SAFV: East London summary

East London Treated to Some Spectacular Formula Vee Racing. The first heat of the South African National Formula Vee race in East London, produced an awesome race long battle for the lead, with the lead bunch six strong, for most of...

East London Treated to Some Spectacular Formula Vee Racing.

The first heat of the South African National Formula Vee race in East London, produced an awesome race long battle for the lead, with the lead bunch six strong, for most of the race. Positions where changing all the way around the circuit, with other duels and three car battles, raging all the way down the field as well. It was however the battle at the front, which had the crowd on their feet. Alan Holm (Lasersprint Rhema 2), Dennis Johns (Geyser Attorneys Rhema 2), Jaco Schriks (Lasersprint Rhema 2), Peter Hills (Vacuform Rhema 2), Symm Grobler (Auto Mecca Rhema 2) and Kyle Bennett (AIE Plastics Rhema 1) fought a battle royal, throughout the race.

The first lap prodvided some anxious moments for those further back, as the field concertinaed into Cocabana, under braking. Ben Pienaar (BJ Pro Welding Rhema 1) locked up and spun in the pack, forcing Courtney Steenveld (NLDTF Indy Oil Rhema 1) to go straight on off the circuit. Steenveld then suffered a clutch failure and was forced to retire, after three laps, along with Gert Van Der Berg who had pulled off at the complex, having run the bearings of his motor.

As the battle for the lead continued, Holm at one stage slipped as low as fourth, while an inspired Bennett had worked his way up, from ninth on the grid, to second, with three laps to go. Then on the penultimate lap, Holm took both Bennett and Johns, to retake the lead. Into Beacon for the second last time, Bennett tried to snatch second place, from Johns. He was however over committed, touched Johns, got a wheel on the grass and spun.

A little further back Zaahir Essa (NLDTF Rhema 1), Jannie Geyser (Geyser Attorneys Vision) and Trevor Bland (Rhema 2) had been involved in their own private battle, until Bland lost the use of second gear and dropped back, while Geyser lost touch with Essa, tying to find a way past Bland. In the end it was however Holm who once again claimed the win, 0.211 of a second ahead of Johns, Schriks, Hills and Grobler, while Bennett had to be content with a sixth place finish, ahead of Leach, Essa, Geyser, Bland, Dean Lester (Rigidek Rhema 2) and Gareth Jackson (Lasersprint Rhema 2).

The second race was a slightly more mundane affair, as Holm, Schriks and Johns fought it out for the lead, while Hills and Grobler where left to fight their own private duel, for fourth place. Early on, Steenveld gave Geyser a big moment at Potter's Pass, when Steenveld tried to go through on the inside but his car was drifting across the circuit and Geyser was forced to run off the road, at over two hundred kilometers per hour, to avoid contact. Bouncing across the grass, Geyser lost five places before he was able to regain the circuit.

Bennett was dropping back all the time, until his motor gave up on him completely and he retired from the race. Also out of the race by that time, was Lester, after he had been hit from behind by Steenveld at Beacon Bend. Lester's gear linkage was damaged and he retired to the pits, while Steenveld continued, without his nosecone and spent the rest of the race in a good close battle with Bland, for eighth place. Then shortly after passing Leach, Essa went missing from sixth place, with a couple of laps to go, after his throttle cable broke.

Out front the battle for the lead was continueing unabated but in the end, the final results saw Holm retain his unbeaten record this year, as he took the victory from Johns, Schriks, Grobler, Hills, Leach, Bland, Steenveld, Geyser, Jackson, Pienaar and Andre Van Der Merwe (Atlas Dry Cleaners Lantis). However the fastest lap in both heats, went not to Holm but to Schriks who set a new Formula Vee lap record for the East London Grand Prix Circuit, with a time of 1 min 32.343 seconds, in the second heat.

-credit: safv

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Series OPENWHEEL