This weekend (1-2 September) will see the first coastal visit for the BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series with Round 6 of the 2023 championship at Aldo Scribante Racetrack in Gqeberha.
Only seven points separate the top five contenders in the championship, with Leon Loubser in the lead following Dave Rehse’s breakout from Class E. However, the immediate focus for the drivers will be their respective class battles at the circuit that will be new for all but a few drivers on the entry list.
The first half of the season saw Loubser winning seven of the 10 races while setting the weekend’s fastest time on four of five occasions. He will, however, be up against Bob Neill, a driver who has impressed since joining the series in Round 3. While the circuit will be a new adventure for Loubser, Neill heads into the weekend with prior experience from his Global Touring Cars and Car Care Clinic 111 Sports & GT campaigns. Loubser’s 76 points see him enjoying a commanding lead in the class, with Neill a further 54 points adrift, but Loubser will need to take every point on offer to stay clear of the rest of his challengers on the overall points table.
In Class B, Andreas Meier heads another close contest. With 73 points, he is two clear of Nek Makris, with Lyle Ramsay a further seven adrift. This trio have matched each other closely throughout the season, but Ramsay might enjoy an advantage this time. Having formerly competed in the VW Challenge and Polo Cup championships, he has prior experience at the circuit, albeit in front-wheel drive cars, with his last outing there being in 2019. Renier Smith, Oz Biagioni, Mansoor Parker and Dewit Oosthuizen will also look to make up ground in Lorenzo Gualtieri’s absence.
Class C has seen a host of changes on the points table, with breakouts and sporadic appearances by some competitors. Subsequently, Nicholas Fischer, the only driver in the top six to have competed in every event, holds the lead with 56 points. Alan Hilligenn and Troy Cochran are tied on 44 points, with Hilligenn ranked ahead on account of his wins earlier this year. However, his absence in Round 6 will see Cochran move ahead. Hein van der Merwe and Jan Eversteyn, former class leaders, will also be absent. Like in Class B, this will allow the rest of the pack to close the gap to the leaders. This charge will be headed by Anwar Levy, who competed at the circuit before. Nick Naidoo, Anand Naidu, Bennie Luyt, Vigen Naidu, Bernard de Gouveia, Shane Grobler, and Nicholas van Zyl will also look to contest the race wins.
Class D leader Reinhardt Miller, will look to extend his advantage. With 71 points, he will look to add to his four wins. With Dave Rehse, Nicholas Herbst and Cobus Bohmer all absent this weekend, his nearest rival is fifth-placed Neil Reynolds, 29 points adrift. Johan Miller and Lenard Archer will also look to cash in, with Archer also on the list of drivers with experience at the circuit. The BMW Car Club Gauteng Track Taxi will be piloted by Matthew Wadeley this time. Andre Diedericks, who last competed in Round 2, will also be back on the grid.
Rehse’s breakout has seen Arri van Heerden move to the top of the Class E. His 69 points see him 31 clear of Dewald Smith, with this pair eager to resume their fierce on-track contest. Caren Nienaber and Claudio Jardim will also make the trip to Gqeberha.
The away round will also attract a host of local participants. While they have nominated classes, the final classification will be done once the official sessions start on Friday. Gqeberha will be represented by Shaun Gradwell, Marais Ellis, Marco Retter, Stephan Aucamp, and Paul Berry, while Craig Rapp from Cape Town will also join the battle.
Saturday will see the field split into two groups, with the races scheduled for:
10:25 – Race 1 for Classes A, B & C – 12 Laps
11:35 – Race 1 for Classes D & E – 12 Laps
13:45 – Race 2 for Classes A, B & C – 12 Laps
14:55 – Race 2 for Classes D & E – 12 Laps
Spectator tickets can be purchased from the Algoa Motorsport Club. The full Extreme Festival race programme will be broadcast live on the BMW Car Club Gauteng Facebook page and 2WheelsTV YouTube channel.
Issued by Brandsponential on behalf of BMW Car Club Gauteng.
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