Welkom serves WesBank thriller
HENNIE GROENEWALD: Subaru's Groenewald holds off a stiff competition from BMW and Audi racers at the Phakisa Raceway on August 4, 2012.
A display of wholehearted racing, a surprise or two and a couple of first-time winners characterised Round 6 of the WesBank Super Series at the Phakisa Freeway in Welkom on Saturday, August 4.
Full darkness was not far away when Anthony Taylor and Etienne van der Linde put the finishing touches to what had been a pretty good day for BMW and, in particular, the BMW F30 team in Class A of the Production Car championship.
All the weekend's results
Taylor and van der Linde came home first and second in the 12-lap feature race after two six-lap races earlier in the day.
The opening six-lapper saw Taylor lead home former champion Leeroy Poulter, having a one-off drive in the BMW 335i, and van der Linde in a BMW clean sweep. From an inverted grid in race two, reigning champion Michael Stephen lead home Team Audi S4 team mate Tschops Sipuka, in a dominant display, with van der Linde and Taylor third and fourth.
In the feature event Stephen took third place ahead of Poulter and with closest championship rival Hennie Groenewald (Subaru) have a wretched day, the Port Elizabeth driver consolidated his championship lead.
Class T produced three different winners with Graeme Nathan (Volkswagen) consolidating his championship lead over arch rival Gary Formato (Ford) who also had a day to forget. Heat one saw a return of the Mini name with Gavin Cronje leading home team mate Lee Thompson and Nathan.
The inverted grid start to the second heat favoured Gennaro Bonafede (Volkswagen) who was comfortably clear of Thompson and Nathan. With the 12-lap feature race producing a high rate of attrition, Nathan romped home ahead of Bonafede and Devin Robertson who, somewhat fortuitously, gave the Renault Megane a podium finish on debut.
SHELBY CAN-AM, V8s
The first “joint venture” outing with the V8 Supercars being joined by the Shelby Can-Am brigade produced a pair of heats that indicate the merger has plenty of potential.
Race one proceedings in the GT1 category in the V8 Supercars were dominated by a pair of veterans in former champion Ben Morgenrood (Ford Falcon) and Franco di Matteo (Jaguar). Morgenrood led until a late puncture let di Matteo through with local favourite Danie Correia third (Chevrolet Corvette).
Race two saw no such misfortunes for Morgenrood, who finished comfortably ahead of di Matteo with Romano Sartori (Ford Mustang) on the podium for the first time this season. On the championship front Morgenrood went home with a healthy lead still intact.
Veteran Willie Hepburn and Ray Wilford (both Chev Corvette) shared the GT2 category wins as, behind them, little else happened to alter the championship picture.
Patrick Seddon (Chevrolet Lumina) and former champion Des Gutzeit (Ford Falcon) arrived at Phakisa separated by a single point. The pair then shared seconds and thirds with the status quo left unaltered.
On the Can-Am front, championship leader Brian Algar took the first heat from reigning champion Rui Campos and veteran Alan Eve. Algar then blotted his copybook with a huge off-track excursion in the second heat with Campos leading home Thomas Reib and the vastly experience Eve.
VW CUP, FORMULA VW
The VW Cup event produced a double for KwaZulu-Natal driver Shaun la Reservee who scored his first national championship wins. Two impressive drives saw la Reservee take the first heat ahead of reigning champion Devin Robertson and youngster teenager Kelvin van der Linde.
The KZN driver then lead home teenager Dewald Brummer – for his best result to date – and Robertson.
In the single-seater event, Jayde Kruger tightened his grip on the Formula VW championship with Matthew Merton edging ahead in the series. Kruger took two comfortable wins to widen the gap to Simon Moss who followed up with a fighting second place in race one with a disappointing seventh in heat two after losing his nose cone.
Nicholas van Weely took third place in race one and race two saw teenagers Mikey Taylor and Ernest van der Walt score their first podium finishes.
Merton went to Phakisa leading the Formula Midas title chase by one point from Werner Scholtz before a win and a third for Merton against a fourth and a second for Scholtz widened the gap.
A second and a win were a good return for Jason Campos with James Temple on the podium in race one with third ahead of Scholtz. In race two Campos led home Scholtz and Merton.
On the bike front, reigning champion Greg Gildenhuys (BMW) eased a little further ahead of Dave McFadden (Kawasaki) in the SA Superbike championship. In race one Gildenhuys, on his home track, led home the ever-improving Nicolas Grobler (BMW) and McFadden.
It was a different story in race two with McFadden hitting the front with four laps to go. He then romped away from Grobler and Gildenhuys with Chris Leeson (Ducati) taking a pair of fourth places.
Two second places also saw Clint Seller (Honda) tighten his hold on the SA Supersport title. A superb race one saw Seller finish second to Stephen Odendaal (Suzuki) who this year is competing in the Spanish championship, and veteran Lance Isaacs on another Honda.
Isaacs then took his first win of the season in race two leading home Seller and Brent Harran on a third Honda.
All the weekend's results