Dramatic Phakisa Race
The seventh round of the 2006 South African National Formula Vee Championship, ended in dramatic fashion, when Alan Holm (JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2) and Peter Hills (Vacuform Rhema 2) tangled, coming out of the final corner and sent the man with the chequered flag, diving for cover.
In the first heat, it was Holm who led the field away from Pole Position but by the end of the second lap Jody Robertson (ACC Airconditioning Rhema 2) had taken the lead. His moment of glory was however short lived and Holm soon regained the position. He was then able to start opening a bit of a gap, as Robertson's motor started losing power and Hills and Symm Grobler (Auto Mecca Rhema 2) where queuing up behind him, looking for a way past. Hills was the first to get by, just on half distance, with Grobler eventually only getting through, during the final lap of the race.
Once he had disposed of Robertson, Hills set about hunting down the race leader and was almost up alongside the race leader, as Holm crossed the finish line, 0.089 of a second ahead of Hills and they where followed home by Grobler, Robertson, Trevor Bland (Rhema 2), Bobby Nel (USN Lantis) Devan Moonsammy (NLDTF Rhema), Gareth Jackson (JBS Lasersprint Rhema) and Gert Van Den Berg (Rhema).
Having hardly finished a lap, in the first heat, Jaco Schriks (JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2) and Benny Phetla (NLDTF Vision) where back on the grid, for the second heat but where both destined to run into further mechanical problems and once again, fail to complete the race. This time, it was Hills who took the early lead but Holm was right on his tail and the two of them set about swapping positions, for the rest of the race. At one point, they had opened a small gap over Robertson and Grobler who where battling it out for third place but as the race wore on, they reeled the leaders back in, for what was destined to be a dramatic finish.
Behind them, Bland was having another lonely race but Nel, Schriks, Moonsammy and Jackson where shaping up for a good close battle behind him, until Nel spun, relegating himself to the back of the field. Schriks then fell by the wayside and Jackson developed a misfire, which got worse and worse as the race progressed.
Into the final lap, the order was Holm, Hills, Grobler and Robertson. Throughout the lap, they where jockeying for position and at the final corner, Holm and Hills where side by side, with Grobler and Robertson right on their tail. Drifting wide on the exit, the cars touched and the man with the chequered flag hurriedly retreated behind the barrier, as the car of Hills speared across the circuit, toward the place he had occupied. With no where else to go, Holm's car rode up the side of Hills' cockpit and over the front of the car. On the inside, was Robertson, up against the wall, on the grass and heading for the ever decreasing gap, between the other cars and the wall. It was close but he made it through alright and finished second, behind Grobler who had also threaded his way through the carnage, to claim the victory. Hills limped across the line in third place, while Holm got everything pointed back in the right direction, to claim fourth place, just over one and a half seconds behind the race winner. He was followed home, a bit more conventionally, by Bland, Moonsammy, Van Den Berg, and Nel, with Jackson dropping out, during the final lap.