Tasmin Pepper

SA motor sportsmen impress around the world

It was a busy weekend across a broad spectrum for South Africa’s motorsportsmen home and away over the past weekend, headlined by Tasmin Pepper, Jonathan Aberdein and Sheldon van der Linde’s performances at Assen in Holland, while SA riders delivered positive results at the British Superbike weekend at Snetterton, with some drama and good racing on the home front too.

SA's Women’s World Championship star Tasmin Pepper endured a tough weekend in the W Series, spinning out to retire from Saturday’s championship race in Assen, Holland after qualifying a fine sixth. Pepper however bounced back to deliver a brilliant 12th to sixth run in Sunday morning’s non-championship race started off a grid in reverse championship order.

Also at Assen, SA DTM German Touring Car rookie Jonathan Aberdein delivered a brilliant result to put his Audi 11th on the grid for the first heat before powering to finish sixth in the wet race. Aberdein then qualified second and came home a fine fourth in Sunday’s second race.

Compatriot Sheldon van der Linde’s weekend started bright with 7th on Saturday's grid, but he was spun round in race 1 to end tenth, before qualifying sixth for Sunday’s race and enjoyed a great start. Sheldon however fell back to end 15th after tangling with Paul di Resta's Aston Martin.

A number of South African international two wheelers were in action at the Snetterton British Superbike races, where young Kade Verwey put it on pole and ended second in Junior Supersport and Phil Atkinson took a fifth and a fourth in the Ducati races. Brent Harran meanwhile finished 10th in Superstock 600 and Jordan Weaving ended 21st in Superstock 1000, but Bjorn Estment retired.

National action was limited to the Baywater Rally, which was reduced to one day when Saturday’s stages were cancelled due to untenable conditions. The rally was still scored on Friday’s results to see overnight leaders AC Potgieter and Nico Swartz (Polo) take the rally win over Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy-Lyle and Matthew Vacy Lyle and Schalk van Heerden's Toyotas. 

A full program of Inland championship racing visited Red Star near Delmas, headed up by a round of the Jozi VW Challenge, where Rory Atkinson beat the similar Polos of Lyle Ramsay and Bevin Masters to first race honours, before Masters turned the tables on Ramsay and overall winner Atkinson in race 2, as Stiaan Kriel and Dawie van der Merwe took Classes B and C.

Rui Campos (Shelby) defeated James Forbes (Ligier) and Jon Wilson (Shelby) in the opening Sports Car Challenge race before Wilson took race 2 from Alister Brown (S2000) and Forbes with overall and SR2 winner Campos fourth. Gert van den Berg took both Formula Vee race wins over Jaco Schriks, while Lendl Jansen and Lushen Ramchander shared the thirds.

Andre de Lange (Audi) beat Jonathan du Toit and Brett Garland’s Hondas to the opening Suprerhatch race before du Toit took race 2 to take the day from Garland and de Lange. Lady racer Kalyn Miller (Charade) won the opening 111 saloons race from Phillip Emmenis (BMW) and Bertus v Jaarsveld (Polo), but it was all change in race 2 as Wouter Roos (Golf) beat Phillip Meyer’s Porsche and George Bezuidenhout (Sentra) with overall winner Miller fourth.

On two wheels, Gareth Bezuidenhout beat Jaco Gous and Graeme van Breda to both Kawasaki ZX10 Masters wins, Tyron Piper (Yamaha) won both Bridgestone Challenge races from Corrie Goosen (Yamaha) and Masters winner Ian Thomas (Kawasaki) and Damian Purificati (BMW) took two Superbike races from Hendrik de Bruin (Yamaha) and Jordan Agliotti (Kawasaki).