Desert, Rally, East London & Red Star entertain
There was healthy motor racing across the board this weekend as local race action topped the bill, while South African racers in general had a difficult time abroad.
The 2019 Toyota 1000 Botswana Desert Race delivered a surprise result as Chris Visser and Phillip Herselman powered their privateer Atlas Copco Hilux to victory over Shameer Variawa and Juan Mohr’s factory version and Day 2 and T1 class winners Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable’s Castrol Ford Ranger, after day 1 winners Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings’ factory Hilux hit trouble. Lance Trethewey and Adriaan Roets took Specials honours in their BAT Venom, but the biggest winners were Namibian 24-7 Race Fuel Red-Lined Motorsport Nissan Navara privateers Jaco van Dyk and Michel Rust, who won the Road to Dakar award and a free entry to the Dakar Rally.
Over in Mpumalanga meanwhile Guy Botterill and stand-in Navigator Schalk van Heerden redeemed a little glory for the Gazoo Toyota team with another victory in the King Price Insurance Rally to tighten his grip on another SA rally championship with a 42 second victory over AC Potgieter and Nico Swartz’ VW Polo and Jono van Wyk and Barry White’s Ford Fiesta. Rory Eland and Robbie Coetzee took the Open Class in their Subaru.
Elsewhere in Mpumalanga, the Delmas Red Star Raceway saw Pre-90 Sports & GTs and Universal Health Care Pre-'80 Saloons cars sharing the track with Pre 66 Historics cars as Stefan Snyders Porsche 911 RSR diced Rui Campos’ similar machine and Mark du Toit’s Daytona Cobra for the Historic Racing SA Pre-90 Sports & GTs and Universal Health Care Pre-'80 Saloons wins.
Deon van Vuuren’s Mazda rotary took Pre-80 honours as Johann Smith (Mazda Capella) had to fight Jannie van Rooyen’s VW Scirocco off to secure Class D, Rene van Rensburg won Class E winner and Sean Hepburn’s Datsun 1200 Class F, Gene Malan (Renault R10) G and Rob Clark (Citroen GS) Class H, with similar results in Race 2. Nissan drivers Kola de Klerk (300Z) and Frans Venter (280 ZX) shared the Charlies Superspar Historic Pursuit handicap race wins as Rob van Aarle (Escort) took overall honours.
Also at Delmas, Johan Fourie drove his GTC machine to BMW Club wins over Stefano Martinelli and Andreis Meier in both races, Honda duo Keagan Pottas and Dirk Lawrence beat Bertus van Jaarsveld to Motul Clubmans honours, Jonathan Nash took Formula Ford 1600 over Dean Venter and David Jermy and Riaan Botma’s Ligier beat Anton Muller (Lotus 7) and Ian Smith (Shelby) to Sports & GT honours before Stefan Snyders drove his Porsche to Endurance victory over Nash FVW duo Dean Venter and Matt Nash.
And in East London, the shortest Saturday of the year did not deter the Grand Prix Circuit from delivering a splendid day’s racing as the visiting G&H Extreme Supercars saw Charl Arangies speed off to give his new Senna tribute McLaren an easy first double win on SA soil testing. The action was close a long way behind as Jonathan du Toit’s Ferrari battled Johnny Giannicaro’s Lamborghini for second with Elwin Steenkamp (BMW M3) close behind, while du Toit was second again in race 2 from Steenkamp in race 2.
Topping the local bill, Martin van Zummeren made easy work of the opening Border Modified race in his wild yellow Border Towing Skyline GT-R, leaving Shaun Gradwell and Dean Ball’s BMWs and Bruce Butler’s Harper V8 to share out the bridesmaid duties while Mike Forsyth made no mistakes to power his Backdraft Cobra to triple Border Historics wins ahead of Alec Gudmanz’ Capri Perana each time Jono Webster and Jason Lamb shared the Border motorcycle wins and Lodewyk Hattingh and Craigan Nel the Clubmans bike wins.
A sodden Killarney played host to the third round of the SA Rok Cup karting nationals where the old school 125 GPs delivered the best action as Scott Falconer beat off Kurt Bakewell and Bjorn Roos overall after each driver won a race. Race winners Nik Roos and Muhammad Wally beat KC Ensor-Smith to Mini Rok after Race 2 winner Lucas Royston hit trouble and Cape locals starred in the other classes as Reese Koorzen held off Aiden Green and Luke Hill in Kid Rok, Tate Bishop beat Kwanda Mokoena and Daniele Patrizi in OKJ and Charl Visser topped three-kart DVS.
South Africans had slim pickings racing overseas this weekend as Kelvin van der Linde was robbed of a possible second Nurburgring 24 Hour win when his Audi suffered a puncture with two hours left to run and younger brother Sheldon took an early shower when his BMW broke. Stuart White meanwhile scored a third, a seventh and an 11th in the three Spa Francorchamps French Formula 4 races, while Darren Loureiro ended 12th in the Rimini World Supersport 300 race in Italy.