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What Extreme Festival 2023 Round 2 Report
Where Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
When Saturday 20 May 2023
Community South Africa National

Spectacular action, thrills & drama the order of the day

Not only did a perfect Pretoria’s autumns day and a carnival atmosphere greet a sizeable Zwartkops crowd, but Saturday’s Extreme Festival race day delivered thrilling action throughout a drama filled meeting. It was also a good day for Cape visitors, who peppered the podiums throughout the day.

Ranking the action by pure thrills, the brat pack CompCare Polo Cup certainly stole the show. Three drivers, rookie Anthony Pretorius, championship leader Charl Michael Visser and comeback kid Giordano Lupini shared out the victories in South Africa’s leading young racer’s championship. Each of them led their winning races lights to flag from pole position.

Pretorius held Dawie van der Merwe and a resurgent Lupini off in race 1, Visser beat van der Merwe and Lupini in race 2, and Lupini turned the tables on Visser and van der Merwe in the final. Visser took the day from Lupini and van der Merwe, as Nathan Victor made it three Cape drivers in the top four, from Dean Venter and Pretorius with fraught action throughout the chasing pack all day long.

Much faster and almost as exciting, Franco Scribante’s wild turbo Porsche overcame Jono du Toit’s record setting pole position to keep Jono’s Lamborghini Huracan at bay for most of the day and take overall G+H Extreme Supercar honours two wins to one. Du Toit must have dreamed about the back of that Porsche Saturday night, as he followed it all day long until it exploded to allow Jono to take that last-gasp final win as red flags flew to extinguish the flaming Porsche.

Still, Scribante had done enough to take the day from du Toit. Behind them, Gianni Giannoccaro’s GT3 winning Nissan GT-R held Class A winner Kris Budnik’s Viper and GT3 rivals Mark du Toit’s Lamborghini Huracan and Charl Arangies Ferrari off for third overall. Mo Mia’s Porsche won Class B, Jo Ellerine’s Audi R8 took Class C and Uli Sanne’s BMW Z4 Class C.

Another Capetonian, Troy Dolinschek swept into the lead of the 2023 Investchem Formula 1600 championship with a dominant double win off pole position with the fastest lap to boot, as his closest rivals endured a day to forget. Veteran Nicholas van Weely and fellow Cape lad Jason Coetzee’ shared the seconds and thirds to join Troy on the podium, ahead of rookie KC Ensor-Smith, and brothers Antwan and former leader Gerard Geldenhuys.

The Global Touring Cars flattered to deceive. Championship leader Saood Variawa led a factory Toyota Corolla 1-2-3 over Nathi Msimanga and Michael van Rooyen on the face of it in race 1. But Variawa and van Rooyen were demoted a lap to behind Robert Wolk’s Corolla for their part in Wolk’s lap 1 demise. Van Rooyen took reverse-grid race 2 from Wolk and Variawa, but those results sadly again remain moot among a flurry of protests and appeals.

Behind them, a dominant Bradley Liebenberg made it a crushing four GTC SupaCup wins on the trot with two more victories off pole position at Zwartkops. Arnold Neveling and Jonathan Mogotsi swapped the seconds and thirds on the day to end in that order overall from championship leader Keegan Campos, the ever-improving Dominic Dias and delighted Cape driver Danie van Niekerk.

Sa’aad Variawa took overall victory in the Toyota Gazoo Yaris Cup despite his winning streak being broken by Nikki Vostanis in the second heat while Karah Hill impressed en route to a double third for the day. Setshaba Mashigo and Denis Droppa shared out the GR86 Media wins for the day with Chad Luckhoff third in both races.

The next appointment on the Extreme Festival calendar is at Aldo Scribante’s midwinter midseason third round at in Gqeberha on Saturday 17 June. Expect that one to be another thriller on that quick and challenging Nelson Mandela Bay racetrack!

Issued on behalf of Extreme Festival

Photography by: Colin Windell

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