- Drama & delight as Festival visits SA’s fastest track
East London delivered epic racing and great drama as the Extreme Festival visited the Eastern Cape Border region on Saturday. Scintillating championship battles played out across all categories on track, red flags flew and two drivers were sent to hospital following high speed accidents at SA’s original Grand Prix Circuit.
Toyota team leader Michael van Rooyen’s reverse grid race 2 victory habit earned him the overall Global Touring Car win. Pole man Bradley Liebenberg’s Golf led Robert Wolk and Saood Variawa’s Toyotas early on, before Variawa passed Wolk into Potters Pass. A Variawa move went awry, before Wolk and Variawa passed Liebenberg for the lead, with Toyota duo van Rooyen and Mandla Mdakane fourth and fifth.
Wolk took GTC championship advantage
Reverse grid race 2 started with pole man Andrew Rackstraw’s Audi and Liebenberg coming together on the grass infield. That left Julian van der Watt’s Ford leading van Rooyen, Variawa and Wolk, but Van Rooyen was soon ahead to lead Wolk home from Mdakane and van der Watt. The walking wounded, Liebenberg, Rackstraw and penalised Variawa limped home well back.
SupaCup championship rivals Leyton Fourie and Jeffrey Kruger continued their epic duel for title glory with a race win and a fastest lap apiece in the all-VW Polo SupaCup races. Only Fourie’s pole position bonus point differentiated the duo after yet another weekend of shared success between them, to open Leyton’s title advantage up to seven points.
Fourie took race 1 lights to flag, under Kruger’s pressure all the way with Jonathan Mogotsi third from, Keegan Masters, Arnold Neveling and Daniel Rowe as Paul Luthi edged Nick Davidson for Masters honours. Rowe initially led reverse grid race 2, but Kruger was soon ahead and Fourie followed him to second from Mogotsi, Rowe and Danie van Niekerk. Davidson edged Luthi for his fifth overall Masters win on the trot.
Scribante Porsche dominated supercars
Franco Scribante was confident that his wild A+ Porsche 911 GT2 R was back on point for the G+H Extreme Supercar races. He duly delivered on his hunch with a double victory over Jono du Toit’s rival Lamborghini Gallardo. The battling Nicky Dicks’ Porsche 911 and GT3 winner Marius Jackson’s Audi R8 LMS were next up, while Greg Parton’s GT3 Lamborghini, followed from the Ant Blunden Porsche and Sam Hammond’s Lamborghini.
Race 2 was much the same, as Scribante overcame du Toit early on, with GT3 winner Jackson next up from Dicks, Charl Arangies’ Lamborghini, Parton, Blunden and Hammond. Overall, Scribante took Class A+ and the day overall from du Toit and Jackson won GT3 from Parton. Dicks beat Hammond to Class A, Blunden took Class B and Mansoor Parker’s BMW Class C.
Mbombela lad Dawie van der Merwe added to his hometown’s rugby glory when he delivered a spectacular grand slam of pole position, two race wins and fastest laps en route to his maiden CompCare Polo Cup in a dramatic day’s racing. Dawie led race 1 from lights to flag from title rivals Clinton Bezuidenhout and Jurie Swart, Charl Visser, Tate Bishop Dean Venter and Giordano Lupini who charged to seventh from the back.
Polo Cup FESTIVAL thrills & spills
Van der Merwe overcame early leader Bishop to take Race 2 from Bezuidenhout, whose late move on Swart put him into the championship lead by a point. Visser also passed Bishop, who held off Jason Loosemore and Lupini coming from the back again, when the race was stopped. Jagger Robertson, Mo Karodia and Ethan Coetzee tried to go into Potters Pass three abreast. Coetzee’s frightening ensuing crash put him into hospital.
Cape Town youngster Troy Dolinschek put on a brilliant display en route to steal his maiden Investchem Formula 1600 victory in a wild and incident packed day of racing in single seater heaven. Troy led when Siya Mankonkwane and Ewan Holtzhausen came together braking from 220 km/h. Holtzhausen’s car launched into a series horrifying rollovers before the destroyed machine came to rest on its side.
Siya rushed to assist his rival, who was sent to hospital, but later released. Dolinschek did enough to beat race 1 part 2 winner Gerard Geldenhuys to the combined first race win. Josh Le Roux made up for a first race retirement to win race 2 from top two for the day, Dolinschek and Geldenhuys, Andrew Schofield, Jason Coetzee and Alex Vos. Geldenhuys meanwhile closed Le Roux’s title lead down to just a few points.
ZX10 race WAS FESTIVAL RACE of the day
The races of the day were however two scintillating SunBet ZX10 bike heats. All of 0.2 seconds split Class B duo Jayson Lamb and Greame van Breda, and A rider Ronald Slamet at the flag following an epic first race. Masters trio, Michael Smit, Trevor Westman and Brain Bontekoning followed from Class C winner Johan Le Roux, while Klint Munton took Vets.
It was just as close in race 2 as Lamb, van Breda and Slamet were 0.1 seconds apart at the finish, from Smit, Westman and Bontekoning, as Le Roux and Minton both did the double. Thomas Falkiner finally broke his Gazoo Toyota GR Yaris Media Cup duck with two wins over Sean Nurse. Toyota suit Riaan Esterhuysen surprised in third, but fourth man Ashley Oldfield beat him to the podium in a finale that ran into the dark.
Last but very much not least, the DOE Formula Vees thrilled as Grandpa Peter Hills beat Lendl Jansen and dad Brandon Hills to race 1 victory ahead of Gert van den Berg, Peter Hills’ erstwhile MX rival Greg Wilson and Shaun van der Linde. On form Hills did the double over Jack Shricks, Wilson, Brandon, Jensen and van der Linde, before making it three out of three over Jansen, Shricks, Wilson, van der Berg in a dark final.
Cape Town Next
Penultimate round 6 of the Extreme Festival will go down at Cape Town’s Killarney International Raceway on Saturday 17 September. Judging by the action so far this season, that one is not to be missed. Diarise it now!