Youngest lad on grid quickest in 3-hour
Bloemfontein 15-year old Stuart White caused the Zimbabwe racing community to sit up and take note with a most impressive performance in his first outing aboard a Shelby Can Am racer in the annual Bulawayo 3-hour Endurance over the past weekend.
Competing in his second endurance event for Fantastic racing alongside lady racer Fabienne Lanz, the duo stepped up from a VSP S2000 to race in the far more powerful V6 Can Am machine alongside Wayne Jardine in Zimbabwe’s flagship motor race. Stewie was immediately on the pace in Friday practice, slotting the Fantastic Racing machine second overall in the time sheets despite it being his shake-down day in the car.
Young White then went one better in qualifying to score a most impressive pole position on Saturday morning before putting in a stirring opening stint as the race got under way in drying conditions. The team experienced a few problems later on, but by then Stuart had etched a place in the hearts of many a Zimbabwean race fan.
“What an amazing weekend,” Stuart admitted. “I qualified on pole position out of 45 entries in my first weekend in the car, so I’m really excited about that. “The race started in the rain but we went out on slicks and I could not hold Darren Winterboer’s quick BMW off on wet rubber, so I let him go.
The track dried up and White retook the lead and led the way for most of the rest of the first hour, before the youngster picked up a problem with the gear lever, forcing him to pit to fix it. “But I really enjoyed myself when I got back out again,” White explained.- I set the fastest lap by 3 seconds when I found a gap between passing five and eight cars per lap — it was an incredible experience.
“Fabienne did a great job after that and we were well up the leaderboard when Wayne took over to drive to the finish, but the car began overheating and we were forced to retire.” I have to say a huge thank you to Fantastic racing Team — Mark Lauth, Wayne Jardine and Andre Botha and to Robbie Teengs, who made the trip to Bulawayo possible .”
Stuart now hangs up his helmet after a hectic year’s racing to take a break before heading flat out into another full year of racing in 2017.