Select Page

The Dunlop Winter Extreme Festival was a true test of endurance, with the races taking place in the biting cold of Zwartkops Raceway on a windy Saturday, 8 June. Despite the harsh conditions, over half of the races were decided by a victory margin of less than a second, and the fields were alive with intense battles. The dedicated fans who braved the wintry weather were rewarded with a day of thrilling entertainment.

The day’s racing got underway when the first of four Dunlop-shod categories took to the track shortly before 10h00. A big crash during practice on Friday eliminated some of the PABAR VW Challenge competitors, but 24 cars still lined up on the grid for the opening heat. The Masters brothers occupied the front row of the grid, Wayne just ahead of Bevin, but Bevin led the Class A field for almost all of the first lap. Cold tyres and a cold track caught him out at the final turn, and the resulting spin dropped him to the back of Class A. Wayne Masters and Luigi Ferro (in a Class X car) then scrapped for the overall lead while Bevin set about closing the gap to the pack. This he did, and by the end of the 10-lap race, he had recovered to second place behind Wayne and ahead of Ferro. Slightly further back, Stuart Mack took a comfortable Class B win from Shiren Rajpaul and Jacques Hayes. In Class C, Christopher Tait was able to hold off Andy Gossman to take the win, with Kyle Petersen in third.

The second race was a nail-biting battle for the lead, with the Masters brothers, Miguel Diaz and Ferro, all vying for the top spot at different stages. When the checkered flag waved, Wayne was in front, closely followed by Bevin, Ferro, and Dias, with the four of them separated by just over a second. Mack continued his winning streak in Class B, while Gossman maintained his lead in Class C from start to finish, securing another victory.

A big field in the BMW ///M Performance Parts Race Series was split into two groups, Classes A, B and C running together, with Classes D and E having two heats of their own. There was early drama in the opening heat for classes A, B and C when Andre van Vuuren ran through the gravel trap on the exit of turn four, damaging his oil cooler. He and a few others then spun off the circuit at turn five, bringing out the red flags while the marshals cleaned the circuit. Once the race restarted, it was a battle of youthful exuberance versus experience at the front of the Class A field, where 16-year-old Ryan Naicker took on 2023 champion Leon Loubser. Naicker made it look easy, cruising to a comfortable first heat win ahead of Loubser, with Fabio Fedetto completing the Class A podium. In Class B, Renier Smith held off Nek Makris to take the win by just over half a second. Oz Biagioni inherited third place when Andreas Meier’s car cried enough shortly after half-distance. Devin Robertson, out in a car that hadn’t been raced competitively for six years, dominated Class C, taking the win from Jan Eversteyn and Reinhardt Miller.

Naicker had to work harder in the second heat, but he took his second win of the day, with Loubser and Fedetto joining him on the Class A podium. Makris and Smith swapped positions at the head of the Class B field, Makris taking his first win of the season. Biagioni again finished in third. Robertson made it two Class C wins out of two starts with another comfortable victory. Miller tried all he could to close the gap but had to settle for second ahead of Hein van der Merwe.

On the opening heat for Classes D and E, George Economides got past pole-sitter Cobus Bohmer early on and was able to control things from the front, taking his third consecutive Class D win. Bohmer held on for second ahead of Nicholas Herbst. Johan Miller used his pole position to good advantage to win Class E ahead of the series newcomer Michael Grobler, who demoted Tihan van Rooyen to third place on the final lap.

In the second heat, Craig Herbst was heading the field when a brake disc failure left him stranded on the exit of turn five. A brief safety car period allowed the marshals to remove his vehicle before racing continued, with Nicholas Herbst and Bohmer fighting for the lead. Economides, however, wanted to continue his winning streak, and just after half-distance, he had worked his way into the lead. Herbst kept Bohmer behind him to claim second. Matthew Wadeley grabbed the early lead in Class E and was able to pull away while his rivals fought over the minor positions. Miller was the best of that group, taking second from van Rooyen.

Lendl Jansen came to Zwartkops unbeaten in the 2024 DOE Formula Vee partnered with CIM Lubricants championship. He had a race-long battle with Peter Hills in the opening race but had to settle for second place just a car length behind to bring his winning streak to an end. Shaun van der Linde just got the better of Brandon Hills to claim third. In the second heat, the father and son Hills duo, Jansen and van der Linde, were again involved in a great scrap at the head of the field. An opportunistic move by Brandon Hills gave him the lead with just a couple of laps to go. He was able to hang on to take the win ahead of his dad, with Jansen in third.
Julian Fameliaris and Thomas Reib have been involved in a titanic struggle at the head of the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars field this year, sharing the race wins between them. Fameliaris, however, did manage to eke out a slight advantage in the previous round. In the opening heat, the two of them again fought it out at the front of the field, leaving Warren Lombard to lead the chasing GT class pack. While Fameliaris looked to have a slightly quicker car, he could not find a way past Reib until there were just a couple of laps left to run. Once in front, he could open a gap and take what became a comfortable win. Reib had to settle for second ahead of Lombard. The GT2 class win went to Shaun Holtzhausen ahead of Compaan and Herbst.

In the reverse-grid second heat, Terry Wilford led the way until mechanical failure saw him end up in the gravel trap on the outside of turn five. A safety car period while the car was moved to a safe position ended with Lombard opening up a gap at the front of the field. Despite some pressure from Franco di Matteo, Lombard was able to hang on and take his first win of the season. Di Matteo took second ahead of Reib, who was able to keep Fameliaris behind him. After a clutch change that saw him join the opening race from pit lane four laps down, Antonie Marx made no mistake in the second GT2 race, taking the win from Holtzhausen and Compaan.

Not content with competing and winning one category, Economides was out in his VW Golf in the Ferro Energia 111/GT Sports and Saloons. In the opening heat, he was untouchable in the GT class. He cruised to victory almost two-and-a-half seconds ahead of Lenard Archer after the field spent a couple of laps behind the safety car just before half-distance. Phillip Meyer took third a further second back. In Class A of the 111 category, Mel Spurr had to work hard to move up from her lowly qualifying position to take the win from Craig Priestley and Wayne Robb. Wayne Lebotschy crossed the line at the head of the Class B field but had broken out of the time limit and was moved to Class A. This gave Luigi Ferro the win, with Miguel Dias and Michael Grobler in second and third. Wouter Roos continued his run of good form this season, taking another Class C win from Bjorn Gebert and Chris Smit. Class D went to Rob Clark from youngster Keegan Nathan and George Eysselein.

In the second heat, Economides again disappeared at the front of the field, taking another win, this time from Mark du Toit. Dawie Olivier was given third place after Troy Marais was penalised for going quicker than the 1’08” lap time, which is the limit for the category. Spurr looked to have Class A under control, but a late surge by Robb made her margin of victory much tighter than she wanted it to be. Francois Henning also put in a late burst of speed and moved up to third. Ferro, Dias and Grobler race to a repeat of their Class B finishing order in the first race. Roos again took the Class C win, this time from Smit and Elke van Vledder. Clark took Class D from Eysselein.

The SuperHatch category ran two heats with the GT/111 cars before an invitational race as the day’s final event. Seten Naidoo won from George Aldrich and Kiresen Reddy in the first heat. Reddy turned things around in the second heat, taking a comfortable win ahead of Naidoo and Aldrich. Reddy led the first half in the invitational race before Francois Henning moved into the lead. He slowly pulled away to take a comfortable win from Reddy, with the 2023 SuperHatch champion Francis Aldrich in third.
The Regional Extreme Festival now has a two-month break before its next event, which takes place on 9 August at Cape Town’s Killarney International Raceway.

Issued by Brandsponential on behalf of Extreme Festival

MSA Publishes media releases from a host of different sources on our website as a service to the sport. It is not practically possible to vet/approve every release that is published. Some news items and articles are written by correspondents and do not necessarily represent MSA’s views.