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Murray, Schenkman take SA GT openers

The South African GT Challenge kicked off at Welkom’s Phakisa Raceway on Saturday as Simon Murray and Jonathan Schenkman took their Lamborghini Gallardos to victory in the two races. Murray took his Gallardo GT3 to Sprint race victory, before Schenkman took Feature race honours in his Challenge version.

Murray passed pole man Craig Jarvis’s Ferrari into the first corner of the Sprint, before the two became involved in a cat and mouse game up front until the Ferrari developed a misfire to allow the Murray to go on to win from the misfiring Jarvis.

A little further back, Schenkman made it a Lamborghini double as he brought his Gallardo home third overall to take the Challenge class, three seconds clear of Porsche duo Andrew Culbert and Sun Moodley, Giacomo Giannoccoro’s Ferrari and Werner Link’s Porsche, while birthday boy Harry Aranges took GT4 honours in his Mustang.

Jarvis opted not to run his Ferrari in the second race, which prompted Murray to withdraw rather than race alone and left the Challenge cars to fight for Feature race victory, but Schenkman took control up front and although Culbert shadowed him for the entire 45 minutes, the Porsche man could not get close enough to mount and attack as he drove home second.

Fans and live stream viewers alike were however treated to a delightful tussle for third, initially between Sun Moodley and Werner Link’s Porsches and Giacomo Gianoccoro’s Ferrari 360, before Moodley and Giannoccoro gradually drew away. The Ferrari eventually passed the Porsche before Moodley spun, leaving G&H man Giannoccoro to drive home a fine third from the recovered Moodley’s Big Foot Porsche and Link. Harry Aranges won both GT4 rounds in his Mustang.

The second round of the South African GT Challenge is scheduled for 8 April at Killarney in Cape Town.