Controversy at AA Kyalami race

Johannesburg, Saturday - Multiple South African champions Sean van der Linde, Sarel van der Merwe and Russell Wood dominated proceedings - on a day loaded with controversy - at the Autumn National Race Day at AA Kyalami today. The day started...

Johannesburg, Saturday - Multiple South African champions Sean van der Linde, Sarel van der Merwe and Russell Wood dominated proceedings - on a day loaded with controversy - at the Autumn National Race Day at AA Kyalami today.

The day started with Toyota withdrawing the team Castrol Toyota factory cars from the Midas Production Car event. This followed a dispute with the Midas Production Car Association and race officials over brake components to be used by the Toyotas that run in Class B of the series.

There was also drama during heat two of the Midas event when the red lights - signalling that all drivers must immediately stop racing and proceed to the start/finish line - accidentally came on. This caught out a couple of drivers who slowed momentarily, but the race continued with most of the drama centred around jump start penalties handed out to a number of drivers.

Among those penalised were Class B first heat winner Gavin Cronje (AMG Honda Ballade) and BMW drivers Chad Wentzel and Richard Sorenson in Class A. The penalties stood, however, with tempers becoming a little frayed at times.

Both Midas heats were won by former Touring Car champion Shaun van der Linde with Cronje and team-mate Clint Weston sharing the Class B victories. Honda drivers Doug Reekie and veteran Hector North shared the Class C victories with Opel driver Stephen Taylor taking both Class D wins.

Down in Class E there was a maiden win for Dave Compton (Toyota Tazz) in the first heat. Compton had to settle for third in the second heat, however, and came home behind the Opel Corsas of Cor Kraamwinkel and James Menin.

Veteran van der Merwe went back to the top of the Wesbank V8 championship with two comfortable wins in the Sasol Ford Mustang. Larry Wilford (Fuchs Ford Mustang) led the championship prior to today's outing, but two non finishes for Wilford saw Supervan move into the championship lead.

Van der Merwe won both races ahead of another veteran, Ben Morgenrood, in the Auto Trader Ford Mustang. Chev Camaro pair Riaan Botma and Willie Hepburn shared third places.

Twelve time SA motorcycle champion Wood was also among the double winners and opened up an early lead in the Dark Dog Superbike series. Wood won heat one fair and square ahead of Trevor Crookes (Ducati) and Robbie Petersen (Autopage Cellular Honda), but was a little fortunate in heat two.

The rear tyre on Wood's Vodacom Nashua Yamaha was almost destroyed and he was under attack from a string of riders when the race was stopped after eight laps. The red flag came out when Jamie Hilton, son of comedian Barry Hilton, crashed heavily at the Dark Dog Bowl.

With more than 75 percent of race distanced covered when the red flag came out, Wood was given the victory ahead of Petersen and Crookes. "I had no chance of winning that one, and I could not believe my luck when the red flag came out," said Wood afterwards.

Two good Engen Volkswagen Cup races saw former champion Derrick Irving and Graham Nathan share wins. Morne Jurgens (Jurgens Truck Hire Mygale) and Jonathan du Toit (Zwartkops Van Diemen) took the victories in closely fought Sasol Formula Ford heats.

Results:

Dark Dog Superbikes (Race 1): 1 R Wood (Yamaha); 2 T Crookes (Ducati); 3 R Petersen (Honda); 4 G Dreyer (Honda); 5 L Isaacs (Yamaha). Race 2: 1 R Wood (Yamaha); 2 R Petersen (Honda); 3 T Crookes (Ducati); 4 A Moodley (Yamaha); 5 G Dreyer (Honda).

Sasol Formula Ford (Race 1): 1 M Jurgens (Mygale); 2 J du Toit (Van Diemen); 3 B Mayberry (Mygale); 4 M Petersen (Swift); 5 A Brown (Royale). Race 2: 1 J du Toit (Van Diemen); 2 M Jurgens (Mygale); 3 B Mayberry (Mygale); 4 M du Toit (Van Diemen); 5 M Petersen (Swift).

Midas Production Cars (Race 1): 1 S van der Linde (BMW); 2 G Kelsey (BMW); 3 M Briggs (BMW); 4 S S Wyndham (Ford Falcon); 5 R Roets (BMW). Class A - S van der Linde (BMW); Class B - G Cronje (Honda Ballade); Class C - D Reekie (Honda Ballade); Class D - S Taylor (Opel Kadett); Class E - D Compton (Toyota Tazz). Race 2: 1 S van der Linde (BMW); 2 M Briggs (BMW); 3 S Wyndham (Ford Falcon); 4 G Kelsey (BMW); 5 R Roets (BMW). Class A - S van der Linde (BMW); Class B - C Weston (Honda Ballade); Class C - H North (Honda Ballade); Class D - S Taylor (Opel Kadett); Class E - C Kraamwinkel (Opel Corsa).

Engen Volkswagen Cup (Race 1): 1 T Sipuka (VW Polo); 2 D Irving (VW Polo); 3 G Donker (VW Polo); 4 G Nathan (VW Polo); 5 S Thompson (VW Polo). Race 2: 1 G Nathan (VW Polo); 2 I Pepper (VW Polo); 3 D Irving (VW Polo); 4 S Thompson (VW Polo); 5 M Stephen (VW Polo).

Wesbank V8 (Race 1): 1 S van der Merwe (Ford Mustang); 2 B Morgenrood (Ford Mustang); 3 R Botma (Chev Camaro); 4 W Hepburn (Chev Camaro); 5 D Joubert (Opel Astra). Race 2: 1 S van der Merwe (Ford Mustang); 2 B Morgenrood (Ford Mustang); 3 W Hepburn (Chev Camaro); 4 R Botma (Chev Camaro); 5 D Joubert (Opel Astra).

-AAK

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Series General
Drivers Sarel van der Merwe , Gavin Cronje