WhatSA Endurance Series Round 2 Race Report
WhereEast London Grand Prix Circuit
WhenSaturday 22 May 2021
CommunitySouth Africa National

Umpie puts Pilbeam on East London 4 Hour pole, stars in race

Cape Town racer Jurie ‘Umpie’ Swart made a sensational sportscar racing debut when he put Harp Motorsport’s 300 kilowatt Pilbeam MP84 Nissan onto pole position for the weekend’s South African Endurance Series 4 hour race at the East London Grand Prix Circuit. Swart, who shared the car with fellow Capetonians, Francis Curruthers and Greg Walker, came home ninth in the race as the team fought back following mid-race technical challenges, but only after a strong early showing.

“I need to thank Francis Carruthers and the Harp Motorsport team for an epic opportunity to race the Pilbeam in the East London 4 Hour,” Jurie admitted. “To be honest, to put it on pole was a wonderful surprise as we did not expect the car to suit the East London track and we had struggled a bit in practice too. “Never mind it was my first competitive outing in the Pilbeam. “But I dug very deep to get that lap time out in qualifying and I was delighted to put it on pole for the team.” 

“The race went very well to start with — I had the first stint that included a splash and dash fuel stop. “We paced ourselves to save fuel, but we were still in a decent lead after the first hour after. “Sadly that run did not last as the very bumpy track took its toll on the car and we had to pit to sort a few technical issues. “Still we soldiered on to finish ninth thanks to some brilliant teamwork in the pits and a splendidly prepared car.

“That’s just racing, I suppose, but this weekend was a wonderful opportunity for me to broaden my motorsport horizons. “I love experiencing different racing cars, disciplines and demands, so it was great to know that I could find respectable pace very quickly. “Conserving fuel is something new to me and the Pilbeam is considerably quicker than anything else I have driven, so it was a bit nerve wracking to turn into the daunting flat out Potters Pass at 270 km/h!

“So, I’d like to thank Harp Motorsport for entrusting me with its baby, to broaden my horizons and also to allow me to snatch pole position for the team. “Also huge thanks to my sponsors this weekend, some of whom would prefer to remain anonymous, but without them, this opportunity would never be possible. “Of course, and not least of all, thanks so much to my dad who contributes so much to my racing career.” 

There’s no rest for Swart as first round winner Umpie returns to the Eastern Province to continue in his Polo Cup campaign at Port Elizabeth’s Aldo Scribante this coming weekend.


Issued on behalf of Jurie 'Umpie' Swart

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