Mark du Toit and Kishoor Pitamber piloted their Trans Africa Racing/Siris BMW Z4 to a comfortable win in the annual Phakisa 200, held at the Free State circuit on Saturday, 8 June 2019. They were followed over the line by Louis Scholtz (Car Care Clinic Honda Civic) with Gary Gordon and Danie Deysel (Honda Spares Honda Ballade) in third.
Before the 200 km race got underway, the drivers tackled a short 8-lap sprint race which turned into a 5-way battle at the front. Deysel (Honda Spares Honda CRX) was able to withstand the pressure from behind and take a narrow win from Wouter Roos (Nathan’s Motorsport VW Golf) with Nic Dodds (AIPM Honda Ballade) in third. Class B went to Paul Saayman (Auto Movers VW Caddy) from Waldo Swiegers (VW Golf) and Phillip Meyer (LSC Group/Imperial Logistics Porsche 924) with Class X going the way of Roy Obery (Haval Edenvale Mitsubishi). Chris Smit (Porsche 924) claimed Class D with Richard Hodgson (VW Golf) on top of Class E.
The early stages of the Phakisa 200 saw half a dozen cars opening up a gap at the head of the field, but this group gradually dwindled to three as mechanical maladies side-lined some of the contenders. Shortly before the competitors started coming in to make their compulsory pit stop, du Toit led the way from Bertus van Jaarsveld with Scholtz in third. Du Toit remained out on track as those behind him pitted, slowly extending his lead and allowing him to come in and hand the car over to Pitamber with a comfortable gap to their closest rivals. Pitamber was able to bring the car home a lap in front of Scholtz to take the win. The Gordon/Deysel Honda probably did more overtaking than any other vehicle in the race, working their way up from near the back of the field after problems in the early laps to finally take third place.
Van Jaarsveld finished just off the podium ahead of Meyer with local man Lenard Archer (ACD Welkom Hyundai Elantra) in sixth. Swiegers finished in seventh ahead of the SuperHatch pairing of Nic Martin and Chris Davison with Reno van Heerden (VW Polo) and Almero van Eck (TAURUS VW Polo) rounding out the top 10.
Du Toit and Pitamber were the winners of Class A with van Jaarsveld and Archer joining them on the podium. Scholtz took Class B from Meyer and Swiegers while Class D went to van Heerden from van Eck with Ishmael Baloyi and Terrence Khalo (Honda Civic) claiming the final podium position. Marius Lotz (VW Golf) took Class E from Hodgson and Andy Gossman (Allwagen Parts VW Polo). Class X went to Gordon and Deysel with Deon Holliday Jnr and Stiaan Kriel recovering to second after early problems with their Monitor Net VW Polo. Ashraf Sadick (VW Polo) took third place.
In the Index of Performance, which measures consistency over the 200km race distance, SuperHatch competitors Nathi Msimanga and Shane Forget claimed the first two places. Van Eck and van Heerden were third and fourth ahead of Scholtz in fifth.
The third round of the 2019 Car Care Clinic 111 Sports & Saloons championship takes place at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 29 June.
Published by: Paul Bedford
Picture Caption: Phakisa 200 winners Mark du Toit and Kishoor Pitamber
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