Team Timken driver dominates in Grand-Am test in America
Multiple South African champion Hennie Groenewald stunned motorsport insiders in America when he finished on top of the timesheets in a recent Rolex Grand-Am official test session at the Homestead Miami race track in Florida.
Groenewald is this year seeking an unprecedented fourth WesBank V8 Supercar championship in the Team Timken Jaguar. The Fourways based driver arrived back in Johannesburg the night before rounds three and four of the WesBank series at Kyalami.
Driving for the US-based Racer's Edge team, Groenewald drove a 450 horespower GT Class Mazda RX8 to first place in the standings. Up against the South African were 28 regular competitors in what is a highly competitive class in the Rolex Grand-Am series which is the most popular sports car series in the US.
On his first visit to the combined oval and infield Homestead circuit -- and in his first outing in the car - Groenewald also smashed the current lap record held by US star Boris Said. Closest to Groenewald's lap time of one minute 19,140 seconds was GT Class front runner Dane Cameron who turned in a lap of one minute 19,226 seconds with both drivers inside Said's record time of one minute 19.325 seconds.
"It was a terrific experience and I am hoping something will come out of it," said Groenewald, with the foray into US motorsport possible with help from Timken and Carel Pienaar's SP Racing outfit. SP Racing built and runs the Team Timken cars.
"I would love to race and do well in the United States and with Timken's assistance there is a possibility of racing in the Grand-Am series later in the season."
While in the US the likeable South African also found time to test the Matt Connolly Motorsport Pontiac GTO and the team's Porsche GT3 at Homestead. Groenewald also managed a few laps in a NASCAR-style car at Daytona Beach on an exploratory visit to the famed superspeedway.