Visitors help make both races thrillers

Cape Town’s premier Crossley & Webb Sports & GT racers were among the highlights of a very well attended Killarney Blockbuster Power Tour meeting on Saturday, as several visiting cars that came down to compete in the day’s Campos 400 Mopar SA Endurance race took to the track in local series pair of sprint races to thrill the appreciative crowd on a balmy Cape autumn’s afternoon. 

The visiting Franco Scribante, whose flying orange Chevron is powered by a 2.6-litre V8 engine hewn out of a pair of Suzuki Hyabusa superbike engines quite literally joined at the hip, perhaps benefited the absence of local flyers Dawie Joubert’s Lotus-Honda and Johan Engelbrecht’s flying black Porsche 911 GT2 to deliver a pair of stirring race wins, but the action behind held the crowd rapt throughout.

Durbanite Scribante set the timing system alight to claim pole position by 1.2 seconds over series newcomer Marcel Angel’s stunning recently acquired Autohaus Angel Ferrari 458 GT3, with Andre Bezuidenhout’s Weltevreden Estate Juno-Nissan third, a further six-tenths of a second adrift.

Lights to flag
Scribante led off the start to score a lights to flag win as he set a most impressive 1 minute 09.735 second fastest lap en route, but Angel kept him honest in second with Bezuidenhout holding a watching brief in third while also keeping an eye on his mirrors as Craig Jarvis chased hard in the Panacea Dodge Viper GTS-R.

Jarvis had initially tussled with another visitor, Vanderbijlpark driver Charl Arangies’ Ferrari 430 GT3. Sadly Arangies’ Ferrari stopped to allow Colin Plit’s Tricera Investments Juno-Honda SS3 into fourth ahead of Gary Kieswetter’s Advanced Packaging Porsche 911 GT3.

There was a sting in the tail however as Arno Church’s rudely quick Birkin 7’s Toyota mill expired in spectacular fashion Gary Kieswetter who was coming up to lap Arno spun on his oil allowing Matt Kreeve’s Nine XI Porsche GT3 Cup and Greg Partons Drizit Lamborghini Huracan  to close right up to Gary at the flag in seventh and eighth, ahead of Nick Cunningham-Moorat’s Auto MC Nissan GT-R, while Andre Brink rounded off the top ten in his SSB Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

Martin Pugh (Appleberry Shelby-Nissan Can-Am), Sandro Biccari (Nardini-Volkswagen 2.0) and Maarten Prins (Porsche GT3 Cup) followed, with Louis de Jager (Lola T212), Wayne Jardine (Shelby-Nissan Can-Am), the retired Church, Barry Nel and Ray Farnham coming home a lap down ahead of KZN Midlands visitor Mike Schmidt who was shaking down his new Nash-Volkswagen.
Fight for second
Andre Bezuidenhout then turned the tables on Scribante and Angel to lead the first few laps of the second race before Franco powered the Chevron past the Juno and ran away up front. That left Bezuidenhout to cope with the charging Angel’s Ferrari, with the two dicing hard throughout, although Bezuidenhout held Angel off as the Ferrari chased the Juno home, just 0.2 seconds adrift.

Jarvis was classified fourth, but his Viper lost brakes at the end of the back straight and went straight on into turn five, causing the race to be stopped at seven laps, with the results reflecting the positions at the start of that tour. That prevented the fifth-placed Colin Plit from improving on his fifth place in the Juno-Honda, ahead of Kieswetter’s Porsche, Parton in the Lamborghini and Matt Kreeve’s Porsche, with Cunningham-Moorat, Brink and Pugh rounding off the top ten.

Prins, de Jager, Jardine, Farnham and Nel ended up a lap down, Biccari and Schmidt failing to make the finish. With trophies awarded to the overall winners based on the competitors’ overall times over both races, Scribante took the finest silverware home with Angel sneaking second from Bezuidenhout, Jarvis, Plit and Kieswetter. Kreeve, Parton, Cunningham-Moorat and Brink completed the overall top ten.

The next round of the Crossley & Webb Sports & GT Championship happens at Killarney Saturday 2 June and with the Cape crying for rain, a wet track would also make for some pretty interesting racing. Diarise it now…

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