|What||Midas 3 Hour & Mahle PE 3 Hour Meeting Report|
|Where||Aldo Scribante Racetrack, Port Elizabeth|
|When||Saturday 17 November 2018|
|Community||Port Elizabeth, South Africa National.|
Giant killer 3-Hour goes down to the wire
Port Elizabeth's Aldo Scribante Racetrack enjoyed something of a watershed year in 2018 and it all came to a head in epic fashion when an unfancied tin-top BMW held off a come-from-behind light sports car attack to win the Midas PE 3 Hour endurance race on Saturday evening. In what proved to be the ultimate of grandstand finishes, East London duo Philip Wiese and Dean Ball's BMW 328 found itself in a clear one-lap lead with half an hour to run, but they came under attack from the superbly driven Dave Sinclair/Eric Salomon Elf S06.
The tension could not be tighter as the little green Elf first unlapped itself and then went on to take six to eight seconds a lap out of the white BMW with both crews pushing as hard as they could. With 30 seconds to go, the BMW led former Formula Ford star Sinclair by all of seven seconds as the two raced through the dark into the final lap, but it was just not enough as Wiese’s BMW crossed the line with less than three seconds in hand to take an unexpected and giant-killing victory.
Hennie Trollip and Jimmy Dunn’s Lotus class winning Seven was third, a lap behind the Sinclair/Salamon Elf, but the fight for fourth was just as tense as that for the lead when Sarel van der Merwe and Riaan Botma’s Ligier J53 EVO similarly came from behind to pass Modified Class runners-up, Gareth Hudd and Brent Watts' Nissan 350Z on that dramatic final tour.
It was a thrilling race after Fritz Kleynhans and James Forbes put their Ligier on pole position ahead of van der Merwe and Botma’s similar machine, Mike Verrier and Garth De Villers’ Shelby; Francis Carruthers and Johan Engelbrecht's Aquila, Tanya Watts and Ian Shrosbree (Shelby) and the Salomon and Sinclair Elf, with Wiese and Ball’s BMW 16th on the capacity 36-car grid...
Sadly the glorious Aquila did not make the start and the van der Merwe/Bothma Ligier hit trouble early on, leaving the Kleynhans/Forbes Ligier to stretch its legs out front ahead of the Shelbys and a bunch including a few Sevens and the Elf. The second Ligier duly charged back through the pack to run second by mid-distance, when a safety car period shook things up a little, leaving the van der Merwe/Botma Ligier in the lead ahead of the similar car.
The two Ligiers changed places, but both ran into trouble and dropped well down, leaving Wiese and Ball in a shock lead after both the Shelbys had also stopped. The Elf had been delayed too, but was still second, a lap and a half behind and ahead of Trollip and Dunn’s Lotus 7 as the van der Merwe Ligier re-entered the top ten. The Elf soon un-lapped itself and with Sinclair running as if he was qualifying, closed down the BMW, but it proved too little too late — and by the tiniest of margins — just 2.936 seconds, when all was said and done!
Deon Slabbert, Daniel Bright and Stepan Aucamp’s Jetta ended up a most impressive sixth and second tin-top home, ahead of Kean Barnard and Troy Marais' Lotus 7, Historics class winners Shaun and Mike Rudolph's Ford Escort, Gordon Nolan and Michael Hart in a Golf 1 and the recovering Kleynhans/Forbes Ligier closing off the top ten as 25 of the 36 starters made it to the finish of an epic race.
It was not only that BMW that pulled off a dramatic giant-killing act on Saturday — the Mahle PE 200 — the oldest motorcycle race in South Africa saw Unlimited class Yamaha R1 trio Bernard, Brandon Haupt and the Augustin Ntwari and AJ Venter machine on the front row ahead of top 600, Jared Schultz, but it was Schultz who put his nimble Yamaha R6 to best use over the 36-lap race to steal the 200 British pound purse.
BMW class winners, John Kriege and Roberto Jonke ended up second, with Mark and Alex van den Berg the first Unlimited machine home aboard their Suzuki 1000R ahead of Dave Enticott's Triumph and the Janine Mitchel/Travis Naude BMW. Joske Kotze was next up ahead of Remi Van Den Berg (BMW), Rob Boyd and Chris Williams’ Suzuki and a pair of Yamahas - a R6 ridden by Nathan Ashington and Augustin Ntwari/AJ Venter’s R1.
The other two-wheeled highlight was the Klinicare PE 100 motorcycle race for smaller-bore bikes, where Kawasaki Twin duo Chris Wiliiams and Andrew Liebenberg fought it out for 20 laps. Only a second separated them at the flag, with Historics rider Jaco Scholtz (Yamaha) next up ahead of Mike Van Rensburg (Kawasaki Twin), 300 winner Zante Otto, Andrew Thompson (Kawasaki Twin), Historic Honda trio Robbie Breakspear, Shaun Classen and Ray Wood and 300 runner-up Jessica Howden’s Yamaha.
Three two-heat sprints completed the two-wheeled action — Unlimited riders AJ Venter edged Brandon Haupt with Bernard Haupt third in a Yamaha R1 clean sweep ahead of Alex van den Berg’s Suzuki and BMW Cup duo John Krieger and Janine Mitchell in the big bike race. Brandon Haupt turned the tables on Venter with a 1.4 second race 2 win, while Bernard Haupt ended third again from van den Berg, Peter Haupt (Yamaha) and Mitchell.
A close opening 600cc Motorcycle sprint race saw a tenth of a second split Yamaha duo Jared Schultz and Ricardo Otto at the flag, with Dave Enticott (Triumph) next up ahead of the Yamahas of Regardt Koen, Brad Rehse and Travis Warne. Ricardo led sister Zante Otto home in the second race with Schultz close on her tail from Enticott, Daryl Norton (Yamaha) Wayne Arendse (Honda), Joske Kotze (Kawasaki), Rudolf Kleinhans and Daphne Lang.
0.5 seconds split Kawasaki 650 Twin duo Paul Medell and Chris Williams in the first Powersport Motorcycle race, with Historics rider Jaco Scholtz (Suzuki) third from Kawasaki Twin pair Andrew Liebenberg and Mike Van Rensburg, New Era Historics winner Wayne Molloy (Yamaha), Paul Jansen's Kawasaki Twin, 300 winner Zante Otto and Masters 1-2, Gerrie Havenga (Yamaha) and Jan Dorfling (Suzuki). Medell again held Williams off for the second race win ahead of Scholtz, van Rensburg and Liebenberg, Havenga, Otto and Dorfling, while Andrew Thompson (Kawasaki Twin) and Honda men, NE Historics rider Shaun Classen and Breakfast Run winner Devon Chatton.
The car supporting card included a pair of Western Province championship away races. Craig Jarvis set an incredible 59.1 lap as he demolished the opposition in his spectacular Ginetta Corvette in both WP Sports & GT races ahead of James Forbes and Sarel vd Merwe’s Ligiers, Sandro Biccari’s Juno, Gary Kieswetter in a Porsche, Steve Humble’s Mallock and top local, Gordon Nicholson's Nissan GT-R. Riaan Botma and Fritz Kleynhans took their turns to come second and third in the Ligiers in race 2 ahead of Kieswetter, Mike Verrier’s Shelby and Biccari.
The Cape Town V8 Masters put on a fine display as Fabio Tafani held Marcel Angel off in the first race ahead of Brian Evans, Richard Schreuder, Craig Jarvis and Rui Campos. The top three were unchanged in race 2, but Paolo Cavallieri beat Campos and Jarvis to fourth.
So immense was the Allcomers Saloon Car race entry, that the field was split in two as Silvio Scribante beat Nick Davidson’s similar Audi to the first win from Keagan Pottas' Honda CRX, Class B men Ian Riddle (BMW), Deon Slabbert (Polo) and Thys Geyser (Golf 1), while Michael Le Sueur's Golf 1 took Class C, Richard Rath's Nissan 200SX Class D and Stephan Aucamp (BMW) Class X. Scribante took race 2 from Pottas, Slabbert, Riddle and Le Sueur as Rath and Aucamp did the class doubles
The Class D mob topped the other races as Riaan Swart (Jetta) beat George Neethling's Golf, Wayne Wilson (Maxima), Francois Immelman and Basie and Cedric Burger’s Golfs as Stephan Aucamp (BMW) took Class E and Anthony Carstens (Golf) Class F. Riaan Swart took race 2 from Wilson, Neethling, Cedric Burger, Carstens and Vernon Young (Golf) as Carstens took Class F and Anton Jacobs' Nissan Class E.
A pair of Coastal Challenge races rounded off a superb day’s action as Cape Class X visitor Jaco Lambert (Sirocco) took the win from Class S runners Shaun Rudolph (Escort) and Deon Gouws (Kadett), Jared Thompson's Cortina, Ian Thomson (Rekord) and Rane Berry (Skyline) as Gordon Bennett took Class T in his Rekord, Angelique Griffin (Alfa) won class U and Ronald Scott took class V. Lambert beat Jared Thompson, Rudolph, Ian Thomson, Gouws and Berry in race 2 as Bennett, Griffin and Scott took the classes again.
In all, Port Elizabeth race fans were treated to a splendid day’s racing to close off a special year at Aldo Scribabte. It all starts all over again in the new year - see you there!
Issued on behalf of Aldo Scribante Racetrack
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