Pepper, Meintjes show the kids the way
They may be some way over 100 years old between them, but Lee Thompson Racing’s lead drivers Iain Pepper and Waldie Meintjes certainly showed the way as they brought the team a brilliant Volkswagen Challenge 1-2 at Welkom’s Phakisa Freeway on Saturday.
Pepper never had an easy start to the weekend, when his Husqvarna Motorcycles Lee Thompson Racing Volkswagen Polo was beset with a misfire Friday afternoon and having not raced at Phakisa since 2009, Mr. Pepper found himself on the back foot. “That was not ideal,” Iain admitted. “But Lee had done a great job on the car and I managed to put it on pole by a second!
“I got the race 1 holeshot and gradually opened up lead of 4 seconds by lap 4, so I took it easy from there to preserve tyres and won by 3 seconds. “I messed the second race start up and I was second,” Iain confessed. “Stiaan Kriel tried all the blocking oval track tricks to keep us behind and then ran me off at turn 3, so I repaid the favour two corners later to get into lead and pulled a 7 second gap to win from Waldie, who also took second overall for Lee — a great result for the team!”
Waldie Meintjes was also delighted with his best result of the season so far aboard his silver Lee Thopmpson Racing VW Polo. “We've finally scored a good result,” Meintjes, who like Pepper, is north of 50 years old admitted. “I owe a special word of thanks to Lee, who has put a great effort in to our cars since the last race to find such a sweet set-up — now we are on the board it's time to win — watch out Mr. Pepper — it’s my turn next!”
It was however a bittersweet weekend for Lee Thompson’s other duo, Crous brothers Wayne and Shaun who both finished one race and retired the other. “The weekend started bad,” Ancro Construction Lee Thompson Racing Class C driver Shaun explained. “Race two only lasted two laps for me and I was out. “Race 2 was good though — I bounced back to finish a strong second. “I need a bit of luck back - it’s been three races since my last win in East London so hopefully Red Star will be third time lucky. “Thanks to Lee and the team for a great car as always!”
“I also had an up-and-down weekend,” Delway Lee Thompson Racing Class A Polo driver Wayne Crous confessed. “I picked up a misfire in practice, got it all sorted out and had a good qualifying to end up fifth, but I had a slow start in the first race, but still enjoyed a good dice with Wayne Masters and ended up sixth. “I had a great start in the second race and was dicing Devon Piazza-Musso when I hit gear selector trouble and that was it. “I really enjoyed my weekend — huge thanks to Lee and the team!
“I’m happy!” team boss Lee Thompson concluded. “I did a lot of testing myself with the cars since the last Zwartkops event to give the guys some time off and I knew Phakisa would be good for us. “Our set-up gave us the edge in tyre wear, so it was up to the guys to perform… and they did!”
Lee Thompson Racing now switches its attention to its national drivers Charl Smalberger and Simon Need for Zwartkops 12 August, before returning to VW challenge Action at Red Star near Delmas Saturday 2 September.