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2024’s second BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series this past weekend (1-2 March) at Zwartkops Raceway saw a host of surprise results, and former double Champion Andreas Meier emerge as the Championship leader.

Classes D & E

In Round 2, The class D & E battles started the BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series programme for the weekend. Jaco Storm Jnr, in only his second outing, took the ATS Motorsport Pole Position to head up Class D, with Nicholas Herbst for company on the front row. Cobus Bohmer and Neil Reynolds shared the second row ahead of Craig Herbst.

Zaheer Seedat continued his fine form in Class E by heading up the grid, with Roland Hopkins and debutant Eddie Rodrigues behind him. Matthew Wadeley, a late entry in the BMW Car Club Gauteng Track Taxi, lined up in fourth place ahead of Tihan van Rooyen, another debutant and, at 18 years of age, the youngest driver on the Round 2 grid.

The first race saw the Safety Car deployed on Lap 4, with Javelin Ramsamy retiring in a precarious position. However, before retiring, he broke into Class D. He was also not the only driver in the race to have broken out early, with the final results seeing no less than four class changes.

While Storm Jnr was the first to take the flag and an apparent comfortable maiden win, he also broke into the Class C times, which saw Nicholas Herbst take the Class D honours in Race 1. Reynolds and Bohmer were locked in a good tussle for the final podium spot on the track, but Reynolds also broke out, which promoted Bohmer to the runner-up spot. The battle-for-fifth on track effectively saw the final podium position go to Craig Herbst, who joined son Nicholas on the rostrum. He held off Claudio Jardim, Dewald Smith and Stefano Cavalieri in an entertaining four-way tussle.

Rodrigues, in his first race start in a decade after a horrific accident in the Polo Cup at Killarney International Raceway, took an early lead in Class E to start his career in the BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series with a win. Shaun Dodd fought his way through to second place ahead of Seedat. Reigning Class E Champion Arri van Heerden crossed the line in fourth place but also broke out before the Safety Car. However, he also received a 30-second post-race penalty for having executed a pass while the Safety Car was deployed. This promoted Van Rooyen to fourth and Wadeley to fifth.

Race 2 saw Dewald Smith holding onto the Class D lead for the early part of the race before dropping down and eventually out of the top 10. This saw Jardim take the lead and take his maiden Class D win. Bohmer held off Nicholas Herbst until the final lap when the latter made a move stick to finish as runner-up. Shane Grobler and Craig Herbst jostled for fourth place, with the former taking the position.

In Class E, Dodd got the Race 2 win that eluded him in the season opener, with Race 1 winner Rodrigues in tow. Seedat took third after his battle with Johan Miller. Van Rooyen also contested a podium spot in the race’s opening half, but an off-track excursion saw him drop to sixth place behind Wadeley.

Nicholas Herbst took the Class D honours for the day, with Jardim and Bohmer rounding out the podium. He also took the lead on the Class D points table from the absent Ludavic Caron, with Bohmer separating them. Herbst and Bohmer shared the Class D Fastest Lap points on the day. While Rodrigues and Dodd were tied on 18 points in Class E, Rodrigues’ accumulated race time saw him take the win, with Seedat, who holds onto the Class E lead, in third. While Miller and Dodd are tied on 20 points, the latter’s Race 2 win sees him slotting into second place. Dodd also recorded the fastest laps in both races.

Classes A, B & C

Defending Class A and Series Champion Leon Loubser took his first Dunlop Pole Position of 2024, with Fabio Fedetto joining him as the only other competitor in the class.

Meier headed the Class B contingent on the grid, ahead of defending Class Champion Nek Makris and Renier Smith. Sav Gualtieri returned to the series with fourth place, ahead of Jaco Storm Snr.

Bennie Luyt, whose participation in Round 2 looked doubtful earlier in the week, headed up Class C from Hein van der Merwe. Gary Martins qualified in fourth place, reigning Class D Champion Reinhardt Miller debuting his BMW E36 328i Turbo by taking fourth place, and Nick Naidoo, in his first 2024 outing, in fifth.

Loubser dominated the first race to take his first win of the season, while Fedetto dropped behind the Class B leaders to finish as runner-up.

The only change that occurred in Class B before the field spread out was Storm Snr retiring on Lap 3. Meier remained unbeaten, with Makris and Smith joining him on the podium. Gualtieri finished fourth, with Oz Biagioni completing the top five.

The status quo also remained in Class C, where Luyt won from Van der Merwe, Martins, Miller and Naidoo.

However, with a thunderstorm threatening, the second race provided an action-packed finish to the day’s programme.

A Class B car is not often the first to cross the line, but a mechanical issue with three corners remaining saw Loubser rolling to the flag at near-pedestrian pace in sixth place on the road. However, he still took the Class A win from Fedetto, who finished 13 seconds behind.

Gualtieri took the Race and Class B win with Meier in tow. Meier dispatched Smith to third place early in the race after the latter appeared to lose speed. Meier closed in on Gualtieri in the closing stages but ran out of laps to attempt a challenge for the win. Makris trailed Smith over the line, with Biagioni in fifth. Storm Snr retired on Lap 5 after several off-track excursions.

A day that marked a few maiden class wins already saw Martins join this list after taking the Class C honours in Race 2, with his BMW F87 M2 50D being the first diesel-engined car to take a race win in the series’ history. Race 1 winner Luyt fended off Miller for the runner-up spot. Further back, Mark Jones finished held off Alan Hilligenn.

Loubser’s two wins saw him take the Class A win for the day from Fedetto. He also recorded both Fastest Laps. Loubser also shot to the top of the Class A points table, ahead of Fedetto, while former leader Nian du Toit, who only participated in the season opener, is in third place. Meier took the Class B honours for the day, with Gualtieri and Smith on the podium. Meier and Smith also shared the Fastest Lap points. Meier retained his Class B lead with Makris and Smith behind him. Class C went to Luyt, who also picked up the ITOO Driver of the Day award, a week after an engine failure in the XPEL South Africa BMW Car Club Gauteng Track Day cast severe doubt over his participation. Martins and Miller completed the day’s podium. After his maiden win, Martins, who also took one of the Fastest Lap points, now leads Class C from Van der Merwe, who took the Race 1 Fastest Lap point. Former leader Rob Gearing, who missed this round, is now fourth.


Meier now has a seven-point lead over defending Champion Loubser and Seedat. Nicholas Herbst is only three points adrift. Makris’ consistency sees him trailing the latter by two points, ahead of the Martins. Only nine points separate positions two-through-six.

Next Event

Round 3 of the 2024 BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series will form part of a bumper-edition Extreme Festival at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, the first significant car racing event to be held this year at the prestigious venue, to be held on 11-13 April.

Issued by Brandsponential on behalf of BMW Car Club Gauteng

Photography by: Willie Pretorius and James Thomson

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