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The Western Cape is considered to be something of a baby, either full of winds or wet. Saturday 5 August 2023 lived up to expectations with regards to winter weather and bitter cold was added simply to ensure that the visiting Northerners could experience every aspect. Did we mention, it was flippin cold out there!

On the flip side of the coin it somehow seemed appropriate weather in which to greet J.B. “JayBee” Pretorius, Dave “The Killarney Stig” Malan and Allan Russo. We could blame the rain, but the tears were real!

Day 210 of 2023 leaves 155 to 2024 and the reality that more than half of 2023 already represents history.

Formula Libre 2×10 Laps

Thanks to Liqui Moly the first North versus South Challenge saw the Libre field bosting 30 cars and headline status on the 15-race itinerary.  

Pole set by Andrew Rackstraw with a calender time of 1min29.697 certainly indicative of weather conditions. Racing slicks need temperature and dry conditions. Still, the first two rows were locked out by four Formula VW Reynard with Byron Mitchell, Storm Lanfear and Dee-Jay Booysen.

Andrew Rackstraw led Byron Mitchell home by just 0.102sec after ten laps, but thanks to the very unusual problem of slow traffic everywhere around the 3.267km circuit one wrong move could have had this result go either way. Byron Mitchell managing the fastest time of 1min19.161. Storm Lanfear and Dee-Jay Booysen third and fourth respectively with Jeandré le Roux fifth in his class C Liqui Moly VW Forza Super Vee and the similar car of Lushen Ramchander sixth. Allen Meyer recovered well to finish 7th in his 57S Liqui Moly Formula VW Reynard having not qualified.

Luan van Heerden had an unfortunate retirement in his 28V Omega after Donovan Ramsay spun his 95V Kerston Foods Sting, sliding down into Luan who suffered broken left rear suspension after contact. André le Riche had an innocent spin in Turn 5 and simply got stuck trying to turn around. Showering two enthusiastic marshals who tried to assist, but the 18V Racelab Karting Lantis did not budge.

A broken rose joint is suspected to be the reason why Tjaden Tromp plastered his neat Formula M into the Porsche Club main straight pit wall whilst the neat 67 Swift FF1600 of Steve Venter did not enjoy being used as a rally car. Almost everyone had at least one real moment in the ice skating conditions.

Byron Mitchell tuned the tables on Andrew Rackstraw in heat two to win by 0.121sec with Allen Meyer third, Darren Liebenberg (26C Formula M Kawasaki 635) fourth, Ludovickus Gerber (36B Namib Biltong Formula M Honda) fifth and Haydn Ellwood 76C 7Up Swift SF92F) sixth. Conditions much dryer, but still exceptionally cold for heat two but Byron Mitchell managed a respectable 1min13.114 as the fastest lap.

Nick van der Westhuizen parked his 35V Liqui Moly Stealth in Pertamino Fastron with a cooked engine have shown signs of leaking fluid on the opening lap. Dee-Jay Booysen won the precision driving award when he managed to park his 20S Dico Formula VW Reynard alongside the stricken Stealth (intentionally of course). Ricky Anderson spun his 96V Forza and it was something of a miracle that he was not collected by Donovan Ramsay or Allen Meyer. Once again the tricky conditions had everyone on their toes.

Byron Mitchell claimed overall honours by the smallest of margins in his 21S Dolphin Engineering Formula VW Reynard with Andrew Rackstraw an impressive second in his 40S Sparco / RDSA Formula VW Reynard. Storm Lanfear completed the podium in his 27S AMD Engineering / RDSA Formula VW Reynard. Darren Liebenberg a most impressive fourth overall in his 26C Formula M Kawasaki and fifth place to Haydn Ellwood in the 76C Swift SF92F. Ludovickus Gerber claimed the sixth overall and top spot for the visitors.

In class S the order was Byron Mitchell from Andrew Rackstraw and Allen Meyer.

Class A had Ludovickus Gerber (36A Namib Biltong Formula M Honda) heading Herman Krige (Speed RM08) and JM Gerber (Namib Biltong Ashley GTi). Total domination by the North

Class B had Chloe Stuart taking line honours in her screaming 44B Formula M Kawasaki.

Class C had Darren Liebenberg leading Haydn Ellwood, Cyril Somerville (61C Liqui Moly Rhema), André le Roux (26C Liqui Moly Forza), Bruce van Niekerk (56C ALS Team Omega), and Lushen Ramchander (11C Liqui Moly Forza).

Class Vee went to Kelly Fletcher (22V Dolphin Engineering Forza) from Zane Amundsen (30V Alpha Precision Engineering Lantis), Benjack Phillips (17V Classic Car Care Lantis), Wynand de Ritter (10V Palm Tyres Lantis), Donovan Ramsay (95V Kerston Foods Sting) and Ricky Anderson (96V Forza).

Laude Classic Cars 2×8 Laps

Franco Donadio was simply in a class of his own as most of the big banger brigade had opted not to race in the tricky conditions. Running big fat wide slicks on powerful V8 machines apparently does not result in the same handling when the circuit turns wet and cold. This is the Western Cape and valuable championship points were up for grabs to those who were ready and willing. Even so, it was somewhat disappointing to see only eighteen cars on the grid.

Sportingly Franco Donadio did not simply sprint into the distance with the 1A Donadio Plant Hire Ford Escort MkI but shared the lead with a very impressive Brian Evans in his 441C Cape Eye Laser Ford Escort MkI. Martin Bensch not only finished another race in the 16C Compact Robotics Ford Capri, he even claimed the third step on the podium after an impressive drive. That giant killing irresistibly impressive 44C Harkers Automotive Ford Anglia of Wynand Nell made traveling from Springbok worthwhile with a fine fourth.

The first non-Ford was found in the fifth spot in the shape of the Bruce Avern-Taplin 77B Toyota Corolla Sprinter and in the sixth spot it was the Layne Hutchings 74C HSC Racing VW Golf MkI GTi. Sadly the championship log leader Anton Rollino had to park the little 42E Rob Tissington Morris Minor 1293 after just three laps when the engine threw a rod. Wet conditions led to different-sized wheels and tyres and though the car responded well the engine could not. Cary Blows only reached Pertimina Fastron before spinning the 52C Datsun 240Z into the scenery.

Heat two proved even trickier but Franco Donadio simply lapped it up in his Ford Escort to lead a determined Bruce Avern-Taplin home from Brian Evans, Layne Hutchings, Wynand Nell, and Trevor Hutchings (71C HSC Racing VW Scirocco). Having a few spins in heat one Trevor finally remembered which way the corners go in heat two whilst Martin Bensch decided to have the Capri chase it’s tail in heat two.

Overall it was Franco Donadio, Brian Evans, Bruce Avern-Taplin, Layne Hutchings, Wynand Nell, and Martin Bensch. Would seem that Cape Eye Laser knows what they are doing as Brian Evans certainly looked like a Driver of the Day.

Class A Franco Donadio

Class B Bruce Avern-Taplin, Jeandré Botes (29B Sabat Nissan Skyline 2.8 GTX)

Class C Brian Evans,Layne Hutchings, Wayne Nell, Martin Bensch, Trevor Hutchings, Ernst Viljoen Jnr (125C Alfa Romeo GTA Replica)

Class D Robert Rowe (27D Veldt Reared BMW 2002Ti Turbo), Dave Rowley (148D Flat Four Racing VW Beetle), James Matthee (700C Augusta Motors Honda CRX).

Class E Niel Mouton (48E Alfa Romeo Guilia Super)

Pirelli V8 Masters 2×8 Laps

Fabio Tafani and Marcel Angel locked out the front row with Jason Ibbotson and Barry Ingle serving notice from the second row in fairly dry conditions which set the pole as 1min15.282. That was Friday….

Race one saw Fabio Tafani and Marcel Angel using their vast experience as world-class karters to beat Denis Gaiduk, Danie van Niekerk, Barry Ingle, and Mark Voget home after eight laps. Once again the powerful machines proved that they struggle to put power on tricky wet and cold asphalt and many close calls were endured along the way with Fabio’s fastest on1mi27.692.

Rare as it may sound Fabio Tafani and Marcel Angel found themselves recovering from mishaps in Heat 2 and it was Jason Ibbotson (46 Autohaus Angel) who claimed victory from Barry Ingle (22 NAC Helicopters) and Mark Voget 21 Great South). Ken Finneran (44 Blockkoin) nabbed fifth with Marcel Angel (14 Autohaus Angel) fifth and Gary Thomson sixth.

Overall it was Barry Ingle who won from Fabio Tafani, Marcel Angel, Jason Ibbotson, Mark Voget and Stuart Spooner.

Thermo Fires Clubmans Saloons 2×8 Laps

The Clubman’s drivers never got the weather memo and for a change 26 cars completed qualifying with the mighty 47X MIM Carriers BMW M4 of Imaad Modack having little trouble in securing pole position.

Cruising to victory Imaad Modack was followed home by a resurgent Shane Smith in his 30A Truckport Logistics BMW E46 and the always neat Cody Alberts in the liquorice all sorts 100A Avid Security / JVG Roofing / GT Wraps BMW 330i. Daanyaal Coetzee was fourth in the 46A A&M Plumbing BMW E46 M3 with Yusuf Hendricks fifth in his 61B MYHAuto BMW E36 Turbo. The top six were completed by the plucky, but bad handling, 70A Philwest VW Jetta 2 of Jess Huggett.

Heat two looked entertaining with the front-running Beemers sticking together but inevitably Imaad Modack led Shane Smith and Daanyaal Coetzee home with a recovering Kosie Swanepoel fourth in his 21A KSD Toyota Lexus 200i Turbo. Marco Retter was fifth in his 50A Progress Precision Engineering BMW E46 and Gary Smith was sixth in his 68C Truckport Logistics BMW 530.

Overall top six order was Imaad Modack, Shane Smith, Daanyaal Coetzee, Yusuf Hendricks, Gary Smith, and Gavin Cerff (17X Spur VW Golf). The latter hoping to be back in his LHD ex-Sabine Schmitz Beemer soon.

Class A Shane Smith, Daanyaal Coetzee, Marco Retter, Michael le Sueur (64A New Engineering VW Golf), Cody Alberts and Kosie Swanepoel.

Class B Yusuf Hendricks, JP Share (1B Bester Tegniese Dienste BMW E36), Paul Munnik (79B Audi VW Clinic Golf MkI)

Class C Gary Smith, Gary Manwaring (14C Excelsior Airbrakes BMW E46), Ciara van Niekerk (16C Wingfield Motors VW Golf MkI), Eugen Casperl (95C BMW E46)

Class D Charl Opperman (89D Torq Lubricants VW Golf MkI), Oliver Hintenaus (76D BMW E36)

Class E Ley Fielding (67E BMW E36)

Class F Mia Bensch (110F Virtual 5 BMW), André van der Merwe (123F Huguenot Valley Mineral Water Chrysler 300C), Azhar davids (303F College of Cape Town VW Jetta), John da Silva, Jan Tischendorf (122F Opel Monza GSi), Evert du Toit (651F New Engineering Ford Falcon).  

Kaltron Supercars 2×8 Laps

Glen Phillips led Yaseen Damon, Craig Hume, Kyle Hallick, and Andrew Moffitt home in the Kaltron Supercars. Initially, a good fight between Phillips and Moffitt was derailed when Moffitt spun. This series is sadly in need of dedicated numbers to truly step back into the limelight again.

Bejo Trustees Fine Cars 2×8 Laps

Racing on the birthday of the late JayBee Pretorius must have led to a few emotional memories for the Bejo Trustees Fine Cars members and on track it was Coenie Matthe who led the charge in his snake eyes 3 Porsche 928 with Jaco Oosthuizen second in his 127 Ravenol Toyota Conquest RSi and Robert Toscano third in the 334 Mazda MX5 Miata. Dave Alexander fourth past the flag in the beautiful 44 Morgan Plus Eight with Roger Lewis fifth in the 1 MGA and Chris Champion sixth in the MGB GT V8. Unfortunately, Chris got properly stuck on the outside of Pertamina Fastron.

On the Index of Performance, the order was Dave Alexander from Roger Lewis, Jaco Oosthuizen, Robert Toscano, Coenie Matthee and Di Dugmore.

Bridgestone STC650 / SSP300 Motorcycles 2×8 Laps

Ryan Coetzee (32 Project Sixty SA Kawasaki ER650) led Jamie Hall (65 MGA Racing Kawasaki ER650) home in heat one with Lance Jonas (Samurai Racing Suzuki SV650) third and Matthew van Niekerk (92 Bulldog Racing Suzuki SV650) fourth. Adrian Solomon a fine fifth aboard his 4 Pool King Kawasaki Ninja 400 with Raymond Alexander sixth on his 11 Microil Kawasaki Ninja 300.

Ryan Coetzee had little problems in claiming heat 2 from Nicholas Hutchings (72 HSC Racing Suzuki SV650). Hutchings showed signs of a soft-off earlier in the day. Lance Jonas hung on for the third spot with Jamie Hall fourth, Matthew van Niekerk fifth, and Adrian Solomon sixth.

Overall the Bridgestone STC650 category saw Ryan Coetzee winning from Lance Jonas, Jamie Hall, Matthew van Niekerk, Peter Hill (^ Hillbilly Racing Suzuki SV650) and Elmé Mostert (94 Samurai Racing Kawasaki ER6).

In the SS9300 category Adrian Solomon dominated with Raymond Alexander second, Abigail Bosson (51Ateka Yamaha YZF R3) third, Max Munton (84 Sunscan Solar KTM Duke 390) fourth and Raymond Bezuidenhout (15 BMS Yamaha R3).

Triumph Superbikes, SBK Challenge, Masters, 600cc 2×8 Laps

Slade van Niekerk pounced with the weather playing in favour of the 600cc machines by planting his 111 Project Sixty SA Kawasaki ZX6 on pole with a 1min25.285.

Kewyn Snyman took a few laps to recover from a serious woopsie in Pertamina Fastron but as expected cruised to victory on the 19 Missile Motorcyles Honda CBR1000 with Malcolm Rapson second on the 1M Racebase Suzuki GSXR1000. Brad Bodsworth third on his 41M Bad Bee Racing Honda CBR1000 and in fourth spot Jason Linekar on the 93 RST Honda CBR600. Tristin Pienaar fifth and Quinten Weening sixth. Sadly the 11 machines of Slade van Niekerk expired enroute to the race start.

Again Kewyn Snyman claimed victory ijn heat 2 but it was Tristin Pienaar in second, Brad Bodsworth third, Quiten Weening 85 Bulldog Racing Yamaha R1) fourth, Jason Linekar fifth and Jonathan Schwerin (67 Kawasaki ZX10R) sixth. This time Malcolm Rapson retired after four laps whilst Slade van Niekerk had to catch up.

Superbikes Kewyn Snyman from Malcolm Rapson

SBK Challenge Brad Bodsworth, Quinten Weening, Jonathan Schwerin, Wayne Arendse, Daniel Frost

600cc Tristin Pienaar, Jason Linekar

Wild Rose Gin 100km Sport &GT Cars reduced to 20 Laps

The 100km 31 Lap race reduced to 20 Laps 65km in order to catch up on time lost during the day.

Dawie Joubert cruised to victory in the 18 Moneyline Porsche 991. Almost unknown to him the Porsche was nearly damaged when a pair of extremely brave “Geelbekeende” decided to stroll across the circuit. Why they survived is not for us to answer, but it was closer than close.

Gary Kieswetter made it two sweet-sounding six-cylinder Porsches on track and the 43 APT Porsche GT3 Cup deservedly took second spot with Francis Carruthers third in the 69 Harp Motorsport Pilbeam MP84. Divan Luzmore was third in his 99C GT Clubsport Nissan 350Z with Emile Botha was fourth in his 19 Precision Wealth Nissan 350Z and a returning Maarten Prins was sixth in his 72 Porsche GT3 Cup.   

Published by: Patrick Vermaak

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