GTC Corollas star in treacherous Toyota Gazoo Racing Week 36
South Africans once again starred overseas as Toyota Corollas scored a GTC clean sweep in a Gazoo Toyota Racing Week 36 characterised by treacherous conditions that saw crucial races canned home and away. Among those affected were the Belgian Grand Prix, which tried its best to start, but failed in continuous Ardenne driving rain before half points were awarded to the grid top ten. It wasn’t much better in Pietermaritzburg right here in KwaZulu Natal where Thunder Valley lived up to its name to see the Cannabis TRP SA Motocross second heats scratched.
Rain Stops Motocross Play
David Goosen’s Husqvarna beat Tristan Purdon’s KTM in what proved to be MX1’s first and only moto, Cameron Durow’s KTM took the MX2 race from Goosen and Grant Frerichs’ Yamaha won MX3. Kayla Raaff’s Kawasaki took Ladies, Jonathan Mlimi the High School race on his KTM and Husqvarna lads Neil van der Vyver won Pro Mini, Caden Weise Junior and Trenton Kretzmann 50cc. GasGas kid Blade Tilley’s GasGas won the 65cc race.
East London’s Extreme Festival races however found a hole in the adverse conditions that swept the country as Robert Wolk led Scott Temple and Michael van Rooyen home in a Toyota Corolla GTC 1-2-3. Van Rooyen’s Gazoo Racing machine took race 1 from Wolk and Temple, but he was penalised two places from third for a second race clash with Julian van der Watt’s Autozone Focus. So Wolk and Temple ended up second and third in both races after Lee Thompson took a lights to flag reverse grid second race win in his Universal BMW.
Race 2 winner Bradley Liebenberg took VW Polo GTC SupaCup honours from Jonathan Mogotsi and Jeffery Kruger after opening race victor Jason Campos had car trouble in race 2. Championship top three, Jurie Swart, Arnold Neveling and Leyton Fourie shared out the three VW Polo Cup wins as Neveling took the day from Swart, Fourie, Keegan Campos, Jayden Els and Clinton Bezuidenhout.
Waberski ends Rackstraw’S Streak
Teenager Jarrod Waberski ended Andrew Rackstraw’s Investchem Formula 1600 run when he won the first race. Rackstraw won race 2 from Waberski, who took the day from Antwan Geldenhuys and Rackstraw. Travis Naude won the Kawasaki ZX Masters from Graeme van Breda and Rob Cragg on two wheels. And two Border regionals rounded the day off. Bevan Schwarz’ Corvette won Modifieds from Chris Farley’s BMW and Bevan Choudree’s Polo. Wayne Botha led Carl Fantham and Gary Schultz in a Classic Ford Escort 1-2-3.
Looking overseas, South African stars once again flew the flag with pride. Jordan Pepper and Andrea Caldarelli took the opening Road America GT World Challenge America race victory in their K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracan. And at Silverstone, SA’s ‘Sunday’ Binder Brothers, Brad rose form 12th to sixth KTM in the British Moto GP. And Darryn climbed form 16th to 7th on his Honda after fighting for a podium finish most of the race.
Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo meanwhile took control of the 2021 MotoGP championship with a dominant win from Alex Rins’ Suzuki. Aleix Espargaro took an historic third for Aprilia and Romano Fenati took the dominant Moto3 win on his Husqvarna. And Remy Gardner won Moto2 as title rival and KTM teammate Raul Fernandez retired.
Alibhai Better Again
Other South Africans also shone overseas through the the weekend. They included Aqil Alibhai, who delivered another best result yet in the British Ginetta Junior Championship. He raced to sixth in race 1 and second among the rookies and 12th in race 2. And 14th in race 3 to jump three places up in both championship chases. And lady racer Jessica Howden ended seventh on her European Woman’s Cup debut at Mugello in Italy.
Back in SA, the weather also troubled a snowy Killarney Cape regional as qualifying was cancelled. Racing happened later as Fabio Tafani took V8 Masters and Sander Le Bon took Silver honours. Josh Broome’s Radical won Sports & GT from Francis Carruthers’ Pilbeam. Achmat Achmat beat Baby Jacobs and Imaad Modack to a Clubmans BMW 1-2-3. Modack also won Thunder Saloons from Raaziegh Harris’ BMW and Shaun Ludwig’s Honda. And Franco Donadio’s Escort beat Charles Arton’s Datsun 240Z and Dave Alhadeff’s BMW 325iS in the Classics.
On two wheels, Masters Kawasaki trio Malcom Rapson beat Jacques Ackermann and Gavin Louw to Superbike honours. But the returning David McFadden took race 2 on his Yamaha. Another Kawasaki trio, Slade van Niekerk, Jason Linaker and Zante Otto took the Powersport 1-2-3. Before Rob de Vos and Wayne Arendse took the 1 hour win, also on a Kawasaki. Zobair Adams’ Suzuki took Clubmans honours over Nasief Smart on a Yamaha and Suzuki man Nick Benn.