Cape Town, Saturday – As has been their won’t in recent seasons the motorcycle brigade stole most of the thunder at round two of the WesBank Super Series at Killarney today.
The two SA Supersport 600 heats and a brace of SA Superbike unlimited races provided for some enthralling racing with close finishes the order of the day. And if individual honours had to be dished out new kid on the block Dave McFadden (Pepper Racing Kawasaki) and two-time Superbike champion Greg Gildenhuys, on the factory Motorrad BMW, would be at the front of the line.
Local boy McFadden twice upstaged Gildenhuys at the opening round of the WesBank series at Zwartkops and took another win in the opening Superbike heat. After 10 laps of skirmishing McFadden won by less than a wheel.
Behind them the same margin separated Nicolas Grobler (Jonway BMW) and Chris Leeson, on the Race! Ducati Panigale, in third and fourth. Their battle was just as intense as the scrap between McFadden and Gildenhuys with skill and bravery on view in massive dollops.
There was drama at the start of race two when Kawasaki riders Richard Carmody and Chris du Preeze fell at the first corner and the race was red flagged. After the restart McFadden and Gildenhuys proceeded to put on a breathtaking show with the pair tied together with a piece of string.
Leeson and Grobler, around two seconds behind the pair, had the best seats in the house as the battle unfolded. Gildenhuys eventually won a final dash to the finish line with the two motorcycles separated by seven thousandths of a second – and they don’t come much closer than that.
The two Supersport heats were also loaded with drama and for one and a half races it looked as though the Bikefin Honda team would make a clean sweep of the podium places for the second time in a row. Local hero Lance Isaacs took the first heat from team-mate Clint Seller in a photo finish with teenager Cam Petersen taking the final podium place.
For five laps of race two Seller led from Isaacs and another Bikefin teenager in Brent Harran. Then the wheels fell off. First Seller out braked himself and then Isaacs and Harran tangled. Free State rider Ivan Torlage, on a Kawasaki, suddenly found himself in the lead with Petersen involved in a huge scrap with Dean Vos on the Triple F Racing Kawasaki.
In the end Torlage was a comfortable winner with Vos just pipping Petersen, who salvaged some pride for the Bikefin squad, for second in another blanket blanket finish. With Harran eighth, Seller ninth and Isaacs not classified as a finisher the Bikefin squad went away with a bloody nose.
The car categories could not quite match the bikers for action and drama, but there was some highly interesting racing. A few bloody noses were also dished out, the Afrox BMW F30 picked up a win first time out and the Auby family again produced a dominant performance in the V8 Supercar event.
The premier Class A category in the Bridgestone Production Car series produced a mixed bag with local hero Johan Fourie (IndyOil Audi S4) missing out on a hat-trick of wins in the three heats. After winning the first two heats Fourie was scuppered in the final race when the Audi’s bonnet came loose and the former champion lost a lap in the pits.
Fourie took the opening heat from reigning champion Michael Stephen, in the Xtreme Team Audi S4, and Hennie Groenewald in the Sasol Subaru WRX. The Capetonian then won heat two ahead of Etienne van der Linde in one of the new Afrox BMW F30s and the consistent Groenewald to set up a possible hat-trick.
With Fourie out of the picture the final race was dominated by former champion Anthony Taylor who simply streaked away in the second of the Afrox BMWs to give the car a victory on debut. Groenewald was in on the act again with his third podium of the day ahead of Melvill Priest in the Mueller Sport Audi S4.
Class T was totally dominated by reigning champion Gary Formato who for the second time in two seasons completed a clean sweep of wins. Formato, in the BP/Castrol Ford Focus won all three heats to take a firm early grip on the championship.
Formato’s closest championship challenger, Graeme Nathan (IndyOil/Kaye Eddie VW Golf6), had to be content with two second places with youngster Jaques Joubert, in a second IndyOil VW Golf, also making a couple of trips to the podium. The other major casualty in the championship race was Gennaro Bonafede (Ferodo VW Golf6) who will want to forget this trip to the fairest cape as soon as possible.
It is hard to keep the Auby clan – father Deon and sons Jimmy, Brandon and Mark – out of the V8 Supercar limelight and the family were at it again in the premier GT1 Class. Early championship leader Marc (ELT Internation/SKF Cummins Lumina) also had a day to forget but brothers Jimmy and Brandon and Dad rescued family pride.
Jimmy took race one ahead of Brandon, with both out in ELT
International/SKF/Cummins Ford Falcons, ahead of veteran former champion Ben Morgenrood in the IndyOil Ford Falcon. Race two, from the customary inverted grid, saw Auby senior take his first win of the season, after starting fifth on the grid, ahead of reigning champion Jimmy with Welkom-based Danie Correia third in the Pontac Manor Chev Corvette.
Former champion Des Gutzeit (Dezzi/Cummins Ford Falcon) and Pat Seddon, in the Contact Refrigeration Lumina) shared the wins in the GT2 Class. Gutzeit won heat one from Seddon with the order reversed in race two with Darron Gudmanz (Country Range Corvette) and Ray Wilford, in the Fuchs Corvette, sharing third places.
Three Engen VW Cup heats brimming with aggressive racing produced three different winners. Reigning champion Devin Robertson (Big Boss Auto/Sparco VW Polo), rising teenage star Kelvin van der Linde (Ferodo VW Polo) and local favourite Kosie Weyers (Xtreme Team VW Polo) all did nothing to harm their championship credentials.
Robertson picked up a win and a second, van der Linde a win and two thirds and Weyers a win and a second and third to get his championship back on an even keel. Kyle Barnes (Conti Partner VW Polo) also chipped in with a second in race two with the championship looking likely to develop into a hugely competitive affair as the season wears on.
The Formula VW event again underlined the likelihood that the championship is going to be dominated by reigning champion Jayde Kruger (Time Freight FVW), Robert Wolk (Midas FVW) and Simon Moss in the Southern Sun FVW. Kruger won heat one from Wolk with a hiccup dropping Moss to fifth behind Tasmin Papper (PG Glass/VW Motorsport FVW) and Caleb Williams in the Stuart Thompson Racing FVW.
Moss then made a demon start from row three of the grid in race two and finally outlasted Kruger and Wolk. Williams took fourth Nicholas van Weely fifth in the AngloRand FVW.
Victories were also shared in the Midas 1600 heats which also produced some intensely competitive racing. Reigning champion Mathew Merton (Matsam Mygale) snared the race one win ahead of Werner Scholtz (Scholtz Civils Mygale) and James temple in the GWM Mygale.
Young Jason Campos (Etana Mygale) upstaged everyone in race two with Temple edging out Merton in the battle for second and third.
Results: V8 Supercars:
Race 1 – GT1: 1 J Auby (Ford Falcon); 2 B Auby (Ford Falcon); 3 B Morgenrood (Ford Falcon). GT2: 1 D Gutzeit (Ford Falcon); 2 P Seddon (Chev Lumina); 3 D Gudmanz (Chev Corvette).
Race 2 – GT1: 1 D Auby (Ford Falcon); 2 J Auby (Ford Falcon); 3 D Correia (Chev Corvette). GT2: 1 P Seddon (Chev Lumina); 2 D Gutzeit (Ford Falcon); 3 R Wilford (Chev Corvette).
Bridgestone Production Cars:
Race 1 – Class A: 1 J Fourie (Audi S4); 2 M Stephen (Audi S4); 3 H Groenewald (Subaru WRX). Class T: 1 G Formato (Ford Focus); 2 G Nathan (VW Golf6); 3 S Duminy (Ford Focus).
Race 2 – Class A: J Fourie (Audi S4); 2 E van der Linde (BMW F30); 3 H Groenewald (Subaru WRX). Class T: 1 G Formato (Ford Focus); 2 J Joubert (VW Golf6); 3 S Duminy (Ford Focus).
Race 3 – Class A: 1 A Taylor (BMW F30); 2 H Groenewald (Subaru WRX); 3 M Priest (Audi S4). Class T: 1 G Formato (Ford Focus); 2 G Nathan (VW Golf6); 3 J Joubert (VW Golf GTI).
Engen VW Cup:
Race 1 – 1 D Robertson (VW Polo); 2 K Weyers (VW Polo); 3 K van der Linde (VW Polo).
Race 2 – 1 K van der Linde (VW Polo); K Barnes (VW Polo); 3 K Weyers (VW Polo). Race 3 – 1 K Weyers (VW Polo); 2 D Robertson (VW Polo); 3 K van der Linde (VW Polo).
Race 1 – 1 J Kruger (FVW); 2 R Wolk (FVW); 3 T Pepper (FVW). Race 2 – 1 S Moss (FVW); 2 J Kruger (FVW); 3 R Wolk (FVW).
Formula Midas 1600: Race 1 – 1 M Merton (Mygale); W Scholtz (Mygale); 3 J Temple (Mygale).
Race 2 – 1 J Campos (Mygale); 2 J Temple (Mygale); 3 M Merton (Mygale).
Race 1 – 1 L Isaacs (Honda); 2 C Seller (Honda); 3 C Petersen (Honda).
Race 2 – 1 I Torlage (Kawasaki); 2 D Vos (Kawasaki); 3 C Petersen (Honda).
Race 1 – 1 D McFadden (Kawasaki); 2 G Gildenhuys (BMW); 3 N Grobler (BMW). Race 2 – 1 G Gildenhuys (BMW); 2 D McFadden (Kawasaki); 3 N Grobler (BMW).