SAFV: Phakisa round six preview

SA National Formula Vee Championship heads for Phakisa The second half, of 2005 South African National Formula Vee Championship, kicks off, with round six of the ten round Championship taking place at the Phakisa Freeway near Welkom, this ...

SA National Formula Vee Championship heads for Phakisa

The second half, of 2005 South African National Formula Vee Championship, kicks off, with round six of the ten round Championship taking place at the Phakisa Freeway near Welkom, this Saturday 2 July 2005. The event also includes Regional Championship races, for Free State Saloons and Thunder Cars, Formula GTi and Lotus Challenge, a Club Championship event for Super Hatch and the annual 2 Hour Endurance Race. Racing is due to get underway, at 10h00, with the two National Championship Formula Vee races, scheduled as race five and race ten, on the eleven race program.

Still heading the pack but coming under increasing pressure, from Alan Holm (No2 JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2) and young Andre Van Der Merwe (No72 ACC Airconditioning Rhema 2), is current log leader and reigning SA Formula Vee Champion Symm Grobler (No1 Auto Mecca Rhema 2). His points advantage is gradually being eroded and he will be keen to start turning things around again, at Phakisa. Van Der Merwe is still looking for that elusive first victory but will also be up against two more, of the five drivers that have won races so far this year, Anthony Taylor (No77 Rigidek Rhema 2) and Jaco Schriks (No4 JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2). Missing from the lineup, will be local boy Dennis Johns (No7 Goldco Midas Rhema 2), after his unfortunate accident at Zwartkops, a few weeks ago.

Heading the challenge and hoping to get into the lead bunch, will be the rest of the teenage Karters, Kyle Bennett (No16 Rhema), Laurent Calkoen (No66 Autoquip Mail & Guardian Vision) and Trevor Bland (No14 AC DC Dynamics Rhema). Along with Van Der Merwe, they have all entrenched themselves at the top half of the Championship log but will have their work cut out, keeping the vastly improved Jannie Geyser (No20 Vision) at bay. Cape Town's Chris Danks (No23 Stalcor Rhema 2) could also get in amongst them again and they could all end up having to contend with the likes of Peter Hills (No5 Vacuform Rhema 2) and James Leach (No32 Lantis), as well.

Ex Champion Hills, is frantically trying to complete a new Rhema 2, in time for the Phakisa race. The car is a replacement for the Rhema he crashed at the Wesbank Raceway in March and having been forced to miss three rounds of the Championship, Hills is keen to get back behind the wheel. An experienced veteran of South African Formula Vee racing, Leach has just completed construction of a brand new Lantis and is also hoping to debut the car at Phakisa.

Other competitors worth looking out for, at Phakisa, include Gareth Jackson (No21 JBS Lasersprint Sting), Bobby Nel (No25 Lantis), Doug MacDonald (No11 Rhema), Kevin Cartmell (No17 Rand Brake Sting), Claude Cartmell (No19 Rand Brake String) and Nico Blignaut (No26 Gilus IT SAP Rhema). Development drivers Benny Phetla (No9 Lotto Vision) and Devan Moonsammy (No130 Lotto Rhema) will also be in the field, as will the likes of Mannie Geldenhuis (No29 Lagus), Jaco Greyling (No54 Rhema), John Lerm (No55 Sting) and possibly JP Nortje (No33 Sting) and Ben Pienaar, in either his Vision, or the rebuilt Rhema, in which he broke his heel at Zwartkops eighteen months ago.

Interest will also be centered on the Phakisa Formula Vee lap record, which is set to tumble, as the category visits Phakisa for the first time with the Dunlop Formula R Semi Slick tyre. Johns, Taylor, Holm and Schriks, have all set new lap records this year and Grobler will be keen to add his name to the list as well, while good close racing should be the order of the day, all the way down the field.

<pre> National Championship Points:

1 Symm Grobler 116 2 Alan Holm 102 3 Andre Van Der Merwe 93 4 Anthony Taylor 57 5 Jannie Geyser 55 6 Dennis Johns 48 7 Kyle Bennett 48 8 Jaco Schriks 45 9 Laurent Calkoen 33 10 Peter Hills 31 11 Chris Danks 31 12 Trevor Bland 30

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Peter Hill