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The Regional Extreme Festival competitors made their way to Red Star Raceway, outside Delmas, on 10 and 11 May for the third round of the 2024 season. Under sunny autumn skies, they delivered a day of competitive racing without major incidents.

The BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series had the largest contingent of drivers, with the category being split in two. Classes A, B and C ran together, with D and E running in their own heats. Ryan Naicker led the Class A field in qualifying, and it looked like he was going to run away with the win in the opening heat until he came to a halt shortly after half-distance. This left Bob Neill to hold off Leon Loubser to take the win with Fabio Fedetto in third. A little further back, championship leader Andreas Meier didn’t have the race he was looking for. Although he led the Class B field in qualifying, an off-track on the opening lap dropped him down the field. Cooling problems then prevented him from running at full speed, and the best he could do was work his way back up to third in Class B. Meier’s mistake left Renier Smith to take the win from Oz Biagioni. Reinhardt Miller looked to have things under control at the front of Class C, but an electrical problem sidelined him, leaving Hein van der Merwe to take the win from Bennie Luyt and Jan Eversteyn.

With Naicker not starting the second heat, the battle at the front was between Loubser and Neill. They swapped positions a couple of times in the opening laps, but once Loubser made his decisive move, he was able to hold off Neill to take the win. Fedetto again completed the Class A podium. Meier led the way in Class B for the first half of the race, but a loss of power allowed Smith to take over at the front and go on to take the win. Meier brought his ailing car home in second ahead of Nek Makris. Eversteyn was never challenged on his way to a comfortable Class C win ahead of Gary Martins and Hein van der Merwe.

Cobus Bohmer led the Class D field in qualifying, but an early mistake in the opening heat dropped him down the pack and handed the lead to George Economides. Economides slowly extended his lead to take a comfortable win ahead of Nicholas Herbst and a recovering Bohmer after Roland Hopkins, who crossed the line in third, was penalised for a jump start. Pole-sitter Tihan van Rooyen claimed the opening Class E win after a close fight with Eddie Rodriges. Johan Miller, who slowly worked his way up the field, pipped Rodrigues for second, getting past on the final lap. Economides made it two Class D wins on the day after he got the better of the battle with Hopkins. Bohmer took third, crossing the line less than a car length ahead of Herbst. In the second heat, Miller had a comfortable run to the Class E win, but the battle for the other podium positions was only settled on the final lap. Rodrigues took second from Wadeley after a late mistake by van Rooyen.

The 111 and GT Sports & Saloons arrived at Red Star Raceway with a new title sponsor. Ferro Energia, the commercial solar solutions provider, has taken the naming rights to the series for the remainder of the year and 2025. Not content with only competing in his BMW, Economides also brought his turbo Golf to Red Star. He topped the GT category timesheets in qualifying but couldn’t stop Phillip Meyer from winning in the first heat. Dawie Olivier had to settle for third. In 111 Class A, Mel Spurr and Wayne Robb fought for the win. Spurr prevailed after eight hard-fought laps, with Craig Priestly in a lonely third. Luigi Ferro dominated Class B ahead of Jonathan Visser and Michael Grobler. Wouter Roos emerged victorious in a three-way fight for victory in Class C ahead of Chris Smit and Elke van Vledder. Class D went to Trevor Stringer from Rob Clark. Class X, for newcomers to the category, was won by Chris Dale ahead of Ronald van Rensburg and Nicole Lombard. The SuperHatch win went to Quintus Viljoen from Ishmael Baloyi and Mark du Toit.

Economides made no mistake in the second heat, taking a light-to-flag GT category win from Meyer and Olivier. Spurr and Rob resumed their Class A battle, with Spurr again in front when it counted. Priestly was much closer to the leading duo in the second heat but had to settle for third. Ferro took another comfortable Class B win, this time ahead of Grobler and Mydi Mfana. Smit’s Porsche ground to a halt on the opening lap, leaving the Class C fight to van Vledder and Roos. Roos took his second win of the day, just over half a second ahead of van Vledder, with Mike O’Sullivan in third. Stringer again got the better of Clark in Class D, while Lombard led the way in Class X from van Rensburg and Dale. SuperHatch first race winner, Viljoen, ground to a halt after just a couple of laps, leaving du Toit to take the win from Baloyi with George Aldrich in third.

The PABAR VW Challenge gang thrilled as usual. At the front of the field, brothers Wayne and Bevin Masters put on a great show of close racing. In the opening heat, Bevin took the overall win in his Class A car, less than 0.15” ahead of Wayne’s Class X example. Miguel Dias and Mydi Mfana completed the Class A podium. A little bit further back, Stuart Mack got the better of Dewald Theron to lead the Class B pack. Mack pulled away for a comfortable win, but Ethan Coetzee got past Theron on the last lap to take second place. It was all about the youngsters in Class C, Judd Bertholdt leading the way from Christopher Tait and Kyle Petersen.

Race two was more of the same at the front of the field, although this time, Wayne took the flag ahead of Bevin for the overall win. Dias was again second in Class A, with Nicole Lombard in third. Mo Karodia crossed the line at the head of the Class B pack, but a post-race penalty saw him demoted to third. This gave the win to Coetzee, with Mack just over a tenth behind in second. While youngsters took the first two places in Class C, Bertholdt claimed his second win of the day from Tait. It was the old man of the class, Andy Gossman, who celebrated his birthday with a third-place podium.

Lendl Jansen had the perfect race day in the DOE Formula Vee partnered with CIM Lubri Fuel category. He followed up on his pole position with two race wins. Behind him in the first race, Brandon Hills led dad Peter home to take second. The result was the same in the second heat, although Brandon was much closer to the front this time.

Defending champion Julian Fameliaris also made it a clean sweep in the thundering Mobil 1 V8 Supercars. He followed up a comfortable pole position with a light-to-flag win in the first heat. Warren Lombard and Thomas Reib fought it out for the minor podium positions, Lombard getting the better of that battle. Mechanical problems brought Larry Wilford’s GT2 class challenge to a premature end and allowed Auke Compaan to take victory despite his car slowing on the final lap. Steve Herbst took second place in GT2.

The reverse-grid second race gave Fameliaris a bit more work to do, but he was soon back at the front and on his way to another win. Lombard tried everything he could to get past Reib, but it took him until the final chicane to finally find a way through. It ended with another second place for Lombard, with Reib in third. Compaan didn’t make it out for the second race, which left Wilford to take the GT2 win from Herbst.

The next Regional Extreme Festival event takes place at Zwartkops Raceway on 7 and 8 June 2024.

Issued by Brandsponential on behalf of Extreme Festival

Photography by: Willie Pretorius

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