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Robertson takes title during thrilling Liqui Moly INEX Legends finale

2018-11-06 06:54

Reynard Gelderblom

Liqui Moly INEX Legends

Image: Reynard Gelderblom

The season finale of the 2018 Liqui Moly INEX Legends championship saw a field of 20 cars heading up action at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 3 November. While Willie Erasmus took the honours on the day, Justin Robertson secured his maiden championship title after three thrilling races.

The morning’s draw for the Race 1 grid positions saw Chris Hoy taking pole position. Erasmus drew ball number 2 and found himself in a strong position after setting the pace throughout Friday’s final two practice sessions.

Action from start to finish

Sean Moore and Gerhard Roux drew the second row of the grid with defending champion Richard Upton and Johann van de Venter on Row 3. The 2018 title protagonists both drew outside the top-six; Justin Robertson drawing seventh place while Richard van Heerde found himself in fourteenth position.

READ: Liqui Moly INEX Legends Championship to be decided Zwartkops Raceway with plenty still up for grabs

The first eight-lap race saw the field jostling for position during the early stages, but on Lap 3 Hoy spun his car around through the last corner. This saw him stranded in a precarious and unsighted position on-track which necessitated the safety car to be deployed.

An exhilarating three-lap sprint race followed this period with Upton, Moore, Erasmus and Jason Loosemore trading places in the battle up front. The final lap saw contact between Loosemore and Upton; effectively handing Erasmus an easy road to victory ahead of Moore.

Jostling for positions

Loosemore crossed the line in third position to complete a top-three covered by merely 0.4 of a second, but a 30-second penalty applied afterwards saw him relegated to eighteenth position. Subsequently, Gerard Roux was elevated to the final podium position.

Liqui Moly INEX Legends

                                                                Image: Reynard Gelderblom/Jason Loosemore

Following his rookie season in national saloon car racing, Altan Bouw joined the Liqui Moly INEX Legends field for the season finale; quickly finding his feet again to finish in fifth position ahead of Jagger Robertson. Further back Richard van Heerde finished in eighth position after slicing his way through the mid-pack with Justin Robertson in ninth place.

Race 2 saw Loosemore maintaining the lead in commanding fashion throughout the eight laps to take the victory. Behind him, a thrilling battle for second place developed.

Liqui Moly INEX Legends

                                                              Image: Reynard Gelderblom/Justing Robertson

While Richard van Heerde and Justin Robertson were battling each other, Erasmus sliced his way through the field; soon finding himself in fourth position. This trio found themselves in close-contention during the final part of the race, but it was Erasmus who excelled to finish in second place ahead of Van Heerde and Robertson. Upton finished in fifth position with Dane van Heerde in sixth position.

Setting the pace

The day’s final ten lap race saw Hoy slotting into an early lead, closely followed by Ian Upton. With the pack settling into a more familiar position it was, however, Loosemore who took the lead on Lap 3; a position he held to take his second victory for the day.

Liqui Moly INEX Legends

                                                            Image: Reynard Gelderblom/Steven Levin

Moore slotted into second place with the likes Bouw, Justin Robertson and Erasmus in tow. Erasmus again picked off positions almost at will to finish in second place.

An incident on the penultimate lap saw Bouw eliminated from the battle for third position. The final lap saw Justin Robertson securing third place. He was closely followed across the line by Moore, Hoy and Jagger Robertson.

Loosmore’s Race 1 penalty proved to be very costly in the day’s overall results. Despite two superb wins, he found himself just outside the top-three. Instead, it was the consistency of Erasmus that saw him take the overall win for the day ahead of Justin Robertson and Richard van Heerde.

Liqui Moly INEX Legends

                                                                      Image: Reynard Gelderblom

This also saw Erasmus taking the Professional Class win ahead of Loosemore and Bouw. The Master Class saw Justin Robertson ahead of Richard van Heerde and Charl Roux. Daine van Heerde took the Semi-Professional Class win ahead of Hoy and Cotterell. Jagger Robertson took the Young Lions Class win.

Justin Robertson took his maiden overall and Masters Class titles. Gerard Roux finished as runner-up with Richard van Heerde in third place. In the Masters Class, it was, however, Van Heerde who finished ahead of Roux.

In the Professional Class, it was Steven Levin who took the title ahead of Loosemore and Richard Upton. The Sem-Professional Class saw Daine van Heerde taking the title ahead of Hoy and Cotterell. The sole Young Lion for 2018 was Jagger Robertson.

The first round of the 2019 Liqui Moly INEX Legends championship will take place at Zwartkops Raceway on the weekend of February 1-2 as part of the Passion for Speed Festival. The full 2019 category will be announced soon on the category’s Facebook page.

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