21 Sep RACE REVIEW – EXTREME FESTIVAL RACE REPORT – 17 SEPTEMBER 2022
The penultimate round of South Africa’s premier motorsport series, the national championship Extreme Festival powered by the City of Cape Town at Killarney on Saturday 17 September, delivered all the excitement that the fans could ask for, with tight, very robust racing in every category and one truly spectacular crash – from which everybody walked away with no more than a few bruises!
The first Global Touring Cars including SupaCup race produced some of the closest racing of the day, as defending champion Robert Wolk (Chemical Logistics Corolla) held off a five-way attack from Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa team-mates Saood Variawa and Michael van Rooyen, Julian van der Watt (Chemical Logistics Focus), Andrew Rackstraw’s Chemical Logistics/RDSA Audi S40 and Mandla Mdakane in the third works Corolla. All six finished in that order within 2.016 seconds after a 10-lap flat-out chase.
Seventh overall, and leading the SupaCup charge, was Keegan Campos (Turn 1 Insurance Brokers/Campos Transport), split seconds ahead of Jonathan Mogotsi (Sonax/Mutul) and former Polo Cup champion Leyton Fourie (Express Hire/Universal Motorsport) – but even Pierre van der Walt in 16th overall and 10th in class was less than seven seconds behind Campos!
Mdakane grabbed the hole shot in Race 2, with Van der Watt and Variawa all over him like a rash. On lap four, however, Mogotsi and local SupaCup hero Danie van Niekerk (Car Care Clinic/Van Niekerk Racing) collided just after the start/finish line on the Porsche Straight. The resulting mayhem destroyed both cars and part of the pit exit wall but both drivers, fortunately, walked away.
Variawa took no prisoners at the restart, moving straight into a lead he was to hold to the flag, while Wolk moved up from fourth to second by lap two but was unable to make a pass. Thirds was a determined Mdakane, well clear of Rackstraw and Van Rooyen, who was third on lap one but dropped back to finish fifth.
Thirty seconds later, Campos led home Fourie and Jeffrey Kruger (Universal Healthcare) to take Supacup line honours, but when the aggregate results were tallied, Fourie had done enough to win the class by a scant 0.375sec, while Campos took the overall win for the day by little more than a second.
Mention must also be made of Paul Luti (Finishline UK/Van Niekerk Racing), who flew all the way from Scotland to win the Masters division of the SupaCup category, finishing 14th overall in Race 1 and 10th in Race 2.
Local drivers dominated the first CompCare Polo Cup race as Giordano Lupini (Bullion IT) qualified on pole and led every lap to win by 0.711sec from Charl Visser (Universal Motorsport), Mbombela-based Dawie van der Merwe (Universal Motorsport), Gqeberha’s Clinton Bezuidenhout (Stu Davison & Sons) and two more locals, Angri Racing teenager Tate Bishop and championship contender Jurie Swart (Bullion IT).
Van Der Merwe turned the tables on the locals in Race 2, however, outbraking early leader Nathi Msimanga on lap two and retaining the advantage to win by 1.4 seconds from Bishop and Swart, who had finally cured a fuelling problem on the Bullion IT Polo that baffled the team for weeks by the simple expedient of replacing an underperforming fuel pump. They were followed home by Visser and Bezuidenhout. Swart finished fifth overall for the day, but that was enough to put him one point ahead of Bezuidenhout in the championship standings.
The G&H Transport Extreme Supercars provided some of the most spectacular racing of the day – and certainly the fastest lap times – as Stradale Motorsport team-mates Charl Arangies (Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo) and Jonathan du Toit (Lamborghini Huracan GT3) battled it out with Franco Scribate’s phenomenal Porsche 997, finishing in that order covered by less than a second.
Race 2 was just as close, but this time it was Scribante who went to the front on lap two and held a tenuous but crucial lead to the flag to win from Du Toit and Arangies. The Grey Porsche took the early lead again in the third outing, only to go out on lap three, leaving Du Toit to win from team-mate Arangies, with local man Jason Ibbotson a distant third in the Autohaus Angel Ferrari 458 GT3.
Six-times Mobil 1 V8 Supercar champion Mackie Adlem (Adlem Auto Jaguar XKR) led all but six of the 26 laps of racing in this category and very nearly clinched his seventh title at Killarney. He qualified on pole and led Race 1 all the way, finishing 4.237 seconds ahead of Franco Di Matteo (Laude/Di Matteo Racing Jaguar XKR), with Thomas Reib (Mobil 1 Chevy Lumina) a further five seconds in arrears adrift after Michael Nel’s Gears for Africa Chevrolet went out on lap three.
Race 2 was a lot closer, however, as Reib took the fight to the champion, chasing him all the way and finishing only 1.196 seconds adrift after eight superb laps of racing. Warren Lombad held third in the early stages but slowed dramatically in the closing stages to finish a lap down after six laps, gifting the spot first to Carl Nel (Gears for Africa Chevrolet) and finally to a late-charging Julian Fameliaris (Lube-net/Di Matteo Racing Chev Corvette), as he, Nel and Terry Wilford (Fuchs Lubricants Mustang) came home in that order, covered by less than a second.
Sadly, the attrition continued in Race 3; neither Di Matteo, Lombad nor Auke Compaan (Hurrican Automotive Ford Mustang) made it to the start line and both JP Nortje (N4 Autocraft Chev Corvette) and David Coetzee (Elksa Comp/Adlem Auto Racing Ford Falcon) went out on lap two, leaving only six finishers as Michael Nel and Reib followed Adlem home at a respectful distance.
Investchem F1600 championship leader Josh Le Roux (Investchem/Master Stairs Mygale) kicked off his weekend in fine style by qualifying on pole and leading every lap of Race 1 but behind him things were not so clear-cut. Gerard Geldenhuys (Abacus Division Racing Mygale) held second for two laps but was then unceremoniously demoted to fourth as local hotshot Troy Dolinschek (Sujean Property Investments Mygale) charged through from fifth to take second, with Geldenhuys’ brother Antwan in the second Abacus Division Racing Mygale holding a tenuous third until mid-race, when his brother relegated him to fourth. Antwan later dropped back to finish eighth while Le Roux led home a tight train of Dolinschek, Gerard Geldenhuys and Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Investchem Mygale).
It’s worth noting, however, that local rookie Jason Coetzee (Mint Wrapworks Mygale), who finished seventh, was less than 8.5 seconds behind the leader.
Le Roux started Race 2 as he had finished the previous race, in the lead with Gerard Geldenhuys in close formation. Dolinschek then put in another charge to take the lead on lap six, while Le Roux dropped back to finish stone last. The final four laps saw a superb dice for second between Gerard Geldenhuys, Alex Vos (Investchem/DV Building Supplies Mygale) who finished in that order, all within just 0.623sec.
The Gazoo Racing SA Cup races for motoring journalists in identical Toyota Yaris GR hatchbacks were an Ashley Oldfield benefit as he qualified on pole and led every lap of both races – always, however, with Sean Nurse and Thomas Falkiner in close attendance. They finished both races that order, covered by 1.026sec in Race 1 and a scant 0.720sec in Race 2.
Shane du Toit in the Skilpadvlei Wine Farm/CM Auto Parts Golf 1 came off the second row of the grid to lead the opening lap of the first Thermo Fires Clubmans Saloons race, but fell victim to an on-from Clint Rennard (G&A Motorsport Golf) on the second time around. Du Toit clung on in second until two laps from the flag but then fell victim to a late charge by Achmat Achmat in the Beta Machine and Tools BMW 1 Series and finished a close third. Top qualifier Alex Johnson (Executive Decision Audi A4 T) got the hole shot in Race 2 and held off determined challenges from oval-track veteran Jesse Huggett (Philwest/Rico Barlow Racing Jetta 2), Joshua Dolinschek (Industrial Abrasives and Tool Supplies BMW E36) and Du Toit until lap seven, when Du Toit moved into the lead, to win by 1.477 seconds from Johnson, Dolinschek, Huggett and Achmat.