Festival of Motoring – SA Circuit Racing

The all-new Kyalami circuit hosted its first Motorsport Festival over the weekend, providing a large crowd with action and excitement from the top shelf. Friday afternoon saw opening races for three of the classes, whose second heats happened on Saturday with the main attractions on Sunday.

Keagan Pottas (Advanced Pest Honda) took first ever four-wheeled victory in the opening 111 Sport and Saloon race, leading home Chad Wentzel (Mopar Alfa Romeo) and Roy Obery (GWM Edenvale Porsche 944). Wentzel reversed the positions the next time around, finishing ahead of Pottas and Obery.

The first autObarn Northern Bolt & Tool Superhatch race went to Jonathan du Toit (TAR Honda Civic), ahead of Brett Garland (autObarn Honda Civic) and Morne Human (Mini Cooper S), with the order reversed in Saturday’s second race. 16-year old Cape visitor Giordano Lupini (Monroe Bakkie & Car VW Golf 1) dominated both heats in 111 D and E, with Robyn Kruger taking Class E in her Ford Ka.

The Silverton Bolt & Nut Challenge Sub 10 motorcycle race went to Len Bezuidenhout (Kawasaki ZX10R) followed by Strati Yiannakis (GAP Interiors Kawasaki) and Harry Timmermann (Yamaha R1). Race two was red-flagged when Werner Strohm high-sided his Kawasaki and lay in the middle of the circuit, with the shortened race going to Henk Schuilling (Kawasaki), followed by Timmermann and Eric Cook (Kawasaki).

Saturday’s drama started before the opening race when the G&H Transport Extreme Supercar qualifying session was red-flagged when the G&H Transport BMW M3 of Gianni Giannocarro ran out of brakes at the end of the pit straight and slammed into the Crowthorne Corner tyre wall. Then Ben Morgenrood (Ford Mustang) and Bevan Schwarz (Chev Corvette) livened up the SAMCAR V8 Supercar qualifying when they came together in the Esses, bringing both their cars and the session to a halt.

The V8 Supercar and Cape V8 Masters brigade continued continued their first race in spectacular fashion as poleman Seef Fourie (Holden) pulled off the grid with mechanical maladies, Richard Schreuder spun his Novel Ford in Clubhouse and was hit head on by Jurgen zu Bentheim (Mustang), while Larry Wilford (Fuchs Ford Falcon) thumped Ben Morgenrood’s repaired Mustang into a spin. Franco di Matteo (Varta Batteries Jaguar) and Mackie Adlem (Mapogo Jaguar) both stopped with mechanical issues while leading, leaving Amos Cockeram Junior (Jaguar) to win from Terry Wilford and Darron Gudmanz (Ford Mustang).

Kyalami boss Toby Venter put the cherry on the top on his own circuit as he led the first G&H Transport Supercar race from lights to flag in his Porsche GT2, setting the day’s quickest overall lap time of one minute 46.60 seconds. He was chased to the line by Charl Arangies (Pirelli Lamborghini Galardo) and another Cape visitor Johan Engelbrecht (Jogajoga Porsche GT3).

James Hurley (Starter Pack Polo) won the first Comsol VW Challenge race ahead of Rory Atkinson (Comsol Polo) and Stiaan Kriel (Polo 6 Gti). Race two was cancelled after two laps due to failing light.

Dewald Brummer (MAD Mygale) won the opening Investchem 1600 single seater race, narrowly ahead of Alex Gillespie (ERP Trucking Mygale) and Dean Venter (Fuchs Oils Mygale).

Cape veteran Lance Isaacs (BMW S1000RR) took the first Dunlop Thunderbike race from Greg Gildenhuys (Kawasaki ZX10R) and Daryn Upton (Turnskill Yamaha R1), while Gildenhuys set the day’s quickest two-wheeler lap time at one minute, 46,611 seconds and went on to win race two ahead of Isaacs and Upton.

Another large crowd, brilliant weather and excellent on-track action typified the second half of Kyalami’s Motorsport Festival highlighted by two races for Sasol Global Touring Cars. Race one lost Johan Fourie (EPS Couriers BMW) on the warm-up lap when he pitted, before Hennie Groenewald (Sasol BMW) bashed into the back of the Mathew Hodges Volkswagen Jetta, with the BMW retiring in a cloud of smoke soon afterwards.

That left Gennaro Bonafede (Sasol BMW) to take a serene victory, leading home the Engen Xtreme Audis of Michael Stephen and Simon Moss, plus the Volkswagen Jettas of Graeme Nathan and a recovered Hodges. The Production Car victory went to Daniel Rowe (Schaeffler VW Golf Gti), followed by his works VW Golf Gti team mate Mandla Mdakane and Mark du Toit (TAR BMW Z4).

Race two saw the BMW of Fourie, the Audi of Moss, and the VW of Hodges all suffering mechanical mishaps as Gennaro Bonafede took his BMW to another victory, despite the car smoking all the way. He was followed over the line by Michael Stephen, Graeme Nathan and Michael van Rooyen (BMW). Rowe won the Production Car category again, chased by Shaun Duminy (SMD Ford Focus ST) and Mark du Toit.

The G&H Transport Extreme Supercar race was red-flagged on the first lap when Jonathan du Toit spun his TAR Ferrari in Crowthorne corner, to be solidly collected by the G&H Transport BMW M3 of Ricky Giannoccaro. After the restart, Charl Arangies took his Pirelli Lamborghini Galardo to a popular victory, leading home the works Porsche GT2 of Toby Venter and the JogaJoga Porsche GT3 of Johan Engelbrecht.

Chris Shorter (Payen Polo) took the first Engen Volkswagen Cup race ahead of Keagan Masters (Champion Polo) and Matt Shorter (Champion Polo). Race two went to Matt Shorter, leading Chris Shorter and Juan Gerber (Glasfit Polo) after leader Shaun La Reservee’s Alpine Polo expired on the last lap.

The opening Red Square Kawasaki Masters race saw Russ Page high-side his Page Property ZX10R at over 170 km/h. He ended up lying on the track and the race was red-flagged while medics attended to the rider. The race victory went to Sven Grune (Page Property ZX10R), ahead of Gerald van Heerden (Trolan Zx10R) and Graeme van Breda (IVID ZX10R). The second race was taken by Van Heerden, followed by Van Breda and Grune.

Terry Wilford spun his Fuchs Oils Holden in the first corner of the SAMCAR V8 Supercar and V8 Masters race, to be collected by Darren Gudmanz (Mustang), Mackie Adlen (Jaguar) and the already battered Mustang of the luckless Ben Morgenrood. The race was red-flagged. After the restart Seef Fourie Junior won in his Holden, ahead of Mackie Adlem’s damaged Jaguar and the Hoosier Jaguar of Amos Cockeram Junior.

Julian van der Watt (SARD Mygale) won the second Investchem Formula 1600 race from Dewald Brummer (MAD Mygale) and Luis da Silva (Fantastic Racing Mygale), while the now non-points-paying second Comsol VW Challenge race – carried over from the Saturday night – went to Stiaan Kriel (VW Polo), ahead of Devon Piazza-Musso (VW Polo) and Tasmin Pepper (Lee Thompson Polo).

The SKF Legends of the 9-Hour brigade brought nostalgia to the history making weekend, with Franco Scribante taking the first victory in his Chevron B26 from Mark du Toit (Lola T70 Spyder) and Jonathan du Toit (Chevron B8). Jonathan du Toit won the next time around, narrowly ahead of Scribante and Mark du Toit.

Autodealer editor Sean Nurse won the Volkswagen Media Challenge powered by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists from The Citizen’s Mark Jones and Motorsport Media’s Michele Lupini, while Jack Parow rounded off the weekend action when he took the VW Media Challenge with all driving VW Polos.