The Phakisa Freeway once hosted some of the greatest names in world motorsport, when for 6 years it staged a round of the Motorcycle World Championship, in pre MOTOGP days. After the last time it did so back in 2004 (!) and later a once off international Nascar type oval event in 2010, the venue has gradually fallen into a state of disrepair and neglect, quite a sad sight given its glorious history. However, its layout still poses a unique challenge relished by many in the country, and the Goldfields circuit continues to host regional meetings.
Just 2 weeks after a successful start to the 2021 season at Red Star, the Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series will be on its way there for round 2 of the championship on April 10. Lorenzo Gualtieri (Savspeed BMW E36 328 Turbo) heads the Class A entries hoping to overcome the mechanical issues which robbed him of a start in Delmas and pre-empted a challenge for top honours in the class. Uli Sanne (BMW E86 Z4M) and William Einkamerer will swell the ranks further, the latter reunited with his BMW E92 335i, after an engine upgrade.
In Class B, Red Star whet our appetites for some formidable battles to come this year. Andreas Meier (#TrainedAmateurs BMW E36 STC) won both races in round 1 albeit under substantial pressure from young Jagger Robertson (Viking/Big Boss Auto BMW E46 M3), who made the best possible debut in the season opener. The teenager took the fight to Meier and served notice of intent for the season ahead. Behind the pair, Jan Eversteyn (African Surprise E46 M3), Salvi Gualtieri (Savspeed BMW E36 328I Turbo), Carlo Garbini (Kimbo Coffee BMW E46 330 Turbo) and Oz Biagioni (Bio Pool Maintenance BMW E46 M3) battled mightily amongst themselves and will likely do the same in the dusty confines of Phakisa. Rick Loureiro (Combined Racing BMW E30 325is) makes a welcome return to the class to do battle with his old pals.
In Class C Matthew Wadeley (BMW E36 M3) drew first blood at Red Star but Lyle Ramsay (FUCHS Lubricants/Rich Racing BMW E36 330i) showed his ability to challenge the established order by winning the second race convincingly. Troy Cochran (Arrow Automotive/ATE BMW E36 M3) also suffered reliability issues which prevented a start in race 2 after a promising run in the first 8 lapper. He’s back to make amends. Trevor Long (Roof Surgeon/Big Boss Auto BMW E36 M3) enjoyed a good outing at the curtain raiser and wants to follow that up with another solid performance. Renier Smit (BMW E36 M3), Fabio Fedetto (BMW F82 M4) and Nek Makris (BMW E46 328i Turbo) were at it hammer and tongs in the first round, and the Goldfields should bring out the best in them again. The overall 2020 champion Nicholas van Zyl (Red Star Raceway BMW E36 328i Turbo) had a torrid time of it in Delmas on his Class C debut, a faulty clutch hindering him all day, but is raring to go to get his season underway.
In Class D, Neil Reynolds (Valve Hospital BMW E36 M3) was the man to beat 2 weeks ago, but Alan Hilligenn (C3 Shared Services BMW E36 M3), Shane Grobler (Mayfair Gearbox BMW E30 325i), Jonathan Matos (Matossport BMW E46 330I T Touring) and Bernard de Gouveia (de Gouveia Accountants BMW E36 328i) will all want to turn the tables on him. Varish Ganpath (Prodigy BMW E46 325 CI) unfortunately has to sit this round out due to family commitments.
In Class E father and son duo, Craig and Nicholas Herbst (Greenhouse Solar BMW E46 330i) will again take turns at tackling Phakisa, with Nicholas Fischer (Inside Active Group BMW E36 328i), Manny Ribeiro (Bridgestone BMW Car Club BMW E46 325i Touring), Bertie Rietveld (Bertie Rietveld Knives BMW E36 328i) and Mike Grobler (BMW E36 328i) all in the mix as well. Newcomer Thomas Potgieter (Stonehill Properties BMW E87 128i) should follow up a solid debut in round 1 with a similar performance this time around.
Also on the bill on Saturday April 10 is a round of the Historic and Inland Championship featuring various club and historic racing series on the day. Qualifying for the popular BMW series will take place around 08:30 with the first heat scheduled for 11:50 and the second heat at 15:20.
Under the current lockdown regulations, no spectators are allowed, a somewhat unnecessary stipulation because hardly any ever see motorsport at this venue.
Published by: Tony Alves
Photography by: Paul Blackburn
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