Summarize

WhatEast London 4-Hour
WhereEast London Grand Prix Circuit
WhenSaturday 27 October 2018
CommunitySouth Africa National, East London

Endurance title fight goes down to line

The 2018 Mopar South African Endurance Series came to an epic conclusion at the East London 4-Hour on the spectacular Grand Prix Circuit on Saturday. Cape Town father and son team Marcel and Dayne Angel’s Autohaus Angel Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia took a comfortable victory over James Forbes and Fritz Kleynhans (Comenius Ligier JS53 Evo). The Angels needed four points to wrest the title, but came up just one short after Nick Adcock and Michael Jensen’s Aidcall247 Ligier JS53 Evo survived a late scare to come in third and take the title by a solitary point at the end of the day, while second-placed Forbes and Kleynhans moved up to third in the final title standings.

The Angels qualified on pole position from Charl Arangies and Kishoor Pitamber’s BMW Z4, Adcock and Jensen, Kleynhans and Forbes and Craig Jarvis and Stuart White (Maui Ginetta-Corvette), but there was drama as race favourites Simon Murray and Gavin Fourie’s Ginetta-Corvette hit technical issues Friday afternoon and was forced to withdraw. There was more drama early in the race as title contenders Arangies and Pitamber’s BMW ground to a halt after 26 laps, leaving son Dayne Angel leading the way in the Ferrari with Jarvis a few seconds adrift with Adcock next and Sun Moodley sat fourth in his Porsche ahead of Kleynhans and Harry Arangies’ Ferrari 360 Challenge. Philip Wiese's BMW, the Vos and Wolson Nashes and Andrew Culbert's Porsche were other early casualties.

The Ginetta then moved ahead with new SA F1600 champion Stuart White at the helm and delivering a fearsome pace, but that Corvette-powered brute ran into trouble and stopped around mid-distance to allow championship leader Michael Jensen to lead the way in the AidCall 24/7 Ligier with title rival Marcel Angel within a couple of seconds in the Ferrari. Forbes was trailing a few laps behind, while Bruce Avern-Taplin’s Backdraft and Dave Sinclair (ELF) impressed and Bradley Scorer led the tin-tops in the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

Others to hit trouble were Jason and Keegan Campos' Nash Volkswagen, local hero Gary Marais and Bruce Butler's Nardini and Trevor Frost’s Strocam Ligier, while Sun Moodley’s Porsche and Harry Arangies Ferrari only raced to the end of the first hour as Moodley took Sprint honours from Arangies. Then the leading Ligier hit trouble too, but Rico Barlow and his team managed to get title contender Jensen back out on track in third, albeit ten laps adrift leaving the Angel Ferrari to lead from the Cormenius Ligier. The championship was all of a sudden going down to the wire.

The Angel Ferrari however ran like clockwork to take the win, six laps clear of the ever consistent Forbes and Kleynhans Ligier, but was that enough to hand the overall title to Marcel and Dayne Angel? It transpired not, as Adcock and Jensen held on to third another three laps adrift, to clinch the overall title by a solitary point for the Rico Barlow Racing Aidcall247 Ligier team. Adcock and Jensen also secured the Sportscar title, while the Angels took the GT championship. 

Behind them, Mike Schmidt and Bruce Avern-Taplin stormed to fourth and the GT5 win in the Bataleur Backdraft ahead of tin-top winners Scorer and van Vuuren in the Arnold Chatz Giulietta. Scorer and van Vuuren not only took the Index win for the day from Schmidt and Avern-Taplin, but the Alfa duo also wrapped up the Index of Performance and Saloon Car championship titles. Brian Martin and Trevor Graham (Backdraft), Stuart Konig and Gerhard Henning (VW Golf GTI), Gavin Rooke and Brett Flemming (Nash-VW), Gerald Wright and Peter Van der Spuy (Wright S2000) and Eric Salomon and Dave Sinclair (Lessons ELF) rounded off the top ten.

In other action, the Border Saloons shared the track with several of the Endurance entries as the Jarvis/White Ginetta cruised to pole position ahead of Sun Moodley’s Porsche with Bevan Swartz best of the locals in his Corvette. Craig Jarvis cantered off to the first race win over Swartz, Moodley; Andrew Culbert’s similar Porsche and Harry Arangies’ Ferrari, with Francwa Coetzer’s Class B Tigra second of the locals ahead of Kishoor Pitamber’s BMW Z4. Chris Farley’s Class C BMW was the third local car home ahead of Jeff Hall’s Class C Toyota, while Richard Clark (Honda Civic) took Class D and Ashton Nel (Golf) Class E.

The Ginetta cleared off to the second race win too, but Swartz gave local fans more to shout about as he again beat Moodley and Arangies. Coetzer took the local Class B again, while Quentin Lessing (Mitsubishi) won Class C, Clark Class D and Nell Class E. It was all change in the third race when several drivers did not take the start to leave visitor Arangies to the win in his Ferrari. Class C lads Thys Geyser emerged best of the locals ahead of Quentin Lessing and Chris Farley, Clark took Class D again and Nicholas Naude won Class E, but Clark broke into Class C handing the D win to Cameron Hall.

The Border Historic Saloons delivered an interesting trio of races as Darron Gudmanz put his Ford Capri Perana on pole position ahead of Mike Forsyth (Cobra) and Alec Gudmanz’ Capri Perana. Darron Gudmanz then went on to a comfortable victory ahead of Forsyth, while Alec Gudmanz took Class B from Christopher Radloff (Toyota) with Wayne Botha (Ford) next up ahead of impressive Class F driver Terence Lander’s Ford; Class C runners Quentin Lessing (Ford) and Donavan Collins (Toyota), Class D winner Graham Lessing (Ford) and Matthew Gudmanz (Datsun).

Darron Gudmanz repeated his win in Race 2 ahead of Forsyth, but it was Wayne Botha who emerged third from Mathew Gudmanz, Lander, Radloff, Quentin and Graham Lessing, Collins and Quinton Bates’ Class F Mini. Mike Forsyth however managed to get his Cobra in front in the entertaining finale and went on to hold off a determined Darron Gudmanz for the win by all of a third of a second. Mathew Gudmanz ended third from Botha, Lander, Quentin and Graham Lessing; Class E winner Gary Schultz, Andrew Karshagen's Class D Capri and Bates.

The East London Grand Prix Circuit closes its season with the oldest race in the history of South African motorsport, the Border 100 on 15 December, with a Top End Run the next day. More on bmsc.co.za.

ENDS

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