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The opening round of the South African National Racing categories visited the Killarney International Raceway on Saturday 16 March 2024. Saturday brought customary south easterly wind, but pleasant summer day temperatures to the circuit which sort of blew any chances of lap records as the back straight had a natural brake applied to each race.

VW Rookie Cup 2×8 Laps
With just five actual entries in identical VW Motorsport Polo Vivo GT the day got off to a slow start as only five would score in the final result after two eight lap heats.

Applause to Volkswagen Motorsport supporting another young talent search but it fails to fit into the Extreme Festival as a crowd pleaser.

Dhivyen Naidoo (98) the first overall winner from Jayden Goosen (53), Judd Bertholdt (27), Josh Moore (17) and Uzair Khan (78).

Sunbet ZX10 Masters Cup 2×12 Laps
They may be senior riders and machines with respect to age, but 25 machines took to the track and delivered a proper two wheeled spectacle.

The exception being Clint Seller who simply proved that he is one of the best motorcycle racers of this era aboard his 11A King Price Extreme ZX10R. One could consider him a younger Danie “van Killarney” Maritz with incredible consistency and ridiculous pace. Pole position on 1min11.756 set the scene and two heat victories brought home a dominant and well deserved overall victory on the day.

2nd and 3rd was rehearsed during the regional rounds as Allann-Jon Venter (39A Vault Markets / True Vine) and Trevor Westman (60A Project Sixty SA) found themselves glued together right up to the final corner when Allann-Jon outbraked himself in Pertamina Fastron to allow Trevor Westman through into second overall for the day. A brilliant dice that could really have gone either way.

Hein McMahon fourth aboard his 4A K9 Law Enforcement ZX10R. Lubabalo Ntisana impressed with fourth in class aboard his 53A LB Auto ZX10R, Adriaan van Dalen fifth and Renatus van Niekerk sixth.

Class B saw Piers Canute surprise himself with overall victory aboard his 7B Project Sixty SA ZX10R from the 117A Wheelonline ZX10R of David Veringa and Apanna Ganapathy third aboard the 77B ART Technologies ZX10R. Abrie Marais 48B First for Cloud / First Digital third and in fourth it was the 70B Trucella ZX10R of Dieter Huysamen. Stephen Galgoczy fifth on the 91B Primaquip / ETR / 2M Trailers machine with the luckless champion, Graeme van Breda, sixth after a tumble in Pertamina Fastron on his 1B Stefanutti Stocks / Motul ZX10R.

Jayson Lamb was docked a jump start penalty in Heat 1 but recovered well to take overall victory on the 42C Tyremart / Max-4 Cars ZX10R with Johan le Roux second on his 44C Avidan Trading ZX10R and Brian Bontekoning third aboard the 16C Jaguar Power Products ZX10R. Ian Harwood fourth for 24C TRP Distributors / Berik and in fifth it was Henk Schuilling on his 69C Air Systems ZX10R. For reasons unknown he was excluded from the H1 results.

With two twelve lap heats these guys were really working hard in the heat and some even chose to celebrate their birthday. Congratulations to Gerhard Vrey who turned forty whilst racing his 21A Seal Pro / Somerset Auto Clinic ZX10R.

Investchem Formula 1600 & Formula Ford Kent 2×10 Laps
A healthy 18 car field opened the single seater season and it was Shrien Naidoo who claimed top spot on the podium in his 12 Production X Racing Mygale. There was some contact, some spinning and some damage enroute but there was real close racing and then anything can, and normally does happen. Some will benefit and some will feel done in but they will be back for more.
Jason Coetzee (77 Mint Wrapworks / Fuchs Lubricants Mygale) was made to work extremely hard for the heat two victory to net second overall for the day from an equally determined KC Ensor-Smith (68 African Heating / Brian Krige Mygale) and initial pole sitter Jagger Robertson (76 Mygale). Veteran Nicholas van Weely (87 Magnificent Paints & Hardware Mygale) fifth and Ewan Holtzhausen (16 Investchem / Total Plastics Mygale) sixth overall.

It is the final year of Formula 1600 and it is probably going to be one of the best seasons if racing on Saturday can be maintained. Picking the final champion will probably be determined with the last chequered flag of the season.

In the traditional Formula Ford Kent 1600 category Ian Schofield looked the likely winner but ran into problems with his 9 Investchem Mygale to drop to fourth overall. Duncan Vos happy to accept first overall in his 23 DV Building Supplies Swift with international visitor, Rick Morris, second in his 24 Investchem Mygale and Ronald van Weely third in the 88 Magnificent Paints & Hardware Van Diemen RF. Allen Meyer (57 Investchem Van Diemen) the final finisher in the class.

Astron Energy Polo Cup 2×10 Laps
With a new winner on the cards the gloves came off early and even a race stoppage could not cool the pressure.
Jason Loosemore and Nathan Victor were separated by nothing and a bit after 20 laps of close contact push and shove (remember rubbing is racing) and they crossed the final chequered flag as one. Only electronics could separate the result and it was in favour of the 15 Security Fencing and Alarms VW Polo of Jason Loosemore. Nathan Victor second in the 71 Summit Racing VW Polo, but what a finish!

Mohammed Karodia third in the 25 Fast 5 Motorsport VW Polo and in fourth it was Kyle Visser in the 77 VW Rookie Cup sponsored VW Polo. Ethan Coetzee (58 JRT Racing Experience VW Polo) fifth and the top six completed by Jeandré Marais (21 Syrabix VW Polo).

John Kruger (76M Habot Oil VW Polo) beating Wayne Master (4M Alpha ESS VW Polo) as Master.

Gazoo Racing SA Cup 2×8 Laps
Six Toyota GR Corolla and six GR86 cars participated in the Gazoo Racing SA Cup.
The six GR86 entries starting ahead of the GR Corolla grid and it resulted in Dawie van der Merwe taking overall victory in the 30 Bucketlist Racing Toyota GR86 with Niko Zafiris second in his 70 Bucketlist Toyota GR86. Setshaba Mashigo third, Ryan Naicker fourth, and Dylan Pragji fifth.

Sean Nurse (28 Auto Trader) sixth overall in the fastest of the Toyota Gazoo Corolla (Media) entries with Hannes Visser (12 La’t Wiel) seventh, Alex Shahini (89 CAR) eighth, Bernie Hellberg (7 Driven) ninth and Kumbi Mtshakazi (794 Kumbi on Cars) tenth.
Jaco van der Merwe (13 The Citizen) survived a big moment in Pertamina Fastron enroute to 11th spot and Kent Swartz (58 GR86) encountered some gremlins enroute to 12th.

Extreme Supercars Driven by Dunlop 3×10 Laps
Possibly the category of motorsport that will have the biggest following in South Africa in 2024 has to be the loud, colourful and spectacular rear wheel driven exotics that comprise the Extreme Supercars driven by Dunlop series. Saturday was well supported by spectators and given the healthy entry of 21 cars one would be tempted that even more spectators will attend the next round of the Extreme Festival at Killarney come September.

Gearbox gremlins saw Franco Scribante off to a slow start in heat one which was an opportunity Stuart White accepted to dominate the race in the ex-Celsio Scribante 27A+ Into Africa Racing / Sparco SA / Würth SA Lamborghini Huracan. Pole position became victory in heat one, fastest lap and was succeeded by two second places behind a recovering Franco Scribante to ensure overall victory on debut for the new combination.

The General did show it’s potential and the 25A+ Scribante Porsche 997 Twin Turbo will not be taking defeat lightly. Second place makes you the first loser so expect war at the next round. Jonathan du Toit as always driving clean and neat to finish third overall in his 34n Trans Africa Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo. Arnold Neveling certainly attracted much attention with his performance in the 54 GOSCOR Lift Trucks / Stradale Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo and he is set to ruffle a few feathers going forward. Silvio Scribante another steady hand in fifth overall with his 55 Scuderia Scribante / Cemza Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and the top six completed by the 45A+ Scuderia Scribante Lamborghini Huracan of Aldo Scribante.

Gianni Giannoccaro did not seem his normal self in the seventh placed 15n BISC Transport / Stradale Motorsport Nismo GTR and he was followed home by Ricardo Giannoccaro in the 75A G&H Transport / Hire Cugini Lamborghini Huracan Evo. Charl Arangies almost surprisingly only ninth in the older 86n Stradale Motorsport Lamborghini Gallardo GT3. The top ten completed by Ant Blunden in his 77B Porsche 991 Cup 4.0.

Unfortunately Blunden nicked Oliver Hintenaus (76D Coastal Panelbeaters BMW M3) into the scenery, who in turn then collected the rear of the 11 Mercedes Benz AMG GT3 of Sun Moodley before colliding head on with the spun, and stationary, 51 Autohaus Angel Ferrari 488 GT3 of Dayne Angel.

Giacomo Giannoccaro eleventh overall in the class C winning 511 G&H Transport Audi R8 GT4. Dr Mike Verrier taking victory in class D with his 4 NDT Racing BMW Z4 despite spinning on his own oil in Pertamina Fastron. Renzo Torrente spun his 11 ATM Chiptuning BMW M4 GT4 in spectacular fashion in Pertamina Fastron but somehow survived to finish second in class with Marco Retter third in his 50 Progress Precision Engineering BMW M3.

SA Touring Cars & Supacup 2×12 Laps
Robert Wolk dominated the opening round of the new SA Touring Cars with the 41 Chemical Logistics BMW. Julian van der Watt benefitted from the Toyota drivers tripping over one another to place his 42 Chemical Logistics Volkswagen Golf GTi second overall whilst “team orders” saw Saood Variawa third in the No 1 Toyota Gazoo Racing Corolla entries. Anthony Pretorius fourth in his 60 OMP / Lee Thompson Racing Toyota Corolla and in fifth it was the 28 Toyota Gazoo Racing Corolla of Nathi Msimanga. Michael van Rooyen sixth in the 16 Toyota Gazoo Racing Corolla and the final finisher Andrew Schofield eighth in his 8 Fly Safair / Investchem / Chemical Logistics BMW.

Jonathan Mogotsi claimed overall honours in the Supacup with his 14 VW Motorsport Polo GTi and he was followed home by Keegan Campos ( 3 Campos Transport Polo GTi) and Charl Visser (33 VW Motorsport Polo GTi). Bradley Liebenberg (defending Supacup champion jumping ship) fourth overall in the 12 Gazoo Racing Toyota Starlet with David Franco fifth in his 96 Graphix Supply World Polo GTi and the top six completed by Karah Hill in her 41 Kalex Polo GTi.

Extreme Supercars stole the show with the Investchem single seaters, Sunbet ZX10 Masters and Astron Energy Polo Cup also delivering great racing. Though there is little doubt that the SA touring cars are superb racing machines the on track action lacks manufacturer variety and support. Hopefully more will be joining the series in 2024.

Published by: Patrick Vermaak

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