South Africans star at home and away in Toyota Gazoo Race Week 37
On a Toyota Gazoo Race Weekend 37 of 2021 that will be remembered most for the latest shunt in the Max versus Lewis showdown, Toyota came away smiling from an as ever rough, tough and dusty Acropolis Rally. The F1 titans’ latest famous accident let Daniel Ricciardo loose to win the dramatic Italian Grand Prix at Monza from McLaren teammate Lando Norris and Mercedes man Valtteri Bottas in Riccardo’s first win since 2018 and McLaren’s first since 2012.
Toyota Takes Acropolis Rally
Meanwhile in Greece, Kalle Rovanpera scored a dominant second career World Rally Championship win as the Acropolis returned after an eight-year hiatus. He was 42 seconds clear of Hyundai’s Ott Tanak and Toyota Gazoo Racing Yaris teammate Sebastien Ogier. He took a decisive step towards an eighth WRC title as championship contenders Elfyn Evans and Thierry Neuville finished sixth and eighth.
On two wheels, Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia took a thrilling maiden MotoGP victory as he fended Marc Marquez off in the Aragon Grand Prix. Championship leader Fabio Quartararo struggled to eighth behind South African Brad Binder. He fought back from 12th to seventh. Brother Darryn went the other way from pole to seventh in Moto3. Dennis Foggia won after championship leaders Pedro Acosta and Sergio Garcia crashed. And Raul Fernandez dominated Moto2.
South Africans starred in the New Jersey MotoAmerica round, where Mathew Scholtz rode his Yamaha to second in all three Superbike races. Cameron Petersen’s Suzuki was seventh in Race 1 and fifth in the other two as Jake Gagne continued on his winning way. Samuel Lochoff impressed again to third in 600 Supersport on his Suzuki before taking his maiden victory in race 2, with Dominic Doyle’s Kawasaki ninth both times.
Cox Tightens Cross Country Grip
Closer to home, KZN hero Bradley Cox tightened his grip on the South African National Cross Country Motorcycle championship. The KTM rider beat Kawasaki OR1 open class winner Mike Pentecost and Kerim Fitz-Gerald’s OR2 KTM to victory in a dusty Delmas. OR2 man Cox opened up his championship advantage. Davin Cocker’s Husqvarna won OR3 and Wade Blaauw took Seniors on a KTM. Husqvarna trio, Wayne Farmer took Masters, John Botha High School and Cobus Bester the 85 cc Junior win.
It was a dominant Kalahari Rally for Red-Lined Motorsport. Its three cars came home 1-2-3 in the 7-day 3,700 km Dakar warm-up. Terence Marsh and Riaan Greyling led teammates Eben Basson and Gerhard Schutte and Philip Botha and Roelof Janse van Vuren. Jeff Minnit and Siegfrid Roussouw won the Side by Side race in a Can Am. And Botswana rider John Kelly’s KTM 450 won on two wheels.
The new World of Motorcycles Superbike series got off to a cracking start with a great entry at Aldo Scribante in PE. Clinton Seller took a double 1000cc victory on his Honda over Yamaha duo David Mcfadden and Garrick Vlok and from Mcfadden and Morne Geldenhuis in the second race. Ryno Pretorius took the 600cc Supersport double from Brett Roberts both times. Jesse Boshoff and Wade Wright shared the thirds.
Week 37 saw Historic Racing South Africa bounce back from lockdown at Zwartkops. Peter Bailey’s Porsche 911 took a double Pre-80 Historic Saloon victory from Johann Smith’s Mazda Capella. Jannie van Rooyen’s VW Scirocco won Class D, Ford Escort newcomers Peter Jenkins and Ian Odendaal upset in Classes E and F. John Simpson’s Alfa Sprint GT won Class G. Rob van Aarle’s Datsun won Charlies Pursuit from Wynand du Plessis Sr’s Porsche 944 and Bert van Aarle’s Mazda MX5.
Also at Zwartkops, Oliver Dalais took the Pre-66 Le Mans win in his Ford GT40. Peter Lindenberg won Legends of the 9 Hour in his Shelby Mustang GT350. And Neil de Later’s Lotus 7 won the Sports Car race. Dean Venter took Historic Single Seaters in his Van Diemen and Damien Archer’s Formula GTi Ray won Monoposto. Dewald Brummer’s VW Polo won in Supercup and Dirk Lawrence’s Ballade won Clubmans.
The Rok finals topped the Week 37 karting news as Fabienne Lanz won KZ2 and KC Ensor-Smith ruled the day in OKC. Ethan Lennon dominated Mini Rok, while Caleb Odendaal took under-10 honours. Rafael da Silva won Kid Rok and Michael Danks took Bambino.