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2017 Inland Championship: Round 5 Preview

2017-06-08 14:41


Meyerton - The  fifth  round  of  the  2017 Inland  Championship  will visit  the rustic Midvaal  Raceway in  Meyerton outside  Vereeniging  for  the  second  time  this  year on June 10, 2017.  

As  the  championships  in  the various racing categories heat up the racing is expected to be explosive and closer than ever. The ever growing and popular Midvaal Historic Car Club will  look at boosting their numbers as they head  to  their  home  track.  

With  Phakisa  being  a  wet  race  the  championship  order  saw  a  few capitalising on the tricky conditions.  Expected  to  be  out  front  in  class  A  will  be  the  Firenza  Can  Am of  Eugene  Gouws  who  will  have  his hands full putting the power down through the twisty bits before he can stretch his legs on the back straight and bring us that beautiful roaring sound of the V8 engine.

The class D onslaught will be led by Shawn Smidt (Datsun 160Y) and should be challenged by Seef Fourie Snr (Datsun 160Y) and Andre de  Lange  (VW  Jetta  MK  1),  both  who  will  be  hoping  they  have  sorted  all  the  reliability  issues  with their cars.

After  Phakisa  there  was  a  shift  in  the  class  E  battle  with  Johan Coetzer  Snr  (Datsun  GX)  taking  the lead in class on points after an impressive performance. Brendon Parker (Datsun GX Coupe), lying in a strong  second,  will  be  joined  by  Ken  Price  (Datsun  GX  Coupe),  Johan  Coetzer  Jnr  (Datsun  GX)  and Rene  van  Rensburg  (Ford  Escort  Mk2)  in  their  challenge  on  the day.  

Jackie  Morrison  (Ford  Escort), who showed what he is capable of at Phakisa, will also be a strong contender for podium positions. The  tightly  contested  class  F  characterised  by  the  cocking  wheel  Datsun  1200  GX’s  of  the  Jensen brigade, represented by father Franz Jensen and his sons, Peder and Travis Jensen, will be met with a strong  challenge  from  the  likes  of  defending  champion  Jaques  Mostert  (Datsun  GX  Coupe)  and  Joe Soares  (Ford).  

Class  G  will  see  current  championship  leader  Anton  Vos  (Datsun  GX  Coupe) come under  pressure  from  the  likes  of  Johan  Roets  (Datsun  SSS),  Carel Vos  (Datsun  GX)  and  Johan Swanepoel  (Alfa).  The  class  H  battle  will  be  headed  up  by  Johan  Venter  (VW  Jetta)  lying  in  third overall  of  the  championship.  He  is  expected  to  once  again  face  fierce  competition  from  Danie  du Plessis (Ford Anglia) accompanied by Henri van Llelyveld (Mini).

The popular one-make manufacturer Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series will also add to the mix of exciting  racing  as  their  championship  starts  taking  shape.  After  some  improved  results  at  Phakisa, defending champion Julian Fameliaris (BMW E36 328i Turbo), will look at clawing his way back up the championship  ladder  once  again. He  will  however  face  a  strong  challenge  from  Lorenzo Gualtieri (BMW  E36  328i  Turbo) currently  trailing  by  a  mere  seven  points.  

Gualtieri  will  be  joined  in  this challenge  by  Dino  Fameliaris  (BMW  E36  M3  Turbo)  and  Stefano  Martinelli  (BMW  E36  328i  Turbo) who was his greatest threat at the first round of the championship at this venue. 

Man on a mission, lying second overall in the championship and first in class B, Paulo Loureiro (BMW E36 M3 GTS) will want to improve on his healthy lead and spate of good results. After a nightmare of a first round Riaan Woest (BMW E46 M3 GTR) will want to reduce the deficit and will hope that Rick Loureiro  (BMW  E30  3.2  CSL)  will  join  him  in  spoiling  Paulo  Loureiro’s  championship  campaign aspirations.

After obtaining full points at Phakisa, Philip Smit (BMW E46 M3) has now moved into third overall in the  championship  and  leading  class  C.  Trailing  by  a  mere  seven points,  Shane  Grobler  (BMW  E36 328i)  is  expected  put  up  a  tough  fight  for  the  top  step  on  the  podium.  

He  will  be  joined  by  Willie Erasmus  (BMW  E36  M3)  currently  in  third,  Antonie  Marx  (BMW  E46  M3)  and  Len-Henry  Gobey (BMW E36 M3). Class D is expected to also deliver top class action. With a mixed bag of results at Phakisa, currently in the  lead  of  the  class  and  Overall  Championship,  Jan  Eversteyn  (BMW  E36  328i)  will  be  hoping  for more consistent results. Lying in second and still in touch is Mike Grobler (BMW E46 M3) who shared in the spoils at Phakisa.

Making a welcome return after his crash at Red Star season newcomer Tiaan Flynn (BMW E36 318is Turbo) will be looking at opening his championship campaign with some solid results. They  will  however  be  kept  on  their  toes by  the  likes  of  Jimmy  Tsimenoglou  (BMW  E36  M3), Alan Hilligenn (BMW E36 328i) and Troy Cochran (BMW E46 325ti).

Guaranteed  to  deliver  action  will  be  the INEX  Legends  who  are  the  only  category  to  squeeze  three cars wide into almost every corner and have more lead changes than laps and sometimes more lead changes per lap than there are corners. After the last two rounds, Natal’s Richard Upton  is the man to  beat,  especially  after  his  hat-trick  of  victories  at  Phakisa  last  time  out,  a  bright  spot  on  an otherwise gloomy early winter’s day. Hot on his  heels is Jordan Larsson, who in fact won the last  of the three heats in the Goldfields only to  be demoted to second place with a  3 second  penalty, after passing Upton under a yellow flag on the last lap. He would love to make amends, and snatch a win or two of his own this time around.

Willie Erasmus and Richard Roux will also have an eye on the top spot  of  the  podium  after  strong  performances  in  round  4  which  were  compromised  by  mechanical issues.  Anro  Stadler  has  seen  his  early  season  dominance  disappear  with  some  outings  which  have also  been  hampered  with  mechanical  failure.  However  a  storming  drive from  the  back  in  the  third race  at Phakisa  in  a  borrowed  car  showed  his  determination  and  underlined  his  championship winning  aspirations.  

Young  Lion  Altan  Bouw  will  also  be  keen  to  flex  his  muscles  at  Midvaal,  after  a steadily improving first season. A slew of ever green stalwarts lines up alongside the fancied runners, headed by Richard van Heerden, Johan van der Venter, brothers Shjael and Shaun Nel, Steven Levin and Gerhard Roux. Anyone of them is capable of an upset on the day, and the tight and twisty venue offers plenty  opportunity  for  that, by  virtue  of  the  inverted  grids. Giles Moore, Stephanus  Nel, Marnus du Plessis, who will have a new car at his disposal, and Ian Upton complete the line-up. 

For the Yokohama Modified Production Car class it is a question of will it be the Honda’s or will it be the Golfs, with victories going to both so far this season. This class is filled with front wheel drive cars from  different  brands  all  challenging  for  the  honours.  

The top  VW  challengers  will  be George Economides, Paul Saayman, Paul van Niekerk and Adrian Dalton. The Honda challenge will come from Keegan  Pottas,  Dirk  Lawrence, Jeff  Langeveldt  and  Brendon  Hall  who  has  also  just  recently  turbo charged  his  car.  Yes  this  field  has  turbo  charged  and  normally  aspirated  cars  all  racing  one  another and the fact that the various drivers not only represent their brands but also different teams.

The Big  Boss  Auto  Super Saloons  bring  a  group  of  race  cars  that  normally  produce  the  fastest lap times  on  the  day  with  their V8’s, rotaries  and  turbo  charged  cars.  The  field  has  seen  wins  this  year from  young drivers  like  Devin  Robertson  in  the  Liqui  Moly  Corvette,  Amos  Cockeram  junior  in  the Hoosier Tyres Lumina and Lonika Maartens in the Royal Purple Lumina. The GT2 class is currently the class  that  can  be  expected to  deliver  good  action  as  it  encompasses the  turbo  charged  space  frame cars  which  are  getting  incredibly  fast.  Drivers  like  Marius Jacobs,  JP  Nortjie,  JP  Bolhman  will  be challenged  by  the  rotary  powered  cars  of  Jody  Vianna,  Brendon Martins,  Antonie  Marx  and  Richard Cooley.  

The  GT4  and  GT5  field  normally  have  very  close  racing as  the  turbo  charged  monoque  cars challenge  the  normally  aspirated  space  frame  cars  with  recent  good  results  coming  from  Riaan Draper, Joanne Cockeram and Paul Saayman.  Single seater race fans will be in for a real treat as the Historic Single Seaters are also on the track for the day with some very rare and valuable cars competing. The old gentleman of the sport do not hold back  even  though  the  value  of  some  of  the  cars  go  into  the  millions  as  these  cars  have  become  so rare and sought after by overseas buyers.

Entries expected on the day will be Alan Grant (Lotus 51A), Des Hillary (Dulon) and Shaun Hillary (Alexcis) After missing out on the Phakisa round the Formula Monoposto brigade will be race hungry. After his successful stint the previous round at Zwartkops in taking both race wins, John Maurien (VW Ray) will have his hands full in the Formula Libre category. He will come under serious pressure from the likes of  Sean  Harrington  (Ray  Formula  GTi)  who  favours  this  track and Johan  Botha  (Mygale  SJ99).  

The Formula  M  category  will  see  entries  from  Hylton  Morrow  (Formula  M  Kawasaki)  and  Charles Williamson (Formula M Suzuki).

Tickets  will  cost R50 per person while kids under 12 will go in free. Racing is expected  to start  at 10am. For more info regards the event at Midvaal contact Nino at 0827744285. 

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