WhatPE Endurance Festival Report
WhereAldo Scribante Racetrack, Port Elizabeth
WhenSaturday 16 November 2019
CommunitySouth Africa National

Aldo delivers a triple PE endurance epic

Port Elizabeth’s Syarabix Endurance Festival delivered a trio of spectacular long-distance motor races that each went down to the wire at the Aldo Scribante Raceway over the weekend, alongside a full program of regular car and bike races that drew top entries from around the country.

Cape Town Pilbeam crew, Francis Carruthers, Sandro Biccari and Steve Humble stole a last gasp Syarabix Port Elizabeth 3-hour car race victory when a late rain storm wreaked havoc with minutes to run. The race ultimately ended behind the safety car, but not before Fritz Kleynhans and James Forbes’ Ligier, which had led the way from around mid-distance was among the many cars that spun and slithered off the treacherously slippery track following a sudden squall. The Ligier however recovered to end second from the first tin-top home, Paul Hill and Michael Stephen’s BMW.

Fourth-placed Riaan Botma and Carel Pienaar’s Ligier was another car to suffer in the late downpour as they spun to slip from a podium finish. They had led the race from get go before the Hill/Stephen BMW moved ahead, until they took a fuel stop at sunset to see the Carruthers/Biccari/Humble move ahead until the two hour mark. Then the Kleynhans/Forbes Ligier moved ahead and looked set to win — until the rain came...

Sixth-placed Lotus 7 duo Adriaan Le Roux and Klippies Krige had put in a stunning drive to rise from 22nd to fifth, but they too were caught out by the rain to allow Jozi lass Karah Hill and Trevor Bland up to fifth in their Volkswagen Polo, 13 laps off the leaders. Another Seven crew, Patrick Hanly and Fred Ballinger were next up, benefiting three positions in the wet chaos to overhaul PE Modified regulars Gordon Nolan and Kean Barnard (Polo) and the Ian Riddle/Spence BMW, as Jeandre and Winston Marais (Seven) closed off the top ten, with those four all on the same lap.

Stephan Aucamp and Henco Booysen's BMW was next up ahead of Hennie Trollip and veteran Jimbo Dunn in yet another Seven, while Cape Golf 1 crew George Schutte and Jaco Lambert held Quinton Sale and Richard Rath (Nissan 350Z) off for 13th, followed by Royce Griffin and Anton Lock (Astra) and Cape crew Arnold Lambert and Vince Kearney (Beetle). Mark Schulpfort (Alfa Romeo), Angeline Griffin and Shane Coetze (Alfasud), Albert and Melani Cook (BMW) and Roos/Rademeyer/Britz were followed home by by legend Graham Cooper and Greg Ermes’ Ford Escort. 

In a race that showed remarkable reliability, last year's giant killer winners Dean Ball and Philip Wise were more notable among the few retirements, joined by father and son teams Neil, Geoff and Jono Stephen and the Davidsons and top local crew Deon Slabbert and George Van Baalen.

In two-wheeled endurance action, Bernard and Brandon Haupt (Yamaha) and Akerman and Kewyn Snyman (Kawasaki) had the crowd on the edges of their seats as Haupt passed Ackerman on the last lap to win the PE 200 Superbike Endurance race and take victory by all of two-tenths of a second after 40 laps of racing! Jaco Scholtz (Suzuki) was third and a lap down after serving a short stop penalty, ahead of Nathan Ashington (Yamaha), Henk Schuiling (Kawasaki) and Bradley Rehse (Yamaha), while Devon Chatton Liebenberg/Binedell, Morne Kock and Hill/M.Roberson closed off the top ten.

They may have also raced flat out for 20 laps, but less than a second also split Johan Anker (Yamaha) and Remi van den Berg Suzuki the finish of a scintillating Klinicare 100 Clubmans Motorcycle endurance race. Slade van Niekerk (Yamaha) and Graigen Nel delivered just as exciting a duel for second, 20 seconds further adrift and ahead of Andrew Liebenberg (Cagiva), Kawasaki duo Malcolm Botes and Oliver McKay, Bernard Els, Andrew Thompson and Willy van Niekerk.

The Pirelli Cape Sports & GTs travelled to PE for a round of their championship to coincide with the 3-hour, where they were joined by a few local and upcountry entries.  Championship regulars and 3-hour winners, Steve Humble (Mallock) and Francis Carruthers (Pilbeam) proved the men to beat from interloper Fritz Kleynhans (Ligier) in the opening race, with Gary Kieswetter (Porsche) fourth from Riaan Bothma (Ligier) and Louis de Jager (Lola). Sandro Biccaru took the Pilbeam over to take race 2 from Humble, Forbes in the Ligier, Kieswetter and Gavin Gorman (Nardini).

The upcountry Red Square Kawasaki ZX10 Masters bikers joined the Endurance Festival to close off their championship as well, as Graeme van Breda beat Jaco Gous, Michael Smit, Jonty Collard, Jacques Ackerman and Teddy Brooke to the first race win. Van Breda then made off to do the double ahead of the squabbling, Smit, Gous and Collard, Ackerman and Johan le Roux.

Shaun Rudolph (Escort) powered to the opening Coastal Challenge historic car race from Cape visitor Louis Powell (Escort), Johan Barnard (Kadett), Neil Van Eyk (Escort), Rane Berry (Skyline) and Deon Gouws (Kadett) with Anton Ehlers (Escort), Lourens Bester (Porsche), Mike Rudolph (Capri) and Dinesh Coopoo (BMW 2002ti) closing off the top ten. Powell then returned the favour to beat Rudolph to the second race win from Barnard, Rane Berry, Deon Gouws, Ehlers, Rudolph, Coopoo, Herman de Klerk (Escort) and Bester.

Two Allcomers races comprising mainly EP Modified cars joined by visitors from around the country entertained as locals Bryn High (Audi S4) held Deon Slabbert (Polo) and Class B winner Thys Geyser (Golf) off to win the opening race for the quicker cars, with the classes going to Eugene Kruger (D Golf), Johan Nel (C BMW) and Riaan van Huysteen (E Golf). High then did the double from Slabbert and his Class B winning dad Steve High (Cruze), with the classes going the way of Geoff Stephen (X Golf), Willem Swart (D Jetta) and Nel.

Cape duo Cedric Burger (Honda) and Mark Fontini (Polo) beat John Kirsten (Golf) to the Allcomers race for slower cars, as Dwayne Barnard (BMW) and Zante Otto (Polo) took the smaller classes. Kirsten then took Race 2 from Henco Booysen (BMW) and Shane Smith (BMW) as Barnard and Otto did class doubles.

Also on two wheels, Yamaha duo Bernard Haupt beat Nathan Ashington, Jaco Scholtz (Suzuki) and Wade Wright (Yamaha) to a stunning opening Superbike sprint race before Haupt cleared off to leave Ashington to deal with Wright and Scholtz in race 2. Johan Anker (Yamaha) beat Remi van den Berg (Suzuki) and Gerrie Havenga (Yamaha) to both Clubmans bike races.

That brought a busy and spectacular Eastern Province 2019 race season to a splendid close, leaving fans and racers alike relishing an even better year ahead at Aldo Scribante — watch this space early 2020!


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