Perel's FerrarI

SA motorsportsmen starred abroad, brought local lockdown relief this weekend

This past Toyota Gazoo Racing Week 27 was big for South African motorsportsmen abroad and local regional racing alike. SA race heroes starred overseas. And live-streamed regional racing from around the country brought some welcome lockdown relief for local fans.

South Africans Star Abroad

The big news was overseas, where Capetonian duo David Perel and Jonathan Aberdein starred at the European Le Mans Series Four Hours of Monza. Aberdein and teammates Philip Hanson and Tom Gamble brought their United Autosports Oreca home second. They were 5 seconds behind Will Stevens, Julien Canal and James Allen’s similar Panis car. Perel, Duncan Cameron and Alessandro Pier Guidi steered their Ferrari 488 GTE EVO to the GT class win.

Across the pond on two wheels meanwhile, South African bikers Cameron Petersen’s Suzuki and Mathew Scholtz on a Yamaha shared out the MotoAmerica Superbike third and fourth places at Laguna Seca in California. Scholtz now lies second in that championship and Petersen fourth. Youngsters Sam Lochoff’s Suzuki and Dominic Doyle on a Kawasaki took a 7th and a 9th in Supersport 600. Each retired from the other heat. Lochoff sits second in that title chase.

There was not much else to shout about internationally in Toyota Gazoo Racing Week 27. Cape Town was of course confirmed for a 2022 Formula E round on 26 February. Talking Formula E, BMW’s Max Gunther’s BMW won Saturday’s first New York E-Prix heat from Jean-Eric Vergne and Lucas di Grassi. After Nick Cassidy and Vergne crashed out of the lead. Sam Bird dominated the race 2 for Jaguar from Cassidy and Antonio Felix da Costa. And Chevrolet driver Kurt Busch out-duelled brother Kyle’s Toyota in a dramatic Atlanta NASCAR Cup race.

Local is Lekker. Despite Lockdown

There were also two well supported if spectator-free lockdown-busting regional race meetings. At a red-flag-strewn Killarney in Cape Town and at Aldo Scribante in Gqhereba on Toyota Gazoo Racing Week 27,

At Killarney, Jurie Swart’s Alpine Autohouse Polo 6 and Kyle Wiltshire’s Golf 1 dominated Classes A and C of the cheapercars GTi Challenge, while Giordano Lupini and his Bulllion Banhoek Jetta CLi and Eden Thompson’s Somerset Refrigeration Polo 6 once again shared out the Class B wins. Franco Donadio’s Ford Escort stormed to SDC Classic Car victory over Michael Hitchcock’s Mustang and Charles Arton’s Datsun 240 Z. Dave Alhadeff’s BMW 325iS, Arnold Lambert’s Jetta, Tervor Hutchings’ Scirocco and Leon van Lienden’s Ala Romeo GT Junior took the class wins.

Class A man Niaaz Modack’s powerful BMW held youngster Charl Visser’s nimble Class X Nissan 350Z off to take the Mike’s Place Clubmans win. BMW drivers Achmat Achmat, Roshan Khat and Sulaiman Effend won Classes B, C and D. Ryan Large’s VW Citi Class E and Lucian Downes’ Jetta F. Modack went on to also win the inaugural Cape Thunder Saloons race. He beat Danie van Niekerk’s Polo SupaCup and Steve Humble in a Citroën.

Crash & Win at Killarney

Byron Mitchell took the Formula Libre win. By virtue of the red flag coming out after he emerged unscathed from a monumental accident. That second race was scored at the end of the previous lap. Troy Dolinschek, Bertus Engelbrecht and Elroy Vice took the single seater class wins. Nian du Toit dominated the Makita Supercars and Robert Toscano’s MX5 and Bradley Rowe in a BMW shared the Bejo Fine Cars wins.

On two wheels David McFadden’s Yamaha beat Malcom Rapson’s Suzuki and David Enticott on a Yamaha in the South Suprbikes. Conor Hagan’s Suzuki took 600 Supersport. Kewyn Snyman’s Kawasaki won the Powersport 650s, Tristin Pienaar’s KTM 300s, Hilton Redelinghuys’ Kawasaki the Classic bike class, Reginald Seale’s Yamaha Clubmans A, Rob de Vos’ Buell B and Nick Benn’s Suzuki Breakfast Run honours.

And at Aldo Scribante on Toyota Gazoo Racing Week 27, East London visitor Bevan Schwarz took overall EP Saloons honours in his mighty Corvette. But not before local lad Deon Slabbert overcame his troubles aboard his giant killing Polo to take the final race win. Another Buffalo Bay visitor Dean Ball was second in his Lotus 7. Class X winner Philip Weise next up in his BMW. Marais Ellis took Class C in another BMW and VW men Andrew Boshoff and George van Baalen Classes E and F.

There Was Cracking EP Action Too

Gordon Bennett’s Opel beat Thomas Flynn’s Datsun and Laurence Davies in an Alfa Romeo to Coastal Challenge classic honours. On two wheels, 300cc lad Gragien Nel’s Kawasaki beat Historics winner Remi van den Berg and 600 winner Michael Smal to EP Motorcycles honours. Richard Hawkins’ Kawasaki took Powersport and Matthew Smal’s Honda the Breakfast Run wins. Oliver McKay overcame the thus far dominant Dylan Grobler in the CBR 150s, but Grobler once again took NSF100 honours.

The day was closed off by a 45 minute evening enduro won by Daniel Bright’s VW Golf from Philip Weise’s BMW and Andrew Boshoff’s VW.

Local motorsport remains thin on the ground this coming weekend. But there is a feast of international racing to look forward to. Starting with Formula 1’s first qualifying race at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Toyota Gazoo Racing will be on double duty at both the Monza World Endurance Six Hour and World Rally Estonia. Both teams will be looking to continue their unbeaten runs. There’s also W Series and Formula E at Silverstone, IMSA from Lime Rock and NASCAR Cup at New Hampshire. And All-Japan Super GTs from Motegi.

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