Summarize

Racing extravaganza Friday and Saturday

Race fans can look forward to a bumper Youth Day long weekend of racing when the Extreme Festival heads to Pretoria’s Zwartkops Raceway to deliver an exceptional long weekend on track Friday and Saturday 16-17 June. 

The two-day Extreme Festival spectacular features drawcard national championship races with the Sasol Global Touring Cars, Engen Volkswagen Cup and the Investchem Formula 1600s get racing bright and early Friday, before the regular regional roadshow headed by the G&H Transport Extreme Supercars, Volkswagen Challenge and a national championship Formula Vee race among others, top a just as exciting Saturday bill.

The action commences early on Friday, with a full national race program starting at 09h40 with top drawer racing guaranteed by the Sasol GTCs, Engen VW Polos and Investchem Formula 1600s around the short and twisty Zwartkops. 

GTC Tops Fantastic Friday
Friday’s headlines should belong to the Sasol GTCs where sparks will fly following champion Michael Stephen’s recent form saw the Engen Audi star slashing his points disadvantage over championship leader, Sasol BMW driver Gennaro Bonafede following Stephen’s double victory last time out. Stephen’s teammate Simon Moss has quietly put an excellent title effort together and sits a strong second in the race, between Bonafede and Stephen — all the more interesting considering that BMW and Audi are embroiled in a tight Sasol GTC Manufacturer’s championship tussle.

Privateer Johan Fourie will be keen to move his championship aspirations ahead in the EPS Courier BMW, while Volkswagen Jetta duo Matthew Hodges and Daniel Rowe will be hoping for the best from their visit to Gauteng. Sasol BMW driver Robert Wolk enjoyed a positive test at Zwartkops last week and he’ll be looking for continued improvement in his form, while Michael van Rooyen will want to shake his problems off in the pretty green and yellow RSC BMW.

Sasol GTC2 is also heating up following Bradley Liebenberg’s East London double win in the Ferodo Mini, so championship-leading Keagan Masters will want to strike back to maintain his healthy grip on that title chase in the VW Motorsport Golf GTI. Teammate Mandla Mdakane, Golf GTI privateers Trevor Bland and Charl Smalberger and Chris Shorter in the other Mini will also be keen for a step up, while Iain Stevenson is hoping to have a new car at Zwartkops and Dayne Angel should start coming to grips with his Honda Civic Type R.

Polo Dynamite
You can bet your bottom dollar on incredible racing in the Engen Volkswagen Cup, where championship battle lines are drawn between former Legends world champion Devin Robertson, former karting world champion Clinton Bezuidenhout  and former European VW Golf Cup champion Jeffrey Kruger. There’s just as close a fight in the Masters class, where Juan Gerber closely leads Shaun La Réserveé, with Shaun intent on making up for a disastrous weekend in East London.

Matthew Shorter, Justin Oates, Benjamin Habig, Masters lad Jano van der Westhuizen and Darren Oates close off the Polo championship top ten but don’t ignore Masters driver Gary van Heerden, Volkswagen development duo Jonathan Mogotsi and Kuda Vazure; Pepper Racing’s Tasmin Pepper or her 16-year old Junior teammates Daniel Duminy and Rookie Giordano Lupini. 

The Investchem Formula 1600 championship has been a Julian van der Watt (Investchem RDSA) benefit until now, but Stuart White (Fantastic Racing), who sits second in the championship in spite of missing the last race to compete in Europe, will be fresh from a French Formula 4 outing at Spa Francorchamps and keen to finally displace his title leading rival. 

Young guns Alex Gillespie (ERP Trucking), Brad Beningfield (General Energy), Cameron O’ Connor (Strata/Repro), Dean Venter (Desco/Manitou) and Liam Pienaar (Phoenix Jewellers) are all improving by the race and Class B veterans, Ian Schofield and Claudio Piazza-Musso and lady drivers Donny Lamola and Paige Lindenberg are always there or thereabout.

Supporting Acts
Friday’s Extreme Festival national roadshow will be supported by the SKF Legends of the 9 Hour and the Bridgestone Challenge bikes sharing the program with the big guns. 

The Legends of the 9-hour will include the likes of Peter Bailey and Keegan Campos’ Porsche 917s, Michiel Simmons’ Ford GT40, a pair of Lola T70s driven by Mark du Toit and Neil Lobb and Jonathan du Toit’s Chevron. Ben Morgenrood and Thomas Falkiner’s Ford Mustangs, a history lesson of Alfa Romeos Volvos, Fords and the rest will also all be in classic action.

The Bridgestone Challenge Brunch Run motorcycle action will see the likes of Ian Thomas (SA Compressor Kawasaki), Simon Buissinne, Pieter Botes, Todd Pucket (Fourways Flyers Triumph), Coen Erasmus (E Engineering Suzuki) and Hendrik Erasmus fighting it out among an intriguing field.

Remember Friday’s racing starts early at 09h40 until 3pm before practice starts for Saturday’s races. You can also catch GTC, Polo and Formula 1600 qualifying from 15h00 Thursday afternoon.

Supercar Saturday
Saturday 16 June will dawn an all-new raceday headed up by the G&H Transport Extreme Supercars, a round of the National Sports Car Challenge, the Volkswagen Challenge, 111 Sports & Saloons, autObarn SuperHatches, a round of the Hankook Formula Vee National Championship and a pair of Bridgestone Thunderbike and Sub-10 Superbike races.

The G&H Transport ExtremeSupercars are bound to top Saturday’s bill, with a splendid grid of GT Supercars fighting for honours, not least of all a couple of Lamborghinis taking on six Ferraris, a trio of Porsches and a McLaren, among others. 

Simon Murray (Aeronautica Militiare) and Jonathan Shenkman’s (Stradale) head the Lamborghini charge, with championship leader Jimmy Giannoccaro (G & H), Craig Jarvis (Panacea) and Jonathan and Mark du Toit (TAR), Charl Arangies (Stradale) among the Ferrari ranks and Franco Scribante, Nicky Dicks and Oliver Dalais in Porsches. Don’t ignore BMWs in the likes of Dawie Olivier (G&H) and Jason Campos, Kishoor Pitamber and Ricky Giannoccaro either.

Expect fireworks in the Volkswagen Challenge on Saturday where Class A driver Stiaan Kriel (Spanjaard Polo) has stamped authority on the championship so far this season and heads to Zwartkops looking to increase that advantage. Kriel also holds a strong class championship advantage, but never ignore Iain Pepper (Husqvarna Polo), Devon Piazza-Musso (Allegiance/Reef Polo), Wayne Masters or Waldie Meintjes in your Zwartkops betting.

Things are closer in VW Challenge Class B, where Adrian Wood (Laserfiche Polo), Nic Clarke (Pozi Drive Polo) and Lyle Ramsay (Monroe Polo Vivo) are involved in a tight battle, while things are also close in Class C, where Rory Atkinson (PoziDrive Polo), Shaun Crous (Ancro Polo Vivo) and Wouter Roos (Strata Drilling Polo) find themselves embroiled in that charge.

Wild Vees
Also among Saturday’s highlights is the Hankook Formula Vee fight, where Jaco Schriks (Rhema) and Gert van den Berg (BP Nantes Rhema) arrive at Zwartkops tied in the championship lead. Never ignore MSA Academy graduate Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Cervinia Rhema) or evergreen Zwartkops hero Peter Hills (Lube Fusion Rhema), Lendl Jansen or Lushen Ramchander from this equation.

The 111 Sports and Saloons should see class championship leader Louis Cloete (APC VW Beetle), Rory Eland (VW Polo), the effervescent George Bezuidenhout (Accolade Nissan Primera), Lucas Bezuidenhout (PTA Noord Lexus), Harry Arangies (Stradale Porsche 944) and Gerhard Henning (Toyota Parts VW Polo) fighting it out for overall honours. 

Tony Sharp (Giulietta), Brent Henshaw (Celica) and Veritie-Anne Joubert (Ballade) will scrap over Class B while overall championship leader Danie Deysel (Honda) Mark Harvey, (Porsche ) and Justin Gordon race in Class C and Reno van Heerden (Polo), Craig Botha (Golf 2) and Rodney Norman (Ballade) head the Class D charge. Class E will race with the Super Hatch lot with Pieter de Klerk (Golf), Almero van Eck (Polo) and Mark Kingsmill (Golf) the likely frontrunners.

Class B driver Jono Konig heads to Zwartkops in a handy autObarn Super Hatch title lead over class rival Nic Martin (Rex Kadett) with Class C runner Andre Dannhauser splitting Class B runners Alex Marques (Ace Polo), Ishmael Baloyi (TAR Honda) and Zane Van Zyl (Credit Guarantee Golf) from the championship leaders. Don’t let any of that interfere with the action up front however, where Morne Human, Brett Garland (autObarn Honda), Jonthan du Toit (TAR Honda) and Chris Davison (Precision Superboss) will be among those chasing overall honours.

Thunderbikes action will have Gavin Upton (Motion Perfection Yamaha) dicing Chris Du Plessis (Yamaha) and Shaun Vermaak (Fourways Kawasaki) chasing class A honours, Gareth Jackson (BDS Kawasaki) and Austin Olivier (No Rules Triumph) fighting over Class B and Tiaan Dyssel Daltron (Forge Kawasaki) and Morne Potgieter (Fourways Flyers Kawasaki) busy in Class C.

The Sub 10 motorcycle Class will see Byron Rothquel (Mag Magic BMW) fighting it out with Riaan Fourie (Fourways Kawasaki) up front in Class A, while Class B will see the likes of Masters riders Hendrik Erasmus (E Engineering BMW) and Wayne Spicer (Wellness Kawasaki) tussling for honours.

Nonstop Action
Saturday’s race action starts at 13h00, but there will be much ado throughout the weekend including Grid Walks amongst the Sasol GTC machines Friday and the G&H Extreme Supercars Saturday, abundant trackside entertainment with a food market, live entertainment and specialist stalls behind the pits and much more to do around the track. 

Entrance is R110 for adults, R90 for students with a special deal of R170 or R120 for students for two-day packages. Under-12s enter free. Buy tickets at online.computicket.com/web/event/extreme_festival/ or at the gate. Zwartkops is on your left heading north on the R55 just before Laudium, Pretoria.
Call 012 384 2299 or email info@zwartkops.co.za for more info.