Brummer and Peelen take victory, in Formula Vee Two Hour Race
The annual South African Formula Vee Two Hour endurance race, saw victory go to Deon Brummer and Norway's Alf Peelen (Execu-Stand Sting), completing eighty nine laps and finishing thirty five seconds ahead of the Dennis Johns, Paul Venter (Senior) Goldco Midas Rhema 2, at the Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria. This was Peelen's twelfth visit to South Africa and the first time that he has tasted victory, in the event.
For the Alan Holm, Lyle Poulter JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2, the race was over almost before it had started, with Holm rolling to a stop half way around the first lap, with a broken diff. The early running was made by Johns but throughout the first stint, he had the Jaco Schriks, Charl Gysen JBS Lasersprint Rhema 2 breathing down his neck and looking for a way past, at every opportunity. Schriks was the first of the lead cars to stop, pitting after nineteen laps, with Johns coming in to refuel and hand over to Venter, the following lap. This handed the lead to the Lee Thompson, Trevor Bland Rhema and they led for two laps, before Thompson came in to hand over to Bland. With an extra tank, the Brummer, Peelen car took over the lead, which they held until Brummer eventually pitted, on lap thirty two, handing the lead to the Jody Robertson, Andre Van Der Merwe ACC Airconditioning Rhema.
In the meantime the JP Nortje, Bobby Nel Sting had been retired, after nineteen laps, with no back brakes and the Eddie Piner, Andre Van Tonder Tasman had lost a number of laps, with an electrical problem out on the circuit. Piner eventually rejoined and was the last car to pit. Van Tonder took over but before he had completed his stint, he brought the car in with an overheating problem. The car was then left to cool down and came out later, to complete the final fifteen minutes of the race but finished well down the field, with only forty nine laps completed. After a couple of unscheduled stops, for minor problems, including a broken throttle return spring, the Kevin Cartmell, Claude Cartmell Rand Brake Sting was retired, after an hour and thirty four minutes, with a bad misfire.
Toward the end of his stint, Gysen had spun and lost time in the gravel trap, before coming in to hand the car back to Schriks and the order at the head of the field, was Van Der Merwe, Peelen and Venter, when Van Der Merwe came in to hand over to Robertson at the end of lap forty. Peelen then led for a number of laps, with Robertson chasing him down and retaking the lead, one lap before Peelen came in, at the end of lap sixty one. With sixty six laps completed, Robertson handed over to Van Der Merwe, without relinquishing the lead but six laps into his stint, the motor blew in the biggest possible way and with just over twenty four minutes to go, Van Der Merwe parked the car at the side of the circuit, amidst a cloud of smoke.
With a gap of two and a half laps, over the Johns, Venter car, Brummer brought the lead car in for a splash and dash, with Peelen taking over for the final ten minutes of the race. He rejoined, with a lead of a lap and a half but the brakes where almost gone and with victory almost in sight, Peelen went off the road and lost almost a lap before he was able to get going again, much to the relief of Brummer and the rest of the team. Minutes later, Peelen punched the air with both fists, as he crossed the finish line, while Johns and Venter had to be content with second place. They where followed home by the Alan Kernick, Peter Kernick Tasman, completing eighty six laps, after a good steady drive. On the same lap, Thompson and Bland came home in fourth place and they where followed by the Vision of Jannie Geyser, with eighty four laps completed. The John Lerm, Rion Lerm Sting also completed eighty four laps, to finish in sixth place, ahead of the Peter Hills, Mick Oosthuizen Vacuform Rhema (eighty three laps), Schriks and Gysen (eighty two laps), the Gareth Jackson, David Broodryk JBS Lasersprint Sting (eighty laps) and the Manie Geldenhuis, Pierre Steyn Lagus, with seventy eight laps completed. Next was the Robertson, Van Der Merwe car, having completed seventy two laps before the motor blew, while the Ben Pienaar, Denver Pienaar Vision and the Ashley Spada Omega finished the race, with the same number of laps completed.