DRIFT SERIES RAISED THE ROOF: The Supadrift series was held at Killarney racetrack earlier in July 2016 for Round 3 of the Western Cape regionals. Image: Reynard Gelderblom
Cape Town - Fierce battles and edge-of-your-seat entertainment awaited the crowd who braved the winter chill for Round 3 of the 2016 WPMC Supadrift Western Cape Regionals championship at the Killarney International Raceway on Saturday, July 16 2016.
With Jason Webb attending to international commitments, this would be an ideal opportunity for some of the other frontrunners to capitalise on the points on offer. However, the day would see quite a few shake-ups.
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Another notable absentee from the line-up on the day was Shane Green in his BMW. With two of top-contenders already not present, defending series champion Daniel Blaser had a reason to smile as the competitors prepared for the day ahead.
Jacques Lemmer continues his return to competitive racing in 2016 and was one of the first to arrive in the pitslane.
Competition heating up
This round also saw a welcome return for Faheem Salie following repairs to his Toyota Supra. Also pulling-in just in time for the first practice session was Noer Asmodien.
The upsets would start very soon. The first practice session almost brought a halt to Blaser’s day entirely as his Nissan suffered an engine failure. Not being able to make qualifying would result in Blaser not bagging any points on the day.
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Matthew Benas from Team CVP Drift would however not let his champion go home empty-handed and loaned his Nissan 350Z to his driver to compete. And Blaser did not just complete a conservative run for points either - treating the fans to an exciting second run in qualifying.
The amount of entries on the day always meant that the eliminators would start with a Top-8 and unfortunately Blaser would not make the cut in what’s essentially a borrowed road car - despite his sincere effort.
BIG SMOKE, NO PROGRESS: Daniel Blaser put on a great show in a borrowed car. Image: Reynard Gelderblom
Top 8 shootout
The Top-8 got underway with an all-BMW affair. Yaseen Damon had not put a wheel wrong all day and was up to the challenge of battling Lemmer. The first run was a closely-contested affair; however Lemmer showed great skill and style to progress to the semi-finals.
Battle number two saw Christopher Long progressing by default against Juan Stemmet following a mechanical failure for the latter.
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The third battle saw Salie pitted against Izak van Zyl in an all-Toyota affair. Both these competitors bring a different style of competing to the table and following two close duals it was Salie who slightly out-edged the Van Zyl to progress. Aqil Parker and Asmoedien concluded the Top-8 eliminators with Asmoedien progressing.
The Driver-of-the-day award went to Van Zyl.
Long had a solid day behind him already, but a shot at the finals would mean beating Lemmer. Despite a valiant effort from Long, Lemmer would continue his epic form to progress.
Moving to the semi's
The second semi-final was a smoky all-Toyota Supra affair between Asmodien and Salie. Scoring this one would be a difficult challenge, but with the points tallied up Asmoedien secured the second spot in the finals.
Both finalists came into the competition with a great amount of experience and having earned the respect of their fellow competitors and spectators alike through the years.
As the last bit of sunlight bathed the Killarney oval section competition got underway providing two titanic scraps to end of action-packed day. Both competitors were out to force the other’s hand at each given opportunity.
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While Asmoedien is one of the best to deliver on style, Lemmer is a master of technique. This battle was not easy to call as everyone awaited the announcement at the podium ceremony.
Salie emerged victorious against Long in the battle for third place - the driver completing one of his best days in the competition to date. Lemmer’s comeback path took him to the top-step of the podium with Asmoedien finishing a very worthy second.
WINNERS' PODIUM: The podium - congrats to Faheem Salie, Jacques Lemmer and Noer Asmoedien. Image: Reynard Gelderblom.