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Drama as Juno wins African 6-Hour race

2014-02-24 07:46

TALK ABOUT A HOT LAP! The V10 Dodge Viper of Charl Arangies burst into flames while refuelling at the first pit stop. Image: STEVE WICKS


PHAKISA, Free State - The second African Six-Hour race at Phakisa proved sweet revenge for Nick Adcock and his team, who made up for finishing second in the 2013 inaugural inaugural event.
Qualifying was a tense affair as Nick Adcock put in a blistering lap to put the SS3 on pole ahead of the Shelby of Alan Eve, Ben Morgenrood and George Ferreira with the Nissan Juno of Rui Campos and sons Jason an Keegan heading Row 2.
Toby Venter was down to drive a GT3 Cup car with Peter Wharton-Hood but after Friday’s practice (Feb 21) they realised it didn’t have the pace to win so the quicker Porsche 993 GT2 was sent down from Jozi – and qualified fifth.


A forceful opening lap saw Venter leading by the end of the opening tour and by the time the first round of pit stops approached he had opened up a sizeable gap. Then the drama began.
After qualifying seventh, the much fancied V10 Dodge Viper of Charl Arangies retired when it spectacularly burst into flames while refuelling at the first pit stop. Nobody was hurt but a lot of fire-extinguishers were needed as red hot brakes kept re-igniting the fuel leaking from damaged fuel lines.
The leading Porsche also ran into problems. Just when Venter was building his lead and looking very strong the engine lost a fan belt and he pitted with overheating problems. With a new belt fitted the car was soon on its way but the motor had been damaged and Venter retired after 42 laps.
That left the V6 Nissan-Juno in the lead while a good scrap developed for the other podium places. The Campos car was the next hopeful to falter: fuel-pump failure saw it retire having after 46 laps.

The Shelby of Thomas Reib and Sean Greve enjoyed a brief spell in the lead as pit-stop strategy became apparent but the Juno remained in control and co-drivers New Zealand Sports Car champion Dean McCarroll and Francis Carruthers were fast and reliable and the team had a four lap advantage at the flag.
Reib and Greve put in a solid performance to scoop second place five laps clear of the Shelby in the hands of Andrew Strike and Des and Jade Gutzeit.

The 2013 Welkom Two-Hour winners Ian Smith and Stuart Mack and former single-seater racer Elna Croeser were next after a steady but reliable run that saw them well clear of Alister Brown, Menno Parsons and Craig Shorter ,which was only a lap ahead of the Porsche 996 of Sun Moodley and Andrew Culbert.

The Birkin 7 driven by Jeff Gable, Derek van der Merwe and Andrew Becker was a lap behind.


Another fancied runner to suffer was the Radical V8 which had gearbox problems throughout the weekend and limped to the finish with only 1st, 5th and 6th gears.

Another in the battle was the Lotus 7 of Clive Wilmot, Etienne Strydom and Rob Gearing; its cylinder head was replaced and it managed 86 laps in total but was running at the finish with too few laps to be credited as a finisher.

The Chevron B19 of Colin Ellison, Pierre de Waal and Greg Thornton also had a multitude of mechanical woes and was classified 24th.

The sought after Index of Performance award went to the Golf of Jannie van Rooyen, Adriaan Dalton and Gerhard Henning from the Birkin and the giant-killing 1600cc Golf of 17-year old Kelvin van der Linde and 14-year old brother Sheldon who were 11th overall, six laps behind the bigger engined Goldwagen entry.
1 Nick Adcock/Francis Carruthers/Dean McCarroll (Juno) 196 laps
2 Thomas Reib/Sean Greve (Shelby) 192
3 Andrew Strike/Des Gutzeit/Jade Gutzeit (Shelby) 187
4 Ian Smith/Stuart Mack/Elna Croeser (Shelby) 183
5 Alister Brown/Menno Parsons/Craig Shorter (Shelby) 181
6 Sun Moodley/Andrew/Culbert (Porsche 997 GT3) 180
Read more on:    welkom  |  motorsport  |  racing

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