Pepper champion, van der Linde, Odendal & Toyota win in Gazoo Race Week 41
Toyota Gazoo Race Week 41 proved a brilliant weekend for South African Motorsportsmen abroad and Toyota Gazoo Racing too. Jordan Pepper clinched the GT World Challenge America championship at Sebring and Kelvin van der Linde won the opening Hockenheim DTM race. Steven Odendaal took the second World Supersport race at Portimao.
Toyota tops WRC, SAEC
It was also a great weekend for Toyota Gazoo Racing. Elfyn Evans took an historic WRC Rally Finland victory in his GR Yaris. He become the second ever British driver to win the iconic rally in 70 years. Hyundai duo Ott Tanak and Craig Breen ended second and third. Evans also won the power stages. To further narrow the gap on Toyota teammate and championship leader Sebastien Ogier to 24 points.
Closer to home, Toyota Gazoo Racing got its 2022 Dakar plans off to a flying start. Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy scored a double victory in the SA Cross Country 4×4 Mega World Nampo 400. Their all-new Hilux T1+ did not count for championship points. But the new long travel suspension, fat tyred contender showed great pace to win both days on its racing debut.
Behind de Villiers and Murphy, Gazoo Racing Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings won both days in their older spec Hilux. They beat Brian Baragwanath and Leonard Cremer’s Century CR6 and Gareth Woolridge and Boyd Dreyer’s Castrol Ford Ranger on Friday. A penalty however saw them officially relegated to third behind Lance Woolridge and Elvéne Vonk Castrol Ford Ranger and Chris Visser and Albertus Venter’s privateer Hilux on Saturday.
Jordan champion, Kelvin, Steven win
It was a magnificent weekend for South Africans racing overseas with three stunning international victories around the world. Jordan Pepper and Italy’s Andrea Caldarelli clinched the Fanatec GT World Challenge America championship with their eighth win of the season off another pole position in their K-Pax Lamborghini Huracan at Sebring on Saturday. The duo backed that up with an another victory on Sunday.
South African Audi R8 star Kelvin van der Linde meanwhile converted pole position into victory in Saturday’s first DTM German Touring Car race at Hockenheim. To draw level on points with Ferrari driver Liam Lawson. Kelvin put it on pole again on Sunday to move ahead, but a double penalty dropped him back as Lawson pulled ahead in the championship race with second behind winning Mercedes driver Lucas Auer.
And SA rider Steven Odenaal’s Yamaha won Sunday’s second World Supersport 600 race in Portimao, Portugal to tighten the gap on championship leader Dominic Aegeter’s similar machine. Steven ended sixth, a second behind winner Cleuzel in the opening race.
Top Ten Binders in Bizarre Moto GP
Also at Portimao, Toprak Razgatlioglu took a thrilling first heat Week 41 World Superbike win from Ducati duo Scott Redding and Loris Baz as title rival Jonathan Rea crashed out. Michael van der Mark then took a wet maiden BMW win from Redding and Baz as Rea crashed again. Razgatlioglu then tumbled in the final, leaving Rea to win the final from Redding and Locatelli.
Brad Binder was the best KTM in 9th in the US MotoGP at Austin. As Marc Marquez returned to dominant form to win for Honda. Darren Binder was unlucky to end 7th after running second in Moto 3. The bizarre race was red flagged a second time. And scored after the first stoppage. So rookie Izan Guevara won despite breaking down in the third part! And Moto2 took another twist when points leader Remy Gardner crashed and KTM teammate and title rival Raul Fernandez won.
Back in SA, Rotax Max crowned its South African and African Open champions in spectacular style at Zwartkops. Joseph Oelz, Nicholas Verheul, Tate Bishop, Troy Snyman, Wian Boshoff, Spice Mailula and Maddox Mason were crowned SA champions in spectacular style on Saturday. And Bradley Liebenberg, Eugene Brittz, Kian Grottis, Mahummed Wally, Joaquin de Oliveira, Kegan Martin and Maddox Mason won Sunday’s wildcard African Open races.
SA Rotax Grand Final kart team set
That will see Oelz and Liebenberg racing for SA in DD2, Verheul in DD2 Masters. And Bishop and Grottis in Senior Max. The Junior team will comprise of Snyman and Wally in Junior Max, Boshoff anan de Oliveira in Mini and Mailula in Micro Max. Bambino winners Shuttleworth and Mason each earned tickets to support the team in the Grand Finals.
And Xolile Leklala and Tschops Sipuka’s McLaren won the East London SA Endurance 4 Hour. They beat Heinrich Lategan and Verissimo Tavares’ Porsche 911 GT3 and Steve Clark and Reghard Roets’ Backdraft Roadster. Michael Stephen’s McLaren beat Lamborghini duo Charl Arangies and Silvio Scribante in the opening GT3 races. Arangies took the final from Stephen and Scribante. Bevan Schwartz’ Corvette won the local Modified race and Matthew Gudmanz’ Chevy Can Am took the Historics win.