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Inland Championship Round 5: Review

2017-06-12 18:49

INLAND RACING: As winter set in properly, the fifth round of the 2017 Inland Championship showcased at the rustic Midvaal Raceway outside Vereeniging the past weekend. Image: Racepics.co.za

Racepics.co.za

Vereeniging - As winter set in properly, the fifth round of the 2017 Inland Championship showcased at the rustic Midvaal Raceway outside Vereeniging on June 10-11.

The early morning winters day started out with the cold conditions playing havoc with the timing equipment which would cause the racing to start almost an hour late. The day was however managed so well by the officials that racing finished by more than half an hour early.

The premier race category on the day, the Midvaal Historic Car Club delivered on all expectations and then some as they took full advantage of racing at their home track in front of their loyal supporters.

Well-deserved win

The surprise of the day would see Seef Fourie Snr (Datsun 160Y) put his car in pole position after qualifying. Shawn Smidt (Datsun 160Y) qualified in second position and Eugene Gouws (Chev Firenza Can Am V8) could only manage the third spot on the starting grid.

As the race kicked off it would be Fourie to take an early lead with Gouws on his heels. Also making an early break off the line would be Frank Davis (Ford Escort Mk1) with Brendon Parker (Datsun GX Coupe) and Rene van Rensburg (Ford Escort Mk2) in hot pursuit. It would take Gouws all of 5 laps to get the V8 past Fourie. Early on Parker got the better of Davis with Van Rensburg following his example a lap later.

The race ended with Gouws taking the chequered flag in a hard fought and well deserved win with Fourie in a close second with but half a second separating the pair across the line. Parker took a comfortable third place ahead of Van Rensburg. Finishing in fifth overall Davies took the class F win amongst the class E cars. Johan Swanepoel (Alfa Romeo Berlina) took the win in class G and Johan Venter (VW Jetta) secured the class H win.

Proper battle

The second race saw a determined Gouws start from pole position after his win in the first race with Fourie this time in hot pursuit. Unfortunately he would retire a lap later with mechanical issues and hand a glorious victory to Seef Fourie Snr. This time round class F man Frank Davis got the better of the class E Brendon Parker by finishing in second overall.

Anton Vos (Datsun GX Coupe) got his win in class G for the day in the second race after a proper battle amongst the class F guys and Swanepoel. Venter would get the double in class H.

The popular Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series rounded off the day’s proceedings with two nail biting races. Poleman Julian Fameliaris (BMW E36 328i Turbo) took an early lead in race 1 ahead of Lorenzo Gualtieri (BMW E36 328i Turbo). Gualtieri shot past Fameliaris at the end of the back straight under braking on the first lap. Fameliaris however did not take it lying down and challenged Gualtieri right up to the chequered flag in the 10 lap race.

Stefano Martinelli (BMW E36 328i Turbo) would finish in third and have the best seat to watch the two youngsters battle out front. Class B favourite Paulo Loureiro (BMW E36 M3 GTS) would take an early lead in class and not look back again to take the win in class B ahead of the duelling pair of Rick Loureiro (BMW E30 3.2 CSL) and Riaan Woest (BMW E46 M3 GTR).

The class C battle however went down to the wire with less than a second covering the top 4 in class over the line! Tyrone Dawson (BMW E36 M3) took an ecstatic first win for the season in class C. He was followed across the line by Philip Smit (BMW E46 M3) nursing his car home and just pipping Willie Erasmus (BMW E36 M3) with 0.046 of a second separating the pair across the line. Jimmy Tsimenoglou (BMW E36 M3) took a comfortable win in class D ahead of Alan Hilligenn (BMW E36 328i).

The second race with its customary inverted grid per class based on qualifying times would ensure for some action packed racing. Gualtieri would take an early lead with Martinelli and Fameliaris in toe. After a coming together between the pair on the first lap, Gualtieri was allowed to slip away and race off into the sunset for the overall and class A win. Paulo Loureiro would make easy work of getting past Woest on the second lap and once again took a comfortable second class B win for the day.

Riaan Woest and Rick Loureiro would however continue where they left off in the first race in another titanic battle. This time round Woest would get the better of Loureiro. In the consternation that existed on the first lap Andreas Meier (BMW E36 M3) would break away with a significant lead in class C to take his first class win. He was however chased down to the line by Erasmus finishing less than a second behind him wishing for but one more lap. Jimmy Tsimenoglou took the double win in class D.

Although there was a smaller field than expected, the Formula Monoposto category produced two very exciting races. Sean Harrington made a great start taking an early lead ahead of John Maurien (VW Ray) in the first race. Poleman Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Forza Vee) dropped down a few places allowing Tony Murray (Formula VW) to slot in behind Maurien with Johan Botha (Mygale) in tow.

Maurien however took the lead on lap 2 after Harrington started developing issues with his car only to retire a few laps later. That left Maurien, Mankonkwana, Murray and Botha to fight it out for the podium. Maurien took a well-deserved victory in the first race ahead of a duelling Murray in second and Mankonkwana in third.

The second race saw Charles Williamson (Formula M Suzuki) take a euphoric win from eighth on the grid ahead of a strong challenging Siyabonga Mankonkwana. This time round Tony Murray would finish in third.

Charl Roux led the field away for heat 1 of the INEX Legends ahead of Richard Upton, Shaun Nel and Richard van Heerde. After 8 pulsating laps, Richard Upton won from Shaun Nel, with Charl Roux third, Repsold fourth and van Heerde fifth. Larsson was docked 30 seconds for contact with Willie Erasmus late in the race and was classified thirteenth, while Anro Stadler again lost out on a good points’ finish after mechanical problems and he came home in seventh.

Larsson won heat 2 but was then disqualified for a technical infringement. That left Richard Upton to take his second win of the day, ahead of “Stompie” Stadler, and young lion Altan Bouw. Gerhard Roux was fourth, with Marnus du Plessis an excellent fifth.

The 10 lap third heat Jordan Larsson started at the front and wasted no time in stamping his authority on proceedings. While the field sorted itself out behind him he simply romped away. After 10 laps Larsson won, from Bouw and Erasmus, with Shjael Nel in fourth place, Charl Roux fifth and van Heerde sixth. Richard Upton finished an off form eighth behind Gerhard Roux, after steering arm problems hampered his race. Stadler again dropped out of contention after 8 laps, after his propshaft broke.

The Big Boss Auto Super Saloons saw Amos Cockeram Jnr (Jaguar V8) take the GTA class win in the first race and Devin Robertson (Corvette V8) taking the second race win. Jody Viana (Mazda spaceframe) took the double in class GT3 and Marius Jacobs (Nissan Spaceframe) in GT2. Both race wins in GT4 went to Karel Stols (Mazda MX6). The GT5 win went to Riaan Draper (Peogeot 206).

The Yokohama Modified Production Cars saw Dirk Lawrence (Honda Ballade) take the overall class A win. Don Mackay (VW Golf) took the win in class B whilst Shane Kroon (VW Golf) finished first in class C. Class T was won by Keagan Pottas (Honda Civic turbo). The Silver Cup win for the day went to Daniel Luwes (Honda Ballade).

The first race win in the Historic Single Seaters went to Stuart Greig (Lotus) ahead of Chris Clarke (Titan Formula Ford) and Pat Dunsieth (Merlyn Formula Ford). Ryan Budd (Dulon) would take the second race win ahead of Clarke and Dunsieth.

The Inland Championship will next head to the popular Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria on July the 29th for round 6 of the championship.

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