|What||Campos 600 Race Report|
|Where||Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town|
|When||Saturday 16 March 2019|
|Community||South Africa National|
Thrilling SA Endurance opener delivers another epic
Cape Town race fans were treated to yet another endurance racing epic when the Campos Cape Town 600 once again went down to the wire at Killarney on Saturday evening. The opening round of the 2019 Mopar South African Endurance Series attracted a top class grid of cars and drivers, but it was the Killarney-based reigning SA champion team of Nick Adcock and Michael Jensen’s AidCall247 Rico Barlow Racing Ligier JS53 Evo Honda that ultimately took a 4 second victory over GT3 winners and former Campos 600 winners Charl and Harry Arangies' Stradale Lamborghini Gallardo LP520 GT3 EVO.
GT5 class winners Kishoor Pitamber and Kris Budnik's Bucketlist Racing Ferrari F360 Challenge ran like a train to complete the podium in third, 8 laps adrift, ahead of a giant-killing debut for tin-top winners, last year’s SA Endurance GT champion Dayne Angel sharing his former GTC2 Autohaus Angel Honda Civic Type R with Jarryd Evans, a further 4 laps adrift.
Next up was a GT5 battle between Backdraft-Lexus Cobra Roadsters, Tony Martin-entered factory machine for Brian Martin and Trevor Graham ahead of Bataleur Racing duo, Mike Schmidt and Bruce Avern-Taplin, with Class V winners Howard Blake and Andrew Horne next up after an impressive run in the Nash Motorsport Nash-VW, the Trevor Frost and Johannes Botma Strocam Mining Ligier, JS49, Charles Arton and Brian Evans' classic Cape Eye Laser Datsun 240Z and Dean Wolson and Gerald will also be back aboard their Wright Motorsport S2000 Opel.
It was heartbreak for Mega Pile Nash-VW pair Byron and John Oliver, who stopped three minutes from the finish to miss being classified as finishers in the time-based race, while ex F1 star and Le Mans 24-hour winner, Dutch driver Jan Lammers and Greg Mills and their Team Africa Le Mans Ginetta G55 GT3 was running at the finish, but had not completed enough laps to be classified as a finisher.
It was a thrilling race all-round, but the promise of a fight between the pair of Corvette V8-powered machines failed to materialise as the pole-sitting Stuart White/Craig Jarvis in Maui Motorhomes Ginetta was detained in the pits, leaving former SA Endurance champions Francis Carruthers and Johan Engelbrecht’s glorious Aquila CR1 to lead the way from the already duelling Adcock and Arangies, but the Aquila’s race came to a dramatic end at the first refuelling stop when the car burst into flames.
Quick thinking from the crew and Killarney marshals fortunately averted a catastrophe, but that left an intriguing and close battle for the lead between the Arangies Lamborghini and the Ligiers of Adcock and Jensen and the Cormenius car driven by Fritz Kleynhans and James Forbes with Trevor Frost and Johannes Botma’s similar Strocam car keeping a watching brief.
The latter two Ligiers ran into issues as the race progressed, leaving the AidCall car and the Lamborghini in an intriguing cat and mouse game, with the Ligier shadowing the Lambo as the mist rolled in and night fell. The Ligier eventually made its move with a few laps left to run and opened up a small lead to win the Campos 600 by just four seconds after four hours of racing.
There was a race within a race with the one-hour IPC Sports and GT race going to Mike Verier’s RBR Aid Call 27-7 Shelby Nissan to make it a double win for that team on the day, ahead of Porsche 911 GT3 Cup three, Bigfoot Express duo Andrew Culbert and Sun Moodley and Maarten Prins.
There is now a break until the Mopar SA Endurance Series’ second round, the Port Elizabeth 4-Hour at the Aldo Scribante Racetrack on Saturday 25 May - diarise that if you are in the Bay area that weekend!
Issued on behalf of Campos Racing
For further information please contact Rui@campostransport.co.za
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