Local team Rico Barlow Racing’s Capetonian Nick Adcock and Danish driver Michael Jensen Class S AidCall247 Ligier JS53-Honda overcame a race-long duel with a pair of Ferrari 458 GT3s to win the Killarney Campos 600 Mopar South African Endurance Race in Cape Town on Saturday. The Ligier appeared to play a cat and mouse game with another local crew, father and son Marcel and Dayne Angel’s Autohaus Angel Racing Ferrari 458 GT3, which ended second a lap down, and Gauteng team Charl Arangies and Kishoor Pitamber’s similar Stradale Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3 that ended three laps down in the end.
Fritz Kleynhans and James Forbes’ orange Comenius Racing Class S Ligier JS53-Honda drove fourth, 11 laps adrift of the similar, race winning machine and four laps clear of Class O-winners, Craig Jarvis and Stephen Young’s Maui/Fantastic Racing Dallara-Renault. Tin-top winners Bradley Scorer and Theo van Vuuren delivered yet another giant-killing display en route to also winning Class B and Index of Performance in the Arnold Chatz Cars Racing Giulietta, just 21 laps off the winners’ prototype machine after four hours of racing.
Adcock put the Ligier on pole position Friday evening before leading away on Saturday afternoon, until seemingly allowing the Stradale Ferrari ahead and shadowing the red car for the rest of the first hour until the first round of pit stops, when Adcock put the hammer down once the Ferraris pitted, for the Ligier to emerge in a handy lead. Who was actually leading became a little blurred as the race continued and the Ferraris and Ligier’s differing pit stop strategies played out with the Angel Ferrari emerging in the lead as darkness fell at the half-way mark.
The race ebbed and flowed into the night, but the Ligier went onto a lead it would not relinquish at two-thirds distance as the Ferraris swapped places until the final stops were out of the way, when the Angel car emerged in second and stayed there to the finish. The Comenius Ligier started fifth and was up to second at mid-distance while the strategies played out, but the Ferraris took over the race for second an hour later and the Dallara-Renault started slow and took an easy run to take fifth in the end. The remarkable Alfa Romeo Giulia gradually rose through the top ten to emerge sixth overall.
GT5 winners, KZN crew Mike Schmidt and Bruce Avern-Taplin fought through to place their Bataleur machine best of the Backdraft-Lexus brigade in seventh, a lap clear of Durbanites Trevor Graham and Brian Martin’s similar factory Backdraft, while Sarel Van der Merwe, Greg Mills and Gunter Drotschie overcame early race dramas to take GT4 honours in the Africa Le Mans Ginetta. Colin Plit and Johan Engelbrecht’s troubled Class S Motul/Tricera Juno Honda closed off the top ten ahead of Josh Dovey and Phillip Meyer’s Class V winning Wright S2000 Opel and Tony Martin and Mike Mcloughlin fought the second GT5 factory Backdraft-Lexus home 71 laps adrift.
Retirements included the Nash 3 VWs of Peter Schmidt-Loffler/Dean Wolson and Hubi von Moltke/Jose Vasques; Eric Salomon and Dave Sinclair’s Lessons Elf-Toyota, George Smalberger and Heinz Bose’s quick Class B CRC Q20 Golf GTI and Rudi Patoir, Rob Prece and Keegan Campos’ ex-Manufacturers Challenge Class B Powerking Golf 1. A separate ISC 1 hour run over the first quarter of the main race Campos 600 main races saw Sandro Biccari emerge victorious in his Juno-Mazda ahead of Sun Moodley’s Porsche GT3, Harry Arangies’s Nissan and Cyril Ginsburg’s Porsche.
There’s a short break until the Mopar South African Endurance Championship heads to Pretoria for the Zwartkops Four Hour Race, 09 June — the only round of the 2018 series to race in Gauteng and really worth the while of Jozi race fans to diarise now.