Week 44

F1 thrills, MotoGP, other champions crowned & Toyotas take Zwartkops

It was all about the race fans home and away in Toyota Gazoo Racing Week 44. The track action still thrilled of course, with new champions on the one hand and great motorsport excitement on the other as many a title chase goes on after an epic weekend. So yes, we may have a new MotoGP world champion, but F1 proved the thriller after another weekend went right down to the line in Texas, where 400,000 Americans broke all F1 attendance records at a splendid US Grand Prix in Austin.

Max, Lewis Thrill Record US Crowd

Max Verstappen’s Red Bull held off title rival Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes to win a gripping, tactical race there. Sergio Perez was third for Red Bull from Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari and Danny Ricciardo’s McLaren. Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo clinched the 2021 MotoGP title after Pecco Bagnaia crashed out of the lead of in Italy. Marc Marquez’ Honda won while SA hero Brad Binder fought back to tenth from a pit lane start. Sam Lowes won Moto2 and Denis Foggia’s Honda Moto3 as Darryn Binder ended fourth.

It was a good day in general for South Africans racing overseas. Cape Town driver Jonathan Aberdein racing an Oreca Gibson with Phil Hanson and Tom Gamble, won the European Le Mans Series season finale in Portugal to wrap up second in that title chase. Another Capetonian, David Perel ended up second in that GTAm championship driving a Ferrari 488 GTE EVO with Duncan Cameron and Matthew Griffin.

In other international action, Jamie Chadwick clinched the W Series title with a dominant Austin win. Kyle Larson’s took his ninth NASCAR Cup Series race win of the season for Chevy in Kansas. Moving over to the UK, Honda driver Josh Cook took the first and second Brands Hatch British Touring car races. Ash Sutton sealed the title for Infiniti. Sutton then wrapped it up with an emphatic final race win. Also at Brands, SA lad Aqil Alibhai ended his rookie campaign with a strong Ginetta Junior showing.

All About the Racing Fans in South Africa Too

It was also all about the fans closer to home. An enthusiastic crowd returned to Zwartkops for the first time since lockdown to witness Toyota Corolla driver Robert Wolk extend his GTC title in advantage with a race 1 win. He beat Lee Thompson’s BMW and Corolla teammate Scott Temple. Wolk then followed title rival Michael van Rooyen’s similar car home in race 2 with Temple third. Race 2 winner Jason Campos beat race 1 winner Bradley Liebenberg and brother Keegan Campos to Polo SuperCup honours.

Cape Town drivers made a significant mark on the Pretoria races. Umpie Swart took an emphatic double victory in his Polo Cup rivals’ Zwartkops back yard. He beat Clinton Bezuidenhout and championship leader Leyton Fourie in race 1, and Tasmin Pepper and Fourie in race 2. Another Cape kid, Andrew Rackstraw closed his Investchem Formula 1600 championship in dominant style. He took another double victory over Rookie of the Year Josh le Roux and title runner up Jarrod Waberski.

Franco di Matteo’s Jaguar won race 2 from Thomas Reib’s Lumina and Mackie Adlem’s Jaguar in V8 Supercars. Ben Morgenrood won the first heat. Graeme van Breda did the SunBet ZX10 Masters Cup double from Trevor Westman and Sanjiv Singh. Adrian Dalton beat race 1 winner William Einkamerer and Andreas Meier to take the BMW Race Series win. And the Mozambique Kia Picanto Cup showed SA a taste of what we are missing.

SA Motocross Going Down to the Wire

All eight Cannabis Energy TRP SA National motocross championships will go down to the wire after a spectacular penultimate weekend at Bloemfontein. Tristan Purdon took MX1 as KTM teammate Cameron Durow and David Goosen’s Husqvarna shared the seconds and thirds. Durow did the MX2 double win over Purdon and Goosen. Grant Frerich’s Husqvarna took MX3, Kayla Raaff’s Kawasaki Ladies Motocross and Jonathan Mlimi’s KTM dominated in High School MX.

Emmanuel Bako blew the 85 Pro Mini title open in a Husqvarna 1-2-3 over Neil van der Vyver and Ryan Adler. Tyler Petersen’s Husqvarna took 85 cc Junior from Matthew Correia. Andrew Venter’s KTMs, Blake Frost’s KTM and Blade Tilley’s GasGas shared out the 65cc wins from Husqvarna lad Sven Larsen. And Aiden Retief’s KTM took a double baby 50cc win from Rayden Woolls’ GasGas and championship leader Trenton Kretzmann’s Husqvarna.

In regional action, at Aldo Scribante, Deon Slabbert wrapped up a double EP Modified title in his Polo at Aldo Scribante. Sydney Lippstreu’s Celica took Street Car honours. On two wheels, Jayson Lamb’s Kawasaki won the EP regional bike race. And in junior bike action, Oliver McKay took CBR 150 and Dylan Grobler NSF 100 honours. Elsewhere, Connor Rogers won KZ in the Gauteng Formula K Rok karting regional. Wian Boshoff took Mini Rok, Troy van der Laan Kid Rok and Santiago Frade Bambino.

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