|What||Extreme Festival Round 6 Report|
|Where||East London Grand Prix Circuit|
|When||Saturday 31 August 2019|
|Community||South Africa National|
Drama and a champion in East London
East London’s Extreme Festival delivered drama in spades and a new South African champion at a thrilling Grand Prix Circuit race day on Saturday. And while one man walked away a champion, the rest of the series saw their titles tighten up at the top to leave the Festival to thrill at its final two rounds.
The action was at its wildest in the Falken Polo Cup, where wildcard Arnold Neveling shocked to put his Trinity Protection car on top in qualifying ahead of title leader Brad Liebenberg (Hello Mobile), Jurie Swart Jr. (G-Energy), Matt Shorter (Monroe), Jeffrey Kruger (Universal Health) and Keagan Campos (Campos Transport), but Superpole saw Liebenberg snatch first on the grid ahead of Swart, Kruger, Campos, Neveling and Shorter.
The first race only lasted a few hundred metres before being red-flagged following a multi-car accident that saw Clinton Bezuidenhout rolling out and also eliminating brothers Keegan and Jason Campos and Altan Bouw after a pile-up caused by Keegan's car cutting out in the flat-out Potters Pass bend. An early restart contretemps then saw Liebenberg and Neveling drop down the field as Swart led the way with Kruger in hot pursuit.
Jeffrey made a last lap move on Jurie to take the win from Swart, brothers Matt and Chris Shorter and Dario Busi as Liebenberg fought back to sixth ahead of Jonathan Mogotsi, Justin and Darren Oates, Stiaan Kriel in tenth and Neveling, while Jano van der Westhuizen ended 13th after his team worked through the night to straighten his car rolled on Friday.
Race 2 was a more orderly affair as Kruger led Liebenberg home from Matt Shorter, the recovered Keegan Campos, Swart, Bezuidenhout, Neveling, Mogotsi, Chris Shorter and van der Westhuizen. That leaves Liebenberg four points clear of Kruger at the top of the table and just two points separating Keegan Campos, Swart and Chris Shorter for third in the title chase to Killarney.
The Investchem F1600 battle also produced a thrilling prospect as returning former champion Julian van der Watt (Investchem/ Wulfchiptegnik Mygale) pipped title leader Scott Temple (Road to Race/1st Race Mygale) to pole. Temple had none of it though, fighting a race-long duel with van der Watt to take the first race win, with Nicholas van Weely (Magnificent van Diemen) third ahead of title rivals Tiago Rebelo (TRMS Mygale) and Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Investchem Mygale) and Alex Gillespie (ERP Mygale).
Van der Watt returned the compliment to beat Temple, Rebelo, Gillespie, Mankonkwana and Schofield to the second race win, but there was a twist in the tail when van Weely stopped, allowing Temple to cruise home second to become the 2019 SA Investchem Formula 1600 champion.
Keagan Masters put his Volkswagen Jetta on GTC pole position ahead of Michael van Rooyen’s Toyota, Johan Fourie (EPS BMW) and Daniel Rowe (Jetta) as championship leader Simon Moss (Audi) strugged to sixth. Masters then led van Rooyen, Fourie, Rowe and Moss home to his first GTC win in race 1. Tschops Sipuka (Audi) then emerged to score his maiden victory in a shock reverse grid race 2 win from Rowe, Masters, Fourie, and Moss, to see Masters steal the title lead from Moss. Charl Smalberger (Universal Golf) meanwhile put two over Brad Liebenberg’s works GTI in a GTC2 clean sweep.
On two wheels, Moto2 GP star Steven Odendaal (Yamaha) was back home to beat Lance Isaacs (LIR BMW), Byron Bester (Hi Tech Yamaha) and Dylan Barnard (Yamaha) in the 1000cc Superbikes, while Jared Schultz and Kewyn Snyman defeated championship leader Blaze Baker in a 600cc Supersport Yamaha 1-2-3. Odendaal went on to do the double from Clint Seller (Yamaha), Isaacs and Bester as Snyman beat Baker and Taric van der Merwe in another Yamaha in Supersport.
In local action, Bevan Swartz put his TSE Corvette on the Border Modified pole position ahead of Shaun Gladwell’s lightweight BMW, Jozi visitor Keegan Pottas (Civic Turbo), Kean Barnard (GB Harper V8), Francwa Coetzer (Stutt Garage Tigra) and local man Owen Bridger in another turbo Civic. Swartz then cleared off to an easy race win from the duelling Bridger and Barnard, Julian Herman (Strictly Polo Turbo) and Bruce Butler (HR Focus Nardini), after Pottas and Gradwell stopped. Swartz then trotted off to two more easy race wins in the second and third heats ahead of the lonely Barnard and Coetzer, with Staffen’s rumbling Perana next up from a recovered Simon Thesen’s BMW each time.
The Extreme Festival now moves on to what promises to be a blockbuster penultimate race weekend at Killarney in Cape Town on 28 September, while East London race fans need wait just two weeks before their next race on 14 September.
Issued on behalf of East London Grand Prix Circuit
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