Wild end to Extreme season
The 2016 Extreme Festival was concluded in wild style at the Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria on Saturday, with a number of the year’s championship titles finally finding owners.
The highlights of the day were without doubt the two Volkswagen series, which saw all seven championships decided by a single point each. Shaun la Reservee (Alpine Motors Polo) won the first Engen Volkswagen Cup race from Bradley Liebenberg (Ferodo Polo) and Keagan Masters (Champion Polo).
Race two saw a multiple shunt on the third lap involving La Reservee, Liebenberg, Masters, Jurie Swart (Ferodo), Jeffrey Kruger (Universal Health) and Ethan van Heerden (Nutritech). The race win eventually went to veteran Trevor Bland (Universal Health) followed by Juan Gerber and Chris Shorter (Payen Polo), who sneaked the overall and Junior Polo Cup championships by a single point from the delayed Liebenberg and Masters.
La Reservee coaxed his his damaged and overheating Polo to complete seven laps to be classified as a finisher and then watched as fellow Masters drivers Bland held off Gerber to hand La Reservee the title from Gerber by a solitary point..
It was just as close in the regional Comsol VW Challenge, where the opening race went to Stiaan Kriel (Polo), followed by Rory Atkinson (Comsol Polo) and Waldie Meintjies (Lee Thompson Polo). Atkinson then won the second race from Kriel with Meintjes fourth to see Atkinson steal the Class A title by a single point.
In the classes, Nic Clarke had to score full points for any chance of stealing the class and overall title from Darren Nathan and that's exactly what Clarke did to nick the title from Nathan - by a point. It went the other way in Class C, where Graham Savage had to win everything to take it, which he did, but young Luan Roos scored enough points to take the title - by a point!
Dewald Brummer (MAD Mygale) clinched the year’s Investchem Formula 1600 title by taking the category’s pole position and resultant bonus point on Friday afternoon before Julian van der Watt (SARD Mygale) won Saturday’s opening race by making a perfect pass on Brummer with Dean Venter (Turnlab Mygale) third.
The second race in the wet went to Dean Venter from Andy Schofield (Investchem Mygale) and impressive FF debutant Brad Benningfield (Nashua Mygale).
Sasol Global Touring Cars delivered a few crashes to liven up the procession. The opening race saw drama at the start when Johan Fourie (EPS Couriers BMW) and Simon Moss (Engen Xtreme Audi A3) came together on the first lap, with Moss then spinning off on lap two to leave Michael Stephen (Engen Xtreme Audi A3) to win at ease ahead of Hennie Groenewald (Sasol BMW GTC), Gennaro Bonafede (Sasol BMW GTC), Mathew Hodges (Volkswagen Jetta GTC) and a recovered Johan Fourie.
Race two was interrupted by rain, which turned the Zwartkops track surface into grease as leader Michael Stephen, Simon Moss, plus VW drivers Graeme Nathan and Mathew Hodges all went off, before the race was red-flagged at three-quarter distance leaving Bonafede to win from Hennie Groenewald, Johan Fourie, a recovered Hodges and Michael van Rooyen.
Daniel Rowe (Volkswagen Golf GTI won both the GTC Production Car races, taking the category’s 2016 title in the process. Debutant Devon Piazza-Musso (Kalex Golf Gti) and Mandla Mdakane (Volkswagen Golf Gti) shared the respective second places
Jaco Schriks (Formula Vee) won both of the day’s Hankook Formula Vee races, while Gert van den Berg (BP Nantes Vee) and Greg Wilson (Reflex Solutions Forza) swapped the second and third places The first AutObarn/Northern Bolt &Tool Superhatch race was won by Jonathan du Toit (TAR Honda Civic), followed by Brett Garland (AutObarn Honda Civic) and Morne Human (ANCRO Mini Cooper S) Garland won the next time around, followed by Du Toit and Human, who led all the way only to hit engine trouble with two laps to run.
Running toward the back, Volkswagen Driver Search finalists Ryan Rhode beat Jonathan Mogotsi both times, but the judges opted to hand the less experienced Mogotsi the contest's 2017 Polo Cup prize drive
The National Sports Car Challenge went the way of Rui Campos (Liqui Moly Shelby), ahead of Brian Algar (Shelby CanAm) and Mark Lauth (Fantastic Racing Shelby).
Both of the day’s Red Square Kawasaki Masters Cup races went to Sven Grune (Page Property ZX10R), clinching the year’s title in his favour. Greame van Breda (IVID ZX10R) and Kyle Robinson (Fantech ZX10R) finished second and third on both occasions. Greg Gildenhuys (Murdoch Autobody Kawasaki ZX10R) won the Dunlop Thunderbike races, beating Nicolaas Grobler (Golden Mile Yamaha R1) and Dean Vos (Trolan Bikes Kawasaki ZX10R) to the line on both occasions. Hendrik Erasmus (E Engineering BMW) won both the Silverton Bolt & Nut Challenge races ahead of Peter Blackman (Adrenalin Powersport BMW). Hugo Bradfield (Fourways Kawasaki) and Riaan Fourie (Fourways Kawasaki) shared the two final podium places, respectively.
Racing returns to Zwartkops for next year’s International Passion for Speed historic car extravaganza on the weekend of January 27, 28 and 29.