Schriks and Holm, share the spoils at Phakisa

The JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2s, of Alan Holm and Jaco Schriks, once again dominated the sixth round of the 2005 South African National Formula Vee Championship. Starting from pole position, for both races, Schriks won the first heat but had to surrender the second heat victory to Holm who had set the fastest lap in both heats, establishing a new Phakisa Formula Vee lap record, of 1 min 47.938 secs, during the sixth lap of the first heat.

The first heat, saw Schriks lead the field away, followed by Holm, Symm Grobler (Auto Mecca Rhema 2), Andre Van Der Merwe (ACC Air Conditioning Rhema2), Nico Blignaut (Gilus IT SAP Rhema) and Laurent Calkoen (Autoquip Mail & Guardian Vision), while Benny Phetla (Lotto Vision) out braked himself at the heel of the boot, rejoining in last place. Kyle Bennett (Rhema) then pulled off, just beyond the same bend and retired from the race, having destroyed his clutch plate.

By the end of the lap, Holm had taken the lead but the following lap Schriks was back in front and stayed there to the end, with Holm breathing down his neck, all the way to the flag. The battle for third and fourth was just as intense, with Van Der Merwe eventually finding a way past Grobler, only to have Grobler come out of the slipstream and retake the position down the back straight, during the final lap of the race. Behind them, Blignaut and Calkoen where also engaged in a race long battle, for fifth place, with Bobby Nel (DK Office Furniture Lantis) and Jannie Geyser (Vision), doing their best to hang on. A little further back, JP Nortje (Sting), Jaco Greyling (Rhema) and Devan Moonsammy (Lotto Rhema) where also locked in battle, for the remaining points scoring positions.

In the end, it was Schriks who beat Holm to the line, by 0.128 of a second. Grobler took third place, 0.166 of a second ahead of Van Der Merwe and they where followed home, by Calkoen, Blignaut, Nel, Geyser, Greyling, Moonsammy, Nortje and Phetla. Trevor Bland (AC DC Dynamics Rhema) had failed to start, after two gearbox failures, as had Mannie Geldenhuis (Lagus), due to a broken throttle cable and Gareth Jackson (JBS Lasersprint Sting), due to a problem with the slave cylinder on the clutch, which destroyed the thrust bearing, while John Lerm (Sting) had broken down on the warm up lap and only joined the race, after half distance.

Heat two, saw Schriks lead the field across the line, at the end of the first lap, followed by Holm, Grobler, Van Der Merwe, Blignaut, Calkoen, Jackson and Nel. Then, during the second lap, Nel clipped the kerb and spun at the high speed bend leading onto the back straight, losing six places in the process. By the end of the lap, Holm had taken the lead and although Schriks only led across the line one more time, at the end of the sixth lap, they where side by side on a number of occasions and swapping positions all around the circuit. Grobler and Van Der Merwe where also locked in battle again, with Van Der Merwe moving up to third place, during the third lap of the race, only to have Grobler retake the position, with two laps to go. Behind them, Blignaut, Calkoen and Jackson where locked in battle, until Jackson spun at the hairpin, while Moonsammy, Greyling, Phetla and Nortje, where battling it out among themselves, a little further back. Nel also joined in, after recovering from his spin, as did Bennett, making his way through from the back, in a car that was not sounding quite right.

Despite his best efforts, Schriks could not get the better of Holm and had to be content with second place, 0.105 of a second behind Holm. Grobler again finished third, 0.367 of a second ahead of Van Der Merwe and they where followed home, by Calkoen, Blignaut, Geyser, Jackson, Bennett, Greyling, Moonsammy and Phetla. Next up was Nortje, having lost four places with a spin on the final lap, which saw Phetla having to take to the grass, to avoid him. Phetla lost one of his radiators and his chance of lining up Moonsammy at the hairpin but still managed to get the car to the line, to claim the final championship point. Once again Bland had failed to start and although he had set out for the grid, Geldenhuis was forced to park the Lagus, during the warm up lap, after the throttle cable had come adrift again.

-safv-