SAFV: WesBank Raceway preview

2007 Formula Vee Season Gets Underway The WesBank Raceway, hosts the first round of the 2007 South African National Formula Vee Championship, on Sunday 18 February 2007. Included in the program, for this first Pro-Tour event, will be ...

2007 Formula Vee Season Gets Underway

The WesBank Raceway, hosts the first round of the 2007 South African National Formula Vee Championship, on Sunday 18 February 2007. Included in the program, for this first Pro-Tour event, will be National Championship races for Hollard Shelby Can Am and Formula Ford Zetec, Regional Championship races for Altech Porsche Challenge Unlimited, Goldwagen VW Challenge and Lotus Challenge and Club Championship events, for Altech Porsche 924 Challenge and the Sports Racing Association, which will run a One Hour Endurance event, at the end of the day. The previous day (Saturday) features a full day of practice for the competing categories, followed by qualifying from 15h40 until 17h35.

Having secured back to back Championships, in 2005 and 2006, thirty one year old Alan Holm of Alberton starts the season as favorite, in the No1 Lasersprint Rhema 2. He was however injured, in early December, when the Jet Ski he was riding was hit by a speed boat and the first obstacle he faces in his quest for a third title, is to be fit enough to race at WesBank on the 18th. Holm will be up against a number of ex Champions, as well as established veterans and rising stars of South African Formula Vee racing. These include the 1999 Champion Peter Hills of Pretoria, who finished as runner up last year and will be hoping to go one better in 2007, in the No2 Vacuform Rhema 2, the 2000 Champion Dennis Johns of Randburg, in the No8 Rhema 2 and the 2004 Champion, Symm Grobler of Pretoria, in the No5 Auto Mecca Rhema 2.

A strong challenge can also be expected, from Holm's team mate Jaco Schriks, of Glenvista who took third place in the 2006 National Championship season and he will also be eyeing the top spot for 2007, behind the wheel of the No3 Lasersprint Rhema 2. Germiston's Trevor Bland No6 Rhema 2 showed promise, as the 2006 season progressed and he will be keen to build on that and also get in amongst the leading contenders this year. Returning to the category, after a year in Polo Cup, will be teenage ex Karter Andre Van Der Merwe Jnr, of Hartebeesport, in the ACC Airconditioning Rhema 2. Having finished third, in the 2005 South African National Formula Vee Championship, the young Van Der Merwe could emerge as one of the strongest contenders, for the 2007 title. After a year in the Formula Ford Zetec Championship, Germiston's Kyle Bennett also returns to Formula Vee, in the No89 AIE Plastics Rhema, creating yet another force to be reckoned with, in 2007. There is also the possibility, that Pretoria's Jody Robertson who finished fourth in the 2006 Championship, will be in the field as well.

Other drivers to watch out for, include Brakpan's Jannie Geyser No7 Geyser Attorneys Vision, Kempton Park's Ben Pienaar No101 BJ Pro Welding Rhema, Midrand's Kevin Cartmell No17 Rand Brake Sting, Pretoria's Bradley Martin, No14 Rhema 2, Nico Blignaught, from Boksburg, in the No26 Gilus SAP IT Rhema, Gyani's John Lerrm in the No55 Racing for Wildlife Sting, Benoni's Andre Van Der Merwe Atlas Dry Cleaners Lantis, Pretoria's James Leach Rhema, Cape Town's Doug MacDonald Fantastic Racing Rhema, Pretoria's Jack Validas No44 Racing for Jesus Rhema and Secunda's Gert Van Den Berg No40 Rhema. Drivers making their National Formula Vee debuts in 2007, include Johan Gouws Mantis, sixteen year old Dean Lester of Benoni, taking the next step up the ladder, from Karting, in Anthony Taylor's Rhema 2 (Car Number 69), Andre Van Tonder No32 Tasman, Durban's Zaahir Essa No71 Rhema and Cape Town's Courtney Steenveld In the NLDTF Rhema. The sixteen year old youngster becomes the first driver to be promoted from the NLDTF Karting Development Program to the NLDTF Circuit Racing Development Program.

Back on the Dunlop Formula R semi slick tyre, for the 2007 season, this 1400cc Volkswagen Chico powered single seater category, can be guaranteed to continue to provide close, competitive racing, with the top contenders recording lap times quicker than the quickest Class A Production Cars and race long battles raging all the way down the field.

See you at WesBank.

-credit: safv

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Peter Champion