|What||Extreme Festival Round 5 Long Preview|
|Where||Aldo Scribante Racetrack, Port Elizabeth|
|When||Saturday 14 July 2018|
|Community||Port Elizabeth, South Africa National.|
New surface, tight titles set to deliver
Not only is Port Elizabeth limbering up for the first races at the newly resurfaced Aldo Scribante Racetrack Saturday 14 July, but local race fans can also look forward to racing of the absolute highest order when six top car and motorcycle categories visit the circuit for the fifth round of the 2018 Extreme Festival South African national championship motor races that weekend.
The racetrack named after the late Aldo Scribante has benefited a fresh international specification racing bitumen surface with a little help from his son, grandson and Scribante Construction and first reports from the Bay suggest a huge reduction in tyre wear, but there’s also much afoot at the top end of the various national championship classes as the Extreme Festival circus prepares for its annual visit to Nelson Mandela bay.
Not least of all, the fraught battle continues at the front of the Sasol GTC championship, where Sasol BMW driver Gennaro Bonafede sits just six points ahead of PE home hero Michael Stephen and Petronas Audi teammate and compatriot Simon Moss to promise another hard-fought weekend in SA’s premier race class. Top BMW privateer Michael van Rooyen sits a fine fourth from another PE star, Daniel Rowe’s locally prepared Volkswagen and Robert Wolk in the other Sasol BMW,.
Volkswagen Motorsport Golf GTI youngster Keagan Masters meanwhile holds a reasonable advantage over Mini twins Bradley Liebenberg and Devin Robertson in GTC2, where all of three points split them and fourth-placed VW Golf driver Trevor Bland.
Its even closer in the single-seater Investchem Formula 1600 chase on the Road to Indy, where experienced Johannesburg single-seater pilot Nicholas van Weely holds a single point championship advantage over Bloemfontein young gun Stuart White. Alex Gillespie finds himself in a safe championship third, while Liam Pienaar, Scott Temple and Andrew Schofield are involved in a tight fight for fourth and veteran Ian Schofield leads Class B ahead of what promise to be races as tight as that championship chase on Aldo’s marble-like new surface.
There’s another close fight in the Engen Polo Cup, where Jeffrey Kruger holds a slender six-point championship lead over Masters class leader and racing lady Tasmin Pepper, with Volkswagen Driver Search sensation Jonathan Mogotsi a similar number of points further adrift. Top rookie Keegan Campos sits in a safe fourth ahead of a multi-Polo spat between veteran Shaun La Reservee and young guns Clinton Bezuidenhout, Daniel Duminy and Delon Thompson among others.
PE race fans can also look forward to the spectacle of the G&H Extreme Supercars headed up by Charl Arangies and his rudely quick Aston Martin Vantage V12 chased by a gaggle of Ferraris, Porsches, Lamborghinis and a few extraordinary BMWs, among others. Two motorcycle classes — the Red Square Kawasaki ZX10 Masters where Graeme van Breda and Sven Grune will continue their epic championship tussle, and the Bridgestone Thunderbikes round off a spectacular race program.
Aldo Scribante race officials report that the all-new surface is running in well with local competitors invited to practice as much as possible to help bed the new surface in. First suggestions already point toward a dramatic improvement in the circuit’s old bugbear of extreme tyre wear, while pundits predict that the racing will be better than ever as a result.
That, along with the prospect of closest possible national championship battles coming to town should leave locals with little option but to cross Saturday 14 July out of their calendars in preparation for a great day’s racing at Aldo Scribante. Do so now!