ROUND 5 – POWER SERIES

I’m sure most of us gave Mike Beachy-Head a thought over the race weekend and our Lap of Honour at the beginning of lunch was well accepted and appreciated by the Drivers and Spectators.

We were down on numbers before the Friday qually even started, Craig Harper (Harper V6 Alfa) was not race ready, Sandro Bicari and Peter van der Spuy were overseas. Craig Jarvis’ Viper was damaged at the last race Meeting. He entered his Ferrari but withdrew before Race Day. Andre Bezuidenhout had entered but withdrew due to a business commitment. But then it got worse. Louis de Jager (Lola Toyota) discovered an oil leak, Gavin Gorman (Nardini) had a problem with his water pump, Dawie Joubert (Lotus/Honda Exige) lost a fair amount of body work and Martin Pugh (Shelby CanAm) had brake and handling issues. But credit to Louis, Dawie and Martin they got to the grid on Saturday morning.

Race 1:

Marcel Angel put his “Autohaus Angel Ferrari 458” 4.5L on pole with a time of 1:10.980. Dawie’s car was not ready in time to qualify so he had to start at the back of Class A behind Johan Engelbrecht (Jogajoga Café Porsche GT2R), Francis Carruthers (Aquila) and Colin Plit (Motul Honda Juno SS3 2.4l).

Colin Plitt comments:

“In qualifying, the Juno felt amazing. After a warm-up Iap, I ran a 1.13.57, 13,7 and 1:13.53. These are my personal best. I was so pleased with myself that I ended the session to save the tyres for the race. Despite my best efforts, Francis in his Aquila, managed to qualify with a 1:13.23, so I started in 4th place on the grid.”

On the second warm-up lap, we found what temperature we had in our tyres disappeared when we were slowed to a crawl of 30kph and then a complete stop just before Turn 3. Honestly not sure what was going on but sincerely hope it does not happen again.
Francis spun on the first lap coming out of turn 1, which put him at the back of the Field. Starting from 5th on the grid, Dawie soon passed Colin and Johan and got into the lead on the second Lap after passing Marcel. Dawie and Marcel had a magic dice and Marcel managed to get past Dawie on Lap 7 and held the lead to the flag.

Class B was a runaway victory for Gary Kieswetter (Porsche GT3 RS). Nick Cunningham-Moorat (Nissan R35 GTR) passed Matt Kreeve (Porsche 911 GT3) on Lap 1 but Matt gained his place back on Lap 4, which he held to the Flag. Andre Brink (Porsche 997 GT3 Cup) was gaining on Nick but although he was unable to get past he was .6 seconds behind Nick at the finish.

Nick’s comments:

“We qualified 3rd in Class B and got off to an okay start, only to be confronted with the Francis spinning out of turn 1. Some evasive moves and some lost time saw me go into corner two down a position. I chased that position and eventually ended up in a ding-dong battle with Andre “no mirror” Brink who thankfully did not hit me as I struggled desperately for grip into 2 and 5. The wind seemed to have carried plenty slippery material onto the track and Fat Girl went from being very sharp into the corners to battling understeer at every level. Understeer was followed swiftly by snap oversteer as the tyres gave up the battle. I ended up 3rd in Class B and ahead of Andre…. Andre later bemoaned the liberal application of “turbo power” that I was using to keep him behind me.”

Martin Pugh led the Class C cars at the start followed by Maarten Prins (Porsche GT3 Cup), Paul Schwartz (Class D GT40), Louis and Ray (Class D Birkin 7). Louis got past Paul on Lap 6 and past Maarten on Lap 8, when Maarten’s car seemed to slow. However, on Lap 8 Louis’ car lost its clutch and he retired. Martin’s Shelby developed a brake problem and he retired after completing 8 Laps.

Martin Pugh’s comments:

“Chased Andre and Nic till lap 3 when the peddle went spongy again. Slowed down thinking just get it to the finish. Then on lap 6 the peddle was again hard so off I went chasing the guys in front. On lap 9 I pumped the brake at the 150m board and it went straight to the floor, nothing. Not too sure what happened next but I think I carried on pumping and the brake took, snapped me around and in I went backwards stopping 3 meters from the tyre wall. That was a big enough scare for me to withdraw the car from race two, so not a great weekend”

Paul was Class D winner, followed by Ray. Francis had worked his way through the field but in the process over-revved his engine and was the last Car to take the Flag. After the Race, Paul found a problem with his gearshift cable and withdrew from Race 2.

Race 2:

With Francis, Martin, Louis and Paul not able to make Race 2, the field was down to 10. The rain was threatening so Ray decided not to do the second Race – field down to 9. Dawie had the quickest Lap Time in Race 1 so was on pole for Race 2 in front of Marcel. Once again, these two had a tremendous race-long dice with Dawie managing to hold off Marcel to the flag, followed by Johan and Colin.

Colin’s comments:

“Francis was out of the race, and I my car developed a throttle sensor problem early on, reducing my speed. As it got progressively worse, I was relieved to see the finish flag. 4th place overall was fine with me and I collected some points”.

Gary led Class B from start to finish, but behind him Matt, Andre and Nick were changing places. Andre passed Matt on Lap 1 and Nick passed Matt on Lap 2. Matt had a mechanical problem and retired after completing 3 Laps. Nick’s car also developed a problem and he retired after 8 Laps.

Nick’s comments:

“We waited until the very last moment to choose rubber as rain threatened, spat for a few seconds and eventually held off. With my race rubber having lost its way in race 1 I decided to move to my practice tyres that had helped produce some great times the day before. The start of the race was a ding dong affair with me tenaciously holding the inside line into corner 1 and Andre Brink needing to remain on the outside. This did set up Andre for a rather interesting manoeuvre into 2 where he darted in front of Fat Girl at the entry to 2 to claim “his rightful position”. I chased him and in the process passed Matt Kreeve on the back straight and held him off going into 5. Matt later retired with technical issues. For the next few laps, I chased Andre but struggled to post decent times. My ever-present brake issues started to re-appear and a rather unpleasant rumble started emanating from the rear of the car. At this stage, I decided to nurse the car home. Well… no amount of nursing stopped the rear differential from letting go on lap 8. I coasted very unceremoniously to a stop and watched myself get lapped into the last position. I finished 3rd in Class B for the day and we are now working to get Fat Girl back to fighting fitness”.

Maarten was the only Class C car in the Race.

Overall Championship results.

  • Gary Kieswetter, 107
  • Nick Cunningham-Moorat, 95
  • Arno Church, 89
  • Colin Plit, 89
  • Maarten Prins, 69
  • Martin Pugh, 66

Class A: Class B: Class C: Class D:
Colin Plit (89) Gary Kieswetter (107) Maarten Prins (69) Arno Church (89)
Marcel Angel (44) Nick Cunningham-Moorat (95) Martin Pugh (66) Paul Schwartz (52)
Craig Jarvis (43) Matt Kreeve (57) Louis de Jager (49) Philip Booysen (43)