Toyota Gazoo Racing brings you the wrap of top local & overseas race news
The Toyota Gazoo Racing Week takes in a mixed bag of motorsport from all around the world as usual. Starting with a Toyota Gazoo Racing success, Sebastien Ogier cemented his World Rally Championship lead with a comfortable 52nd career win in Toyota’s first Rally Sardinia victory on Sunday. Ogier’s Toyota GR Yaris teammate and title rival Elfyn Evans was second as Thierry Neuville salvaged a podium for Hyundai in third after the Korean carmaker’s effort fell apart on Saturday.
SEVERAL SOUTH AFRICANS STARRED OVERSEAS
Several South Africans starred elsewhere in international racing over the weekend. Jonathan Aberdein drove the Oreca 07 he shared with Philip Hanson and Tom Gamble ended second in Sunday’s Paul Ricard European Le Mans Series race behind Roman Rusinov, Nyck de Vries and Franco Colapinto’s Aurus 01. Two more Capetonians, David Perel shared his Ferrari 488 GTE EVO to second in GTE with Duncan Cameron and Matthew Griffin behind Matteo Cressoni, Rino Mastronardi and Miguel Molina’s similar car, while Nick Adcock sharing his delayed Ligier JS P320 with Austin McCusker and Max Koebolt split the Ferraris in 29th.
Moving over to Germany, SA DTM star Sheldon van der Linde, Connor de Phillippi, Marco Wittmann and Martin Tomczyk brought their BMW M6 GT3 home second in the shortest ever Nürburgring 24 Hour. They were 8 seconds behind Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and Matteo Cairoli’s Porsche 911 GT3 R in what was effectively a fog shortened 10-hour race.
On two wheels, Brad Binder ended 8th in the Barcelona MotoGP won by KTM teammate Miguel Oliveira, who held Pramac Ducati rider Johann Zarco off in an enthralling dice to the flag. Jack Miller’s Ducati picked up third after championship leader, Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo lost third due to a double penalty. Brother Darren Binder meanwhile ended fifth in a frantic Moto3 race won by Sergio García’s GasGas from Jeremy Alcoba’s Honda and Deniz Öncü’s KTM. Remy Gardner meanwhile extended his Moto2 points lead for KTM.
PEREZ TOOK A SENSATIONAL GRAND PRIX WIN
In other international news, Sergio Perez won a sensational Azerbaijan Grand Prix for Red Bull Racing on Sunday after teammate Max Verstappen blew a tyre and crashed out with three laps left to race, to bring out the red flag. The race resumed as a two lap standing start shootout with Lewis Hamilton’s smoky Mercedes going straight at turn 1, leaving Perez to beat a resurgent Sebastian Vettel, who took his Aston Martin to the brand’s best ever result in second, 1.3 seconds adrift.
Vettel passed Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri on the final lap, with Charles Leclerc Ferrari fourth from Lando Norris’ McLaren and Fernando Alonso’s Alpine in what was widely heralded as a great result. Neither championship leader Verstappen or second man Hamilton scored as Perez moved into third title chase from Norris, Leclerc and Valtteri Bottas.
Also in Baku, Robert Shwartzman took a convincing lights to flag Formula 2 win before Juri Vips won both the second sprint and feature races. Moving over the pond, Kyle Larson’s incredible NASCAR Cup season continued with his first left-right road course victory at Sonoma ahead of Chase Elliott’s similar car and Martin Truex Jr.’s Toyota Camry.
REGIONAL RACING TOPPED THE LOCAL BILL
Regional racing topped the local bill, where the cheapercars GTi Challenge stole the show at Killarney’s fourth round WP Power Series. Second race maiden winner Jason Coetzee beat race 1 victor Jurie Swart’s similar Polo to the overall win, while race 1 winner Eden Thompson’s Polo beat second race winner Giordano Lupini’s Jetta by a tenth of a second in the Class B dice of the day. Kyle Wiltshire and Tate Bishop’s Golf 1s escaped a catastrophic C race to take top honours in a class that clearly needs a fresh code of conduct.
Nieyaaz Modack led a BMW 1-2-3 over Cody Alberts and Danie van Niekerk in the Mikes Place Clubmans Saloons. Achmat Achmat’s BMW won Class B, Willem Swart’s Jetta Class C, John Kirsten’s Polo Vivo D, Ryan Lange’s Golf E, Rodney Becker’s Civic F and Roshan Khan’s BMW took Class X. Francis Carruthers Pilbeam took the Bertha Wines Sports & GT 40-minute enduro from Gary Kieswetter and Andre Brink’s Porsches.
Barry Ingle took V8 Masters honours from Marcel Angel and Alister Brown, Nian du Toit took Supercars from Andrew Moffitt and Hilton Pieters, Byron Mitchell beat national F1600 title leader Andrew Rackstraw, Dee-Jay Booysen and Troy Dolinschek to the Formula Libre win and Albert Cook’s BMW and Arnold Lambert shared the Bejo Fine Cars wins. On two wheels, Masters duo Malcom Rapson’s Suzuki and Jacques Ackermann’s Kawasaki beat JB Racoupeau’s Kawasaki in the South Superbikes and Wayne Arendse and Hilton Redelinghuys’ Kawasakis beat Reginald Seale’s Yamaha to the Clubmans bike win.
DOUBLE DUTY ZWARTKOPS
There was action aplenty at Zwartkops on Saturday, where Adrian Dalton took BMW Club victory over Class B winner William Einkamerer and Andreas Meier on the main circuit. Matthew Wadeley took Class C, Varish Ganpath Class D and Hein Van Der Merwe. And on the kart track, Brandon beat brother Jamie Smith to Gauteng Rotax Max Challenge DD2 honours, Muhammad Wally and Kian Grottis won Senior and Junior Max, Wian Boshoff won Min, Rafael Da Silva Micro Max and Maddox Mason Bambinos.