|What||Mopar 6 Hours of the Goldfields Report|
|Where||Phakisa Freeway, Welkom - Free State|
|When||25 February 2017|
Vaal team dominates Welkom 6 Hour, GT
Vaal Triangle-based GT race team Stradale Motorsport, went to Welkom, saw and conquered over the weekend. Not only did team principal Charl Arangies and his dad (who celebrated his birthday on Saturday) drive their Ferrari 360 Challenge to victory in the Mopar 6 Hours of the Goldfields African Endurance Championship season opener, but Stradale cars also dominated the weekend’s inaugural Phakisa South African GT Challenge races.
The Arangies Ferrari led Stradale teammates Simon Murray and Gavin Cronje’s Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 to victory in the 6-hour, but Murray also took the Lambo to GT3 victory in the GT Challenge opener, Jonathan Schenkman took his similar Stradale Gallardo to Challenge Class victory and Harry Arangies won GT4 with the team’s Ford Mustang in a clean sweep of victories.
“It was a trying weekend that came good!” Charl Arangies admitted. “On Friday the Lamborghini hardly turned a wheel as we had wiring harness problems that we fixed in the early hours Saturday and then the Ferrari suffered a broken power steering pump. “I actually qualified without power steering and still managed a third on the grid, before the guys scrambled to replace the pump, which is quite the job, on Friday evening.
Father and sone team Harry and Charl however defied the odds to bring the Ferrari home to a stunning 6 Hour victory in spite of the 360 being over ten seconds a lap slower then the quickest car on track and still five seconds off the pace of the front pack.
“Everything just went exactly as planned with pit stops on point and the car doing what it does best,” Charl explained. “We knew that we never had the pace of the big cars, but then we had good old fashioned Ferrari reliability and except for a gear shifting issue from the word go, we just keept the car on track and ran to our strategy, which worked perfectly.
“Both cars ran like clockwork on Pirelli slicks and Motul lubricants — without them, nothing would be possible, but it was a most successful weekend at the end of it — we somehow ended up totally dominating on all fronts,” Charl concluded. “Thanks and congratulations to our whole team and well done to each and every one of you!”
“That was honestly the best birthday gift I could get!” Harry Arangies admitted. “Charl drove the car at pace and I did my job of putting in consistent lap times — we were aiming for a podium but we never thought we could beat the likes of our far quicker teammates in the Lamborghini and the Viper or the rest and that’s testament to our team Stradale Motorsport and the great brand Ferrari.”
Stradale now focuses on the next rounds of the SA Endurance Championship and GT Challenge at Killarney in Cape Town in April.