygale); 2 W Scholtz (Mygale); 3 K Campos (Mygale).
Race 1 – 1 G Gildenhuys (BMW); 2 N Grobler (BMW); 3 C Leeson (Ducati
Race 2 – 1 G Gildenhuys (BMW); 2 C Leeson (Ducati); 3 R Slamet (BMW).
Race 1 – 1 C Seller (Honda); 2 L Isaacs (Honda); 3 B Harran (Honda)
Race2 – 1 C Seller (Honda); 2 S Odendaal (Suzuki); 3 B Harran (Honda).