What Extreme Festival 2023 Final Round Preview
Where Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
When Saturday 14 October 2023
Community South Africa National
SA champions galore to be crowned in Pretoria
Several South African national circuit motor racing champions will be crowned in an Extreme Festival Final second to none at Pretoria’s Zwartkops Raceway Saturday 14 October. Although some titles are already won, several major championships remain on the line, not least the Global Touring Cars, GTC SupaCup, CompCare Polo Cup and Mobil 1 V8 Supercars crowns. Add splendid Investchem Formula 1600 single seaters, the ultra-fast G+H Extreme Supercars, and the Gazoo Toyota Racing Leagues, and SunBet ZX10 Masters, and it’s bound to be a weekend to remember!
There are just three points in it, in the Global Touring Cars. Double reigning champion Robert Wolk snatched the title lead after a year-long chase at Killarney last time out aboard his CLR BMW M 128 ti GTC. Teenage title rival Saood Variawa is out to bounce back after a disappointing last outing in his Gazoo Toyota Corolla. One of them will emerge champion on Saturday evening. That overall battle is not the only GTC attraction, as Variawa’s rookie teammate Nathi Msimanga and Andrew Rackstraw’s Volkswagen Golf fight it out for third, with Michael van Rooyen’s third Gazoo entry hot on their heels. And will rookie Josh Le Roux and his Audi S3 be able to hold comeback hero Julian van der Watt’s Corolla off for sixth?
Behind them, GTC SupaCup championship is all about Bradley Liebenberg and Volkswagen factory driver Jonathan Mogotsi. With ten points between them, Liebenberg and Mogotsi have scored identical points over the last four races. So, will Jonathan be able to break the deadlock to get the jump on Bradley? Arnold Neveling needs to win if he wants to topple Keegan Campos from third, while keeping an eye on his championship mirrors for top SupaCup rookie Tate Bishop. JP van der Watt and lady racer Kara Hill will fight their own private title battle, and there’s a possibility of a surprise new entry that would really throw a major cat among those Volkswagen pigeons.
Cape Town lad Charl Visser only needs follow his title rival Dawie van der Merwe home in the first heat to clinch the 2023 CompCare Polo Cup championship. The big battle there is however for third, where local lad Anthony Pretorius will be keen to repeat his Zwartkops home victory last time the Polos raced there. He has Cape lad Nathan Victor, Farhaan Basha, Jason Loosemore, Dean Venter, and Ethan Coetzee breathing down his neck. Also keep an eye on lady racer Tyler Robinson in what promise to be a seismic pair of Polo Cup races.
One of the Zwartkops Extreme Festival weekend highlights, the G+H Extreme Supercars are ready to thrill Pretoria. But the local championship regulars will have an international fly to deal with in Saturday’s ointment, if Stuart White’s pace in his wailing V12 Aston Martin was anything to go by last time out. The Bloemfontein lad may prove hard to beat, but beat him championship top two, Charl Arangies monster Mercedes-AMG GT3 and Gianni Giannoccaro’s Nismo GT-R GT3, Jonathan du Toit and his mighty Lamborghini Huracán, and Franco Scribante’s powerful Porsche, will be out to do. Also keep a watch for Marius Jackson’s Audi R8 LMS GT3, Xolile Letlaka and Ricky Giannoccaro’s Lamborghini Huracáns and wildcard Arnold Neveling’s Porsche, among others.
Young Capetonian Troy Dolinschek has already wrapped up the Investchem Formula 1600 championship, but the fight there is for second between another young Cape star, Jason Coetzee, the resurgent Nicholas van Weely, who leads the Gauteng charge, and Gerard Geldenhuys. Behind them Siya Mankonkwana, Alex Vos, KC Ensor-Smith, and Antwan Geldenhuys are fighting their own battle for fifth in the rapid wings and slicks single seater class. They race alongside the wingless and treaded tyre Formula Ford Kents where the fight should be between veterans Ian Schofield, Graham Hepburn, and Duncan Vos at Zwartkops.
Both Gazoo Toyota League titles are already settled. Sa’aad Variawa has clinched the Yaris title and he will be out to extend his championship lead with race winners, lady racer Karah Hill and young Nikki Vostanis, as well as Bjorn Berthold, Ryan Naicker, and Taariq Adam snapping at his heels. Setshaba Mashigo has likewise dominated GT86 Media League, where scribes Denis Droppa, Mark Jones, Chad Luckhoff and Brendon Staniforth, and Toyota suits Glenn Compton and Riaan Esterhuysen are out to stop him.
It’s a big weekend for rising young Mobil 1 V8 Supercar star Julian Fameliaris. He heads to Zwartkops with his Corvette leading multiple champion Mackie Adlem’s Jaguar XKR in the title race as the rumbling machines join the National Festival for their finale. Thomas Reib can also pull off an unlikely championship challenge in his Lumina, while Warren Lombard’s Falcon, Steve Herbst in his Corvette, Franco Di Matteo’s Jaguar, and Terry Wilford’s Mustang should all be in the hunt.
The SunBet ZX10 Masters motorcycles also re-join the National Extreme Festival to add a little two wheel spice to the Zwartkops Finals action. The main focus there is on the overall championship battle between Jozi hero Graeme van Breda and his East London rival Jayson Lamb, who sit twelve points apart with four rounds left to race. Trevor Westman sits a lonely third, ahead of the duelling Pieter de Vos and Bryan Bontekoning, with Hein McMahon, Ronald Slamet, David Enticott, David Veringa and Johan Le Roux in chase. Rest assured of ultra-close, super-exciting action between this lot too!
Zwartkops’ Extreme Festival Finale starts with Thursday and Friday practice before Polo Cup Qualifying Friday afternoon. The rest qualify Saturday morning 14 October, followed by a full and furious race program, commencing mid-morning amid all the regular Zwartkops off track attractions the keep you entertained between the track action. Tickets will be available at the gate for R130 per person. Under 12s get in free. See you at Zwartkops 14 October!
Issued on behalf of Extreme Festival
Photography by: Abri de Bruyn and Andre Laubscher
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